An Experience With Values

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Monte Brough

On occasion we can find ourselves in unique, and even awkward, social situations because of our Church membership and commitment. We then face the possibility of a sacrifice of our reputation or a sacrifice of some social comfort. Each of us probably will have the opportunity to be in a situation that will demonstrate our peculiarity. The Word of Wisdom, Sabbath-day observance, R-rated movies, and other elements may separate us from the mainstream.

Some years ago, I became vice president of a large computer services company. The company had an annual executives' retreat with its top-level officers. At my first meeting, held in Sun Valley, Idaho, the company retained a famous professional entertainer, a so-called comedian, at significant expense to the company.

We were transported by bus to a lovely restaurant some miles from the main resort. My assigned seat was at the head table with the chairman, president of the organization, and other senior executives.

As the program began, I soon realized that the entertainer's idea of humor was vulgarity, profanity, and verbal pornography. I knew I could not remain and participate as a member of the audience that seemed to enjoy the entertainer's style. Yet I was concered about leaving the head table in full view of the other executives and board members. I felt my leaving could represent a statement of disrespect for their effort to provide a relaxing evening of entertainment.

After a few more minutes of internal debate, I knew I could remain no longer as the entertainer continued his assault on values, people, and, particularly, women. As I got up and left the room, every eye seemed to be looking at me. Everyone in the room knew of my Church affiliation, and all, I thought, seemed offended by my action. It was a long walk back in the dark to the resort village. My emotions alternated between being worried and angry. I was worried that I had offended the leadership of the company by my action. I was angry that they did not recognize the degrading garbage offered in the form of entertainment.

The next day I learned that some were contemptuous of my leaving and had felt offended that I rejected their choice of entertainment. To my disappointment, not one person gave any indication of having respected my action, and no one ever commented again about the evening. I must add, however, that the company never arranged for that type of offensive entertainment again for executive retreats.

Now as I look back on the event, I believe it contributed to my understanding of how Christ might have flet during the humiliation that was heaped upon Him. I received great comfort from the following scripture:

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:18-19)

This personal experience was shared by Monte Brough at a BYU Devotional - The Law of Sacrifice - on Feb. 13, 1996: