What powerful thoughts that Elder D. Todd Christofferson shared in the March issue of the Ensign, thoughts that he has developed through personal experience. Here are some thoughts he shared:
“It is true that Christ came to bring peace—peace between the believer and God, and peace among men. Yet the inevitable result of Christ’s coming is conflict—between Christ and the antichrist, between light and darkness, between Christ’s children and the devil’s children. This conflict can occur even between members of the same family.”3
I’m confident that a number of you have been rejected and ostracized by father and mother, brothers and sisters as you accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and entered into His covenant. In one way or another, your superior love of Christ has required the sacrifice of relationships that were dear to you, and you have shed many tears. Yet with your own love undiminished, you hold steady under this cross, showing yourself unashamed of the Son of God.
The Cost of Discipleship
A few years ago a member of the Church shared a copy of the Book of Mormon with an Amish friend in Ohio, USA. The friend began to read the book and could not put it down. He and his wife were baptized, and within seven months two more Amish couples were converted and baptized members of the Church. Their children were baptized several months later.
These three families decided to remain in their community and continue their Amish lifestyle even though they had left the Amish faith. However, they were subjected to “shunning” by their close-knit Amish neighbors. Shunning means that no one in their Amish community will talk to them, work with them, do business with them, or associate with them in any way. This includes not just friends but also family members.
Initially, these Amish Saints felt alone and isolated as even their children were subjected to shunning and were removed from their Amish schools. Their children have endured shunning by grandparents, cousins, and close neighbors. Even some of the older children of these Amish families, who did not accept the gospel, will not talk to or even acknowledge their parents. These families have struggled to recover from the social and economic effects of shunning, but they are succeeding.