For work, I got to go to the beautiful city of Sydney Australia. The company I work for is moving from one office to another office in Sydney. As with most business trips, it is customary for you to go to lunch or dinner with the group of people you are going to be working with. In this case, it was the entire office staff (5 people plus me). We went to a restaurant, and everyone was having tea with their meal. I declined the tea. At that point the discussion turned to religion, and I was asked where I went to server my mission. I told them that I went to West Virginia, and we talked about that for a little while. Then they made the comment that it has been their experience that once someone from Utah goes leave the USA, they leave their religion as well. I say they because everyone that was there agreed with the statement. It was like the joke, “Don’t take a Mormon fishing with beer, unless you take two, or the one will drink it all.”
Now, they could of made this comment because they think everyone from Provo is LDS, and the group/individual that visited before were not LDS, or they could be LDS and think it is OK to drop their standards when you are not the majority.
My heart sank when I heard this. It discredited my belief, as well as the beliefs of all LDS members. It is my plead to every LDS member out there to not DROP your standards because you THINK that you are not being watched. You are, and your example does say a lot. Not only does your actions act as an example, but they also are a shield in the world against evil and its influence.
Robert D. Hales during the October 1994 LDS general conference said the following about The Importance of Receiving a Personal Testimony.
Our testimony is the fruit of obedience in the form of peace, joy, and understanding in our hearts of gospel principles. A testimony is a shield of faith “wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (D&C 27:17).
Each of us will be tested, tempted, and tried for our testimonies and to find out if we will remain true and faithful through these trials of our faith.
We also know, beloved brothers and sisters, that if we do not continue faithful in the testimony that is imparted to us by the Spirit, then the light dwindles until it is extinguished. A testimony must be constantly nourished and defended, or it will waste away.
I would like to post this story from one of the LDS Churches magazines dated Sept 1988. Please take a few minutes and read it. We may not be as obvious LDS as the set of missionaries discussed in the article, but there are people that know we are LDS and are watching us. [Source]
A Testimony of Example
By Joseph Milner
On a street where much of what is bad in society was represented, the missionaries were an island of spirituality.
In the summer of 1975 I was 25, and my father had just died. He had been involved in the Canadian oil and gas industry with business interests in other parts of the world. I traveled to Europe and spent a considerable amount of time settling his business dealings there for my mother.
After hours of business meetings each day, my colleagues would take me downtown to relax at a famous shopping and promenade area on one of the busiest streets in the city.
With one of the hottest summers on record, it seemed that all the tourists in Europe were on that street. You could see people of various nationalities strolling by, sometimes in native costume or scantily dressed because of the heat.
The street was lined with exclusive stores selling expensive products, but some of the sordid side of life was obvious there as well—pornographic theaters, so-called adult bookstores, and taverns. And, in direct contrast to everything around them, four Latter-day Saint missionaries with a missionary street display.
Their presence seemed amazing, even to a nonmember like me. On this street, where much of what is bad in society was represented, the missionaries were an island of spirituality.
Because I was still discussing business, I was unable to go talk with the missionaries, but I watched them. I noticed that none of the young men looked at the young ladies walking down the street no matter how scantily dressed the girls were. I was quite impressed with that. I decided that I would go back and meet them in the evening when I was free of work, but every time I went to find them, they were gone. I could never seem to find them.
I had to leave the city for a few days, but shortly after my return, I saw two missionaries walking down that same street. I later discovered it would have been their preparation day.
As they walked, they would look in the shop windows. I decided to follow and look in the windows that they looked into to see what interested them. I discovered that they were looking at shoes or coats, and when they did look into a bookstore, it was one that sold only text books. They did not stare into the wine shops or other shops that offered immoral literature or art.
I planned to meet the missionaries at their street display within the next day or two, but suddenly the business deal was completed, and I was on my way back to Canada.
When I got home, I forgot some of the feelings I had experienced watching the missionaries. However, through a friend’s referral, some missionaries made an appointment with me.
As I let the two young men into my apartment, I had the same feelings I felt on the street in Europe when I saw the missionaries there. I sat down and listened to the first discussion. I looked into the eyes of the elders, conscious of the sincerity of their testimonies, and felt that I had known them all my life. After several weeks of missionary discussions, I joined the Church.
I have often thought about the missionaries I saw in Europe. If the two missionaries I followed had stopped in front of a tavern and had been laughing and joking about beer, or if they had gone into some of the stores that you might expect young people to be curious about, the impact of their example on me would have been lost.
The world walked by those missionaries that summer. They never knew I was watching and that their presence bore testimony to me. They never knew that their example was what affected me and made me receptive to the gospel message. Although they never spoke to many of the people on that street, I wonder how many others were influenced as I was just by their example. [Source]
No matter where you go and no matter what you do, please live up to your LDS standards. Not only do we need to be a good example everywhere we go, but we also need to live up to our teaches to help us defend against and fight the evil in the world today. We need to wear the Armor of God, and keep it on at all times.
“Examine your armor. Is there an unguarded or unprotected place? Determine now to add whatever part is missing. … Through the great principle of repentance you can turn your life about and begin now clothing yourself with the armor of God through study, prayer, and a determination to serve God and keep his commandments.” — President N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982), First Counselor in the First Presidency, “‘Put on the Whole Armor of God,’” Ensign, May 1979, 46.