Burning Bosom

Theology, History, Culture, Politics & Life from a LDS (Mormon) Perspective

Would you die for your faith?

Posted by Kerry on January 14, 2008

I received word yesterday that a former co-worker had passed away. We worked together at Synopsys in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She was a young 39 years-old, single mom, with a 10 year-old boy. Apparently, 4 weeks ago doctors discovered a blood disease (I never heard what it was, but possibly leukemia?) that would require blood transfusions to survive.

 This lady was a member of the Jehovah’s Witness faith, which prohibits any type of blood transfusion. She chose to refuse the transfusion and accept the fact that she would die in a few weeks.

Now, I am actually willing to bet that many LDS folks, in the immediacy of a moment, would suffer death for the cause of their religion. Even if faced with similar cirucmstances (the LDS church does NOT prohibit blood transfusions, though) I believe many faithful LDS members would choose a slow death over time.

But I am amazed (maybe I shouldn’t be) when I hear stories of amazing conviction from other religions. And I think it is wonderful that people of other faiths, especially other christians, have such strong convictions in Christ that they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice….even when it means leaving your 10 year-old boy behind.

Where does this conviction come from? My conviction is derived from a testimony and witness that was born from the spirit. Understanding that other religions may receive inspiration (see Andrew A.’s earlier post), and that they may not have the “full” gift of the Holy Ghost, is their conviction actually stronger than mine? I have the spirit in its fullness (if I live appropriately) to help me, but they don’t. And yet often they display conviction that is just as strong if not stronger than mine. How is it so?

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One Response to “Would you die for your faith?”

  1. Andrew said

    This is truly a great question, and I have to say I am at a loss for an answer. I too have been impressed by the spiritual conviction I’ve seen in members of other faiths. And at the same time, I’ve been frightened by the degree to which people can believe in an evil cause so much that they are willing to give their lives for it (see the 9/11 hijackers, for example). The latter example caused me to realize that a strong conviction that you are right does not in itself mean that you are right; you have to look beyond the feeling of conviction and try to discover its source and examine its authenticity.

    I feel it would be unwise for me to speculate about the source of conviction that the woman you describe had. However, I feel confident she will be rewarded for her righteous intentions in doing what she believed God required of her.

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