Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dare to Stand Alone

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Dare to Stand Alone, by Thomas S. Monson
President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I spend time each day alone.

I go to work early in the morning so I can get home early enough to spend time with my family; it really is a nice situation. Earlier this week, I arrived at work and noticed that the moon was very low in the sky. Although I know that its angular distance (size) of the moon is the same when it is at the horizon as when it is at its zenith, I still love looking at the moon when it appears so much larger! (Read more about the moon illusion here).

Here's the point: As I enjoyed looking at the moon, I wished I weren't alone. I wanted someone there to share the moment with (and not just to show off my science knowledge!).

Ever since that day earlier this week, I've noticed a lonely feeling as I walk through the dark parking lot into an empty building.

I stand alone.

And then I sit alone at my desk.

The title of President Monson's talk is "Dare to Stand Alone," and I know he's not talking about looking at the moon:

We live in a time when we are surrounded by much that is intended to entice us into paths which may lead to our destruction. To avoid such paths requires determination and courage.

. . . 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. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone?

Good question. I just noticed that the image that is directly opposite the above quote shows a man standing still while others around him are moving. Here it is, so you can see:

NOTE: This picture shows a man standing outside of the Conference Center among many other like-minded people who share his beliefs and faith, but there are definitely times when he (and we) stand alone.

It is obviously necessary to stand alone when occasion demands. But is it fair to mention that when we dare to stand alone, we are assured that we don't really have to be alone?

As I've approached my lonely-looking work building in the dark mornings this week, I've noticed a recurring song jumping to mind. It's from Steven Kapp Perry's From Cumorah's Hill, and is titled, "I Never Stand Alone." It's essentially a musical representation of President Monson's message in this talk, with the concluding message being similar to President Monson's conclusion:

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.

It sounds like when I was standing alone looking at the moon, I may not have been alone after all. More importantly, when faced with important moral decisions and my decisions are unpopular, I may feel alone, but I don't have to be.

As long as I dare to stand alone.

0 thoughts