“Fear Ye Not the Reproach of Men”

Isaiah 51:7

7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.

President Dallin H. Oaks said:

“Inevitably, the actions of those who try to follow God’s plan of salvation can cause misunderstanding or even conflict with family members or friends who do not believe its principles. Such conflict is always so. Every generation that has sought to follow God’s plan has had challenges. Anciently, the prophet Isaiah gave strength to the Israelites, whom he called ‘ye that know righteousness, . . . in whose heart is my law.’ To them he said, ‘Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings’ (Isaiah 51:7; see also 2 Nephi 8:7). But whatever the cause of conflict with those who do not understand or believe God’s plan, those who do understand are always commanded to choose the Lord’s way instead of the world’s way.

“The gospel plan each family should follow to prepare for eternal life and exaltation is outlined in the Church’s 1995 proclamation, ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ [see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129]. Its declarations are, of course, visibly different from some current laws, practices, and advocacy of the world in which we live. In our day, the differences most evident are cohabitation without marriage, same-sex marriage, and the raising of children in such relationships. Those who do not believe in or aspire to exaltation and are most persuaded by the ways of the world consider this family proclamation as just a statement of policy that should be changed. In contrast, Latter-day Saints affirm that the family proclamation defines the kind of family relationships where the most important part of our eternal development can occur.

“We have witnessed a rapid and increasing public acceptance of cohabitation without marriage and of same-sex marriage. The corresponding media advocacy, education, and even occupational requirements pose difficult challenges for Latter-day Saints. We must try to balance the competing demands of following the gospel law in our personal lives and teachings, even as we seek to show love for all [see Dallin H. Oaks, “Love and Law,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 26–29]. In doing so we sometimes face, but need not fear, what Isaiah called ‘the reproach of men.’”

(“The Plan and the Proclamation,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 29–30.)

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