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  • Writer's pictureKasandra Mathieson

Why Wear Your Latter-day Saint Identity with Pride

Why Wear Your Latter-day Saint Identity with Pride

(Submitted by Andrew Lamb of Kamloops 2nd Ward)

Hey there, Vernon Stake! As many of you begin a new school year, I want to explore a powerful question with you: Why should you proudly wear your identity as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Beyond the joyous melody of "The Church of Jesus Christ" there's a meaningful answer that goes deeper. In this article, we'll delve into the reasons why embracing your Latter-day Saint identity is not just a source of personal strength but also an open invitation for others to find acceptance and belonging.

First, let’s remember the words of the song - you probably already know the tune:

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I know who I am. I know God’s plan. I’ll follow Him in faith.

I believe in the Saviour, Jesus Christ. I’ll honour His name.

I’ll do what is right; I’ll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

-Janice Kapp Perry. Children’s Songbook, page 77

A Beacon of Unashamed Faith

Imagine your faith as a shining beacon (see Matthew 5:14-16). When you proudly wear your Latter-day Saint identity, it's like turning on that light for all to see. It's a way of saying, "I'm not ashamed of who I am, what I believe, or where I come from." (see Romans 1:16)

A Message of Inclusivity

The song "The Church of Jesus Christ" carries a message of belonging. By openly and comfortably identifying yourself as a Latter-day Saint and a Christian, you signal to others that you are part of a welcoming community that believes in supporting one another. Even if you do nothing more than let peers know what church you belong to, or that you’re Christian, your visible faith may provide solace to those who feel uncertain or ashamed of their own identities. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you become a safe haven for them to explore their own beliefs and discover a place where they can be themselves.

A Bridge to Understanding

Wearing your identity proudly also serves as a bridge for communication and understanding. When friends and peers see your willingness to be open about what you believe - which they might call an unwavering commitment to your faith - they may be curious to learn more. This curiosity can spark conversations about your beliefs, opening the door to mutual respect and a deeper understanding of different faiths and backgrounds.

Breaking Down Barriers

Sometimes, people feel alone or isolated because they fear judgment or discrimination. By openly expressing your Latter-day Saint identity, you help break down barriers and challenge stereotypes. Your willingness to be true to yourself and your beliefs can inspire others to do the same, creating a more inclusive and compassionate environment.

A Testament to Your Conviction

When you unashamedly wear your identity as a Latter-day Saint, it's a testament to your conviction and dedication to living a Christ-centered life. This can serve as a powerful reminder to yourself and others that your faith is a source of strength and guidance.

The Ripple Effect

As you head back to school, remember that your choice to wear your identity with pride has a ripple effect. It not only empowers you, but also influences those around you. For someone in your circle of influence, you may become a source of inspiration and encouragement for others to embrace their identities and live authentically.

Lighting the Way

In a world where many feel the need to hide their true selves, your choice to proudly wear your Latter-day Saint identity is a beacon of hope and acceptance. It's a statement that you are unashamed of who you are and that you stand ready to support and welcome others on their own journeys of self-discovery and faith.

These new friends may not want to become members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - and that’s okay; “converting them” was never the goal in the first place. By showing others that it’s safe to be yourself - and maybe even safe to hold and share differing beliefs respectfully - you help others feel safe to get to know God.

As you embark on this new school year, may your faith shine brightly, illuminating the path for others to find their own sense of belonging and acceptance. Your identity is a source of strength, and your willingness to share it with the world is a gift of love and compassion.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.”

-Romans 1:16


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