13 September 2011

Truth & Tolerance

This Sunday, we got the chance to attend a CES Fireside where Brother and Sister Oaks spoke. I was so glad that I finally didn't forget to go to a fireside! They are always so uplifting and wonderful, and I love having so many chances here at BYU to hear directly from the voice of the Lord's servants. We are so lucky! The fireside was great -- Sister Oaks was super fun and endearing, and Brother Oaks was very thought-provoking. A wonderful balance. Here are some notes from the messages that I wanted to share!

Sister Oaks:

  • How you spend your time every day determines who you will become
    • Note to self: Less time on Pinterest, more time studying scriptures!!!!
  • We are not saved in isolation. Instead of just worrying about saving ourselves, we are under covenant to act on truth to help those around us.
    • Note to self: Stop being so worried about myself! Focus on sharing knowledge of the truth of the gospel with others so they can be happy too!
  • The Lord is always preparing us for greater happiness
  • Our greatest responsibility is to become the best disciple we can.
    • Note to self: What am I doing every day to focus on becoming a better disciple? Study more, serve more, facebook less
Elder Oaks:

I loved Elder Oaks' message on the twin towers of truth and tolerance. I think this is an issue that many latter-day saints have questions about, and that many people outside of our faith question us on as well. How can you balance a firm belief in absolute truth with a tolerance of those who have different ideas and attitudes. One thing he made very clear in his message was this:

There is absolute right and wrong

He discussed how many people in today's society believe in relative morality, and that truth depends on the believer. However, he made it very clear that it is absolute truth that: 1) God exists and 2) His commandments explain what is right and wrong. 

Then he went on to talk about tolerance. I loved the quote that he gave (and of course I can't remember it exactly) where he said that we will need more than just acceptance for peace in this world. Simply accepting that others have different beliefs than us is not enough - we need to learn how to understand and respect different ideas. He discussed three principles that we must always stand up for:

1. All persons are brothers and sisters under God, taught to love and do good unto one another (despite varying religions) 

2. The gospel of Christ teaches us we must live with differences. I loved this point, because how often was Christ found preaching amongst society's typical "outcasts"--the publicans, the sinners, the adulterers. Christ was the perfect example of tolerance. He always sought to embrace those who were different than Him, but never supported immoral behavior.

3. We do not abandon our covenants. There is no middle ground! We are not required to tolerate wrong behavior.

He then went on to describe how tolerance requires and action or behavior to be defined -- there is no one straight answer on what we should tolerate and what we need to stand up for. Confrontation depends on how much the offensive behavior involves us personally, and we must always have kindness in communication but firmness in truth. 



  1. Love it. Constant reminder to spend less time on the internet!!

  2. Thanks! It really was a great message!