There are times when it’s too easy to see how different Mormons can be from the rest of the world. We keep different standards and often do things the rest of the world doesn’t do, like attending Mormon Church meetings and Mormon temples. James E. Faust gives wonderful advice for those of us who feel “too” different:
Sisters, don’t be afraid to be different in our century! Sometimes we have to be different in order to maintain Church standards. So I repeat, don’t be afraid to be different, but be as good as you can be (”Your Light-a Standard to All Nations,” Ensign, May 2006, 112).
It’s okay to be different when our differences bring us closer to the Lord. In Deuteronomy 26:18, it says, “And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments.” Sometimes we can all feel “peculiar” when compared to the rest of the world. Fortunately, we’re not judged by the world’s standard; we are judged by the Lord.
If we keep his commandments, we are “peculiar,” which literally means that we are a precious possession. We can be precious to the Lord when we obey his commandments. Being Mormon brings blessings, and they’re worth being different. Avoiding alcohol and coffee (as commanded by the Word of Wisdom) gives us health and strength; staying in families helps us to be emotionally healthy and stable; the temple brings us the blessings of salvation. The Lord means to set us apart as Mormons. He knows we’re going to be different, much like he was during his life.
When we are different, or when we are persecuted for being different and following the Lord, we join with the Disciples of Christ throughout time. In places where the Mormon Church is small, we can feel alone, but our differences make us unique and interesting. Don’t be afraid to be set apart from the rest of the world. Don’t be afraid to wear modest clothes, keep the Sabbath holy, and attend youth activities. You gain strength and blessings from these things worth any persecution.
Our differences as Mormons need not cut us off from the rest of the world. We can have good friends that don’t share our differences. Mormons believe in charity, the pure love of Christ which we need to have for everyone on Earth. We can think differently and act differently but still love one another.