As most of you know, Ashlee went on the Dr. Phil show. I feel like I have a lot to say about it and then nothing at all. This much I do know and want to say: I am so proud of her. I am proud of her courage to continue to share something that is still so raw, humiliating, and painful for her. I am proud of her example as a person, wife, mother, and daughter of God. I am thankful for her testimony and willingness to share it so publicly. I am grateful to be her sister.
This is the First Presidency message from the April 2015 Ensign. I feel like it is so fitting for what happened today that I couldn't help but get on and update my blog (which hasn't happened in months!).
President Thomas S Monson:
Scarcely an hour passes, President Thomas S. Monson has observed, but what we are called upon to make choices of one kind or another.
To make wise choices, he counseled, we need courage—“the courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny.”1
In the following excerpts, President Monson reminds Latter-day Saints that they need courage to stand for truth and righteousness, to defend what they believe, and to confront a world that is rejecting eternal values and principles.
“The call for courage comes constantly to each of us,” he said. “It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be.” 2
Courage Brings God’s Approval
“We will all face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us—all of us—have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully but also as the determination to live decently. As we move forward, striving to live as we should, we will surely receive help from the Lord and can find comfort in His words.”3
Withstand with Courage
“What does it mean to endure? I love this definition: to withstand with courage. Courage may be necessary for you to believe; it will at times be necessary as you obey. It will most certainly be required as you endure until that day when you will leave this mortal existence.”4
Have Courage to Stand for Truth
“[May] you have the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness. Because the trend in society today is away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, you will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which you believe. Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith. When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life.”5
We Need Spiritual and Moral Courage
“The messages portrayed on television, in movies, and in other media [today] are very often in direct opposition to that which we want our children to embrace and hold dear. It is our responsibility not only to teach them to be sound in spirit and doctrine but also to help them stay that way, regardless of the outside forces they may encounter. This will require much time and effort on our part—and in order to help others, we ourselves need the spiritual and moral courage to withstand the evil we see on every side.”6
May We Ever Be Courageous
“As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. …
“May we ever be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe, and if we must stand alone in the process, may we do so courageously, strengthened by the knowledge that in reality we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven.”7