The first part of the statement is a self-assured, unapologetic declaration: “I’m a Mormon.” Just as the young woman I met in the grocery store was not afraid to let the world know she was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I hope we will never be afraid or reluctant to acknowledge, “I’m a Mormon.” . . . The next part of the statement affirms, “I know it.” In today’s world, there are a multitude of activities, subjects, and interests vying for every minute of our attention. With so many distractions, do we have the strength, discipline, and commitment to remain focused on what matters most? Are we as well versed in gospel truths as we are in our studies, careers, hobbies, sports, or our texts and tweets? Do we actively seek to find answers to our questions by feasting on the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets? Do we seek the confirmation of the Spirit? The importance of gaining knowledge is an eternal principle. The Prophet Joseph Smith “loved knowledge for its righteous power.” He said: “Knowledge is necessary to life and godliness. … Hear, all ye brethren, this grand key: knowledge is the power of God unto salvation.” All truth and knowledge is important, but amidst the constant distractions of our daily lives, we must especially pay attention to increasing our gospel knowledge so we can understand how to apply gospel principles to our lives. As our gospel knowledge increases, we will begin to feel confident in our testimonies and be able to state, “I know it.” Next is the statement, “I live it.” The scriptures teach that we must be “doers of the word, and not hearers only.” We live the gospel and become “doers of the word” by exercising faith, being obedient, lovingly serving others, and following our Savior’s example. We act with integrity and do what we know is right “at all times and in all things, and in all places” no matter who may or may not be watching.
In the Book of Mormon, we learn of Lehi’s vision of the tree of life. The vision speaks of those noble souls who “[pressed] forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron,” arriving and “[partaking] of the fruit of the tree.” Nephi described the tree as “the love of God,” bearing fruit that “filled [the] soul with exceedingly great joy.” After tasting of the fruit, Lehi saw “a great and spacious building … filled with people … old and young, … male and female; and their … dress was exceedingly fine; and they were … mocking and pointing their fingers [of scorn] towards those who … were partaking of the fruit.” An angel explained that the mocking, the scoffing, the fingers of scorn represented the pride and wisdom of the world. Nephi declared plainly, “We heeded them not.” Sadly, there were others whose courage faltered. The scripture reads, “After they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those [who] were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.” As disciples of Christ, we stand apart from the world. There may be times we feel uncomfortable as the fingers of scorn mock and dismiss what is sacred to us. President Thomas S. Monson warned, “Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith.” Nephi said, “[Heed] them not.” Paul admonished, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; … Be not … ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.” We never leave Him.