Dertig Dagen van de Waarheid - Dag 6

Something you hope you never have to do.

There are an awful lot of things I don't ever want to do, ranging from the childish (I never want to eat boogers) to the absurd (I never want to become a zombie) to the morbid (I never want to burn/drown/fall to death).

I could never fit in with this crowd.

But for fear of light-mindedness, I'll choose something serious: I never want to face the choice of death or my religion.

Countless numbers have done this in every age of history- varied though religions are, martyrs of a hundred and more faiths were put to the fire (sometimes literally), told they would die unless they
recanted all that they held to be truth.

Religious debates are rarely so black-and-white. *Rimshot

Their persecutors devised all manner of extracting "confessions" or retractions from them, often so horrifying the accused would falsely confess just to end their torment, usually through welcomed death.

Maybe this seems an obscure thing to fear or worry about. It's not the pain or torture I shudder to think about (okay, the pain and torture is horrifying. I do shudder to think about it). No, what worries me the most is that I would give in. Weird though it seems, I've thought about this before. Could I, if facing the barrel of a gun or the heat of a fire, really stand firm and say, "I believe?"

Joseph Smith faced this nearly every day of his life. Week after week, month after month, mobs angry about who-knows-what sought his life in a very real sense. He had to go to sleep on many occasions wondering if the next time he woke up would be his last, but he persisted. In his final months he even had the foreboding that his end was coming, and soon, yet he never denied what he knew to be true.

On June 27, 1844, a band of murderous criminals stormed the jail where Joseph, his brother Hyrum and two others were (unjustly) held prisoner, despite promises from local officials of safety. On the way there, Joseph knew he was going "as a lamb to the slaughter," knew he wouldn't survive to see his wife and kids again. Both Joseph and Hyrum were shot to death, each sealing their conviction of the truths they had learned with their own blood.

What if it was me? What if I was the one being led on horseback to Carthage, Illinois, where I knew my very life would be in jeopardy, where I knew I would most likely die? What would I have done, watching the armed mob approaching the Carthage Jail, curses on their lips and murder in their eyes?

I don't know. I hope, of course, that I could do as Brother Joseph did, standing firm in my faith and not wavering despite the threat of death.

I never want to find out.


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