We read about the prophets being persecuted. We know that they were cast out and stoned and killed for what they preached to the people. We admire the early saints for their resilience in the face of the adversary. But it isn't until we stand up on the wall and cry repentance ourselves that we can begin to understand the kind of faith we need to have to resist the arrows of the adversary.
The people of Dandenong threw me some interesting arrows this week. Person after person used the same one. I would tell them about how the truth was lost and brought back through a prophet named Joseph Smith, and how the proof of that is in a book called the Book of Mormon. They all told me, "That's not true." I've had people say they don't believe it, or people question the message of the restoration, but never have I had people tell me outright, "That's not true." And then this week, person after person after person, angrily told me that I have it wrong, that my convictions are false, that I have been deceived. People have told me to go away and cursed me in unkown languages and offered to sit down with me and tell me the "truth" because I am confused and what I believe won't get me to heaven. They told me I should be afraid of hellfire. I told them they cannot tell me what I know and do not know. I shook their hands and walked away.
But what they don't know is that what they are reviling against is the way, the truth, and the life. They don't know that they are following in the footsteps of many before them in rejecting the fruit of the tree of life and feeling their way towards the great and spacious building. It doesn't matter that they reject me; I'm just a 20 year old who still has a lot to learn. But it does matter that they reject the message that I have been sent to deliver. "For behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." His word is the truth. His word is the way to everlasting life. That truth and that way does not change with the opinions of men. They can deny the truth all they want, but that does not change universal, eternal truth.
And though men rebel against it, I know with a surety that the truth is on the earth again. I know that I have been called to share it with the world. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the way. And I come to cry repentance. Let men say what they will. I will just be grateful that they no longer use stones.