This is a letter, addressed to my niece, who is about 9 years old.
Hi Eliza, I want to share a story with you! This story happened when you were about 4 or 5 years old. I was in high school—12th grade, in fact.
In high school I was really involved in musicals—just like how you like to sing and perform! My senior year came and I was places as the leading role in our Spring show. I was thrilled—the show had fun music, lots of dancing, and I had heard it had a funny story-line; plus, my younger sister Aubrea was in the show too! We met for our first practice and as a cast read through the whole story with all the lines we would have to say. As we read aloud together, a sick feeling swept the students. Remember that I went to school in a city where most people go to church and are Christians. As we read through our lines we realized that this story had bad words and some inappropriate scenes. Most, if not all of us knew this show didn't have the Christian beliefs of our families and community. It might have been easy to brush it off and say “It's just a show, and we're just acting; besides, people watch stuff like this every day in movies and on TV!” But I was afraid that if I chose to be in this musical I wouldn’t be able to invite you, or my other nieces and nephews to come see me in it. After a lot of talking between me, my parents, and the musical theater director, my younger sister and I quit the show. Ever since, my old high school has done appropriate shows.
Why do I tell you this? All throughout history there have been good people who changed the world by doing what was unpopular, because they felt it was the right thing to do. My example is nothing compared to all the people who have sacrificed their lives to bring about good change. I like to think about people like William Tyndale, Rosa Parks, Joseph Smith (to add a more personal example), or Mahatma Ghandi.—all people who looked for truth and tried bringing peace to the world. William Tyndale was a truth-seeker, and lived in the 1500s—a LONG time ago! He searched for truth in the bible and felt that the Catholic church had some untrue ideas, including the idea that only church leaders should be able to understand the bible. William had a big goal; he said “If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the scriptures than [Catholic church leaders]!” I am grateful for men and women like this who stand up for the right things. I’m grateful that you have done that! I've heard a story about when you stood up for the right thing in school and I’m proud of you! I hope you and I can always stand for truth! :)
Love, Uncle Grant