Being Mormon can be very difficult and trying at times. I know, in relationships, I have a difficult time. It seems like every guy I've been interested in says it won't work out because of my religion. Why is it so difficult at times? Sometimes we may feel lonely and out of place and wonder why. The right thing can be very hard at times. However, we must stand firm and know that we are doing what we need to and that we are never alone. Even outside our religion, leaders sometimes stand alone. Look at presidents, for example. They sometimes have to make the executive decision to take action which, in turn, may cause an uproar among Americans. Not everyone is going to stand with you 100% of the time and you must stand alone. Don't change for the world around you. Don't give into the norm. In times of loneliness, turn towards the Lord and he will help.
Gordon B. Hinckley gave a speech at BYU in 1969, while he was in the Quorum of the 12. The speech he gave was entitled "The Loneliness of Leadership". In it, he talks about President Nixon. He says "As I looked at him, I thought of the terrible loneliness of leadership. True, he has advisors. He has at his beck and call any number of men with whom he can consult; but when all the chips are down, he has to face the world alone, as it were. His advisors do not face the cannon fire of public opinion. That comes to the leader." He also discusses how missionaries feel lonely and lost at times. In those times, missionaries should remember that "[as] he also comes to know, as he works in the service of the Lord, the sweet and marvelous companionship of the Holy Spirit which softens and takes from him that feeling of loneliness." I'd also like to share a story he told in the speech.
"[A convert] said, 'I’ve got to talk with someone. I’m all alone. I’m undone.'
And I said, 'What’s your problem?'
And he said, 'When I joined the Church a little less than a year ago, my father told me to get out of his home and never come back. And I’ve never been back.' He continued, 'A few months later the cricket club of which I was a member read me off its list, barring me from membership with the boys with whom I had grown up and with whom I had been so close and friendly.' Then he said, 'Last month my boss fired me because I was a member of this church, and I have been unable to get another job and I have had to go on the dole. And last night the girl with whom I have gone for a year and a half said she would never marry me because I’m a Mormon.'
I said, 'If this has cost you so much, why don’t you leave the Church and go back to your father’s home and to your cricket club and to the job that meant so much to you and to the girl you think you love?'
He said nothing for what seemed to be a long time. Then, putting his head down in his hands, he sobbed and sobbed. Finally, he looked up through his tears and said, 'I couldn’t do that. I know this is true, and if it were to cost me my life, I could never give it up.'" While you may feel lonely at times, there is beauty in that loneliness, in the Lord.
To read or listen to Gordon B. Hinckley's full speech, click here.