President Thomas S. Monson
Inasmuch as the trend in society today is rapidly moving away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, we will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which we believe. Will we have the courage to do so?  “Be Strong and of a Good Courage,” Ensign, May 2014 (p.66).

[I]nner courage…includes doing the right thing even though we may be afraid, defending our beliefs at the risk of being ridiculed, and maintaining those beliefs even when threatened with a loss of friends or of social status. He who stands steadfastly for that which is right must risk becoming at times disapproved and unpopular.  “Be Strong and of a Good Courage,” Ensign, May 2014 (p.67).

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.  “Be Strong and of a Good Courage,” Ensign, May 2014 (p.69).

My beloved brethren, with the courage of our convictions, may we declare, with the Apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”  Romans 1:16.  And then, with that same courage, may we follow Paul’s counsel: “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12.  “Be Strong and of a Good Courage,” Ensign, May 2014 (p.69).

Elder Russell M. Nelson
In 1986, President Thomas S. Monson said: “Of course we will face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. … Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with [faith] have courage as well.”  President Monson’s counsel is timeless! So I plead with you, my dear brothers and sisters: Day after day, on your path toward your eternal destiny, increase your faith. Proclaim your faith! Let your faith show!  “Let Your Faith Show,” Ensign, May 2014 (p.31).

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
The guarantee of free exercise of religion is weakening in its effects and in public esteem.  This weakening is attributable to the ascendancy of moral relativism.  "Preserving Religious Freedom,” speech given at Chapman University School of Law on February 4, 2011 (Part V). 

The philosophy of moral relativism, which holds that each person is free to choose for himself what is right and wrong, is becoming the unofficial creed for many in America and other western nations.  "Truth and Tolerance," CES Fireside, September 11, 2011 (Part I).

In this troubled circumstance we who believe in God and the corollary truth of absolute right and wrong have the challenge of living in a godless and increasingly amoral world.  In this circumstance, all of us—and especially you of the rising generation—have a duty to stand up and speak to affirm that God exists and that there are absolute truths His commandments establish.  "Truth and Tolerance," CES Fireside, September 11, 2011 (Part I).

Religious persons should insist on their constitutional right and duty to exercise their religion, to vote their consciences on public issues, and to participate in elections and in debates in the public square and the halls of justice.  These are the rights of all citizens and they are also the rights of religious leaders and religious organizations.  "Preserving Religious Freedom,” speech given at Chapman University School of Law on February 4, 2011 (Part V). 

[W]e must not be deterred or coerced into silence by the kinds of intimidation I have described. We must insist on our constitutional right and duty to exercise our religion, to vote our consciences on public issues and to participate in elections and debates in the public square and the halls of justice. These are the rights of all citizens and they are also the rights of religious leaders.  Speech on Religious Freedom given at BYU-Idaho on October 13, 2009 (Part VI).

[W]e must insist on our freedom to preach the doctrines of our faith.  Speech on Religious Freedom given at BYU-Idaho on October 13, 2009 (Part VI).

Believers need to be witnesses of God.  “Witnesses of God,” BYU-Idaho Devotional February 25, 2014 (Part III).

[B]elievers should not be deterred by the familiar charge that they are trying to legislate morality.  Many areas of the law are based on Judeo/Christian morality and have been for centuries.  "Truth and Tolerance," CES Fireside, September 11, 2011 (Part V).

[B]elievers should not shrink from seeking laws to maintain public conditions or policies that assist them in practicing the requirements of their faith where those conditions or policies are also favorable to the public health, safety or morals.  "Truth and Tolerance," CES Fireside, September 11, 2011 (Part V).

Elder Robert D. Hales
While members should never claim or even imply that they are speaking for the Church, we are all invited, in our capacity as citizens, to share our personal witness with conviction and love—“every man [and woman] according to his [or her own] mind.” Alma 2:5.  “Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom,” General Conference, April 2015.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
[I]f you haven’t already, you will one day find yourself called upon to defend your faith or perhaps even endure some personal abuse simply because you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Such moments will require both courage and courtesy on your part.  “The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship,” Ensign, May 2014 (p.6).

Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them.  “The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship,” Ensign, May 2014 (p.9).

In the face of such waning religiosity—or, at the very least, waning religious affiliation—Latter-day Saints and other churches must be ever more effective in making the persuasive case for why both religious belief and institutional identity are more relevant than ever and deserve continued consideration and privilege within our society.  Such appeals, however, will be met with increasingly sophisticated arguments, including from some in the legal profession.  “Faith, Family, and Religious Freedom,” Clark Memorandum, Fall 2013, p. 23; see also “Faith, Family and Religious Freedom,” Remarks at Chapman University, February 26, 2015.

In the 21st century we cannot flee any longer. We are going to have to fight for laws and circumstances and environments that allow the free exercise of religion and our franchise in it. That is one way we can tolerate being in Babylon but not of it.  “The Call to be Christlike,” Ensign, June 2014 (p. 33).

Elder Quentin L. Cook
Be an active participant, not a silent observer.  “Restoring Morality and Religious Freedom,” Ensign, September 2012 (p. 38).

One of the reasons the attack on moral and religious principles has been so successful is the reluctance of people of faith to express their views. “Restoring Morality and Religious Freedom,” Ensign, September 2012 (p. 37-38); see also Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Watchmen on the Tower,” Clark Memorandum, Spring 2015, p. 11.

By training, experience, and judgment, you are among the Church’s most articulate and thoughtful members.  So what is your responsibility during this period of unusual public attention and debate? As Elder Ballard asked a BYU Marriott School of Management Society audience…in Washington: “Are you going to be an active participant or only a silent observer?”  “Latter-day Saint Lawyers and the Public Square,” Clark Memorandum, Fall 2009, p. 11. 

We are asking you as individuals to respond appropriately and in a Christlike fashion whenever and wherever it is necessary.  “Latter-day Saint Lawyers and the Public Square,” Clark Memorandum, Fall 2009, p. 11. 

Elder Neil L. Andersen
Don’t let the whirlwinds drag you down. These are your days—to stand strong as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.  “Spiritual Whirlwinds,” Ensign, May 2014 (p.21). 

Be Courageous and Speak Up


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