018B - A Toast

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

In a world staving for moral leadership, stories such as the following – well, they’re just refreshing.

I don’t know this young man’s real name, so I’ll just call him John. When he was just a young military man, John went east to an officers’ training school. While he was there, a new commanding officer came to take over the school. A banquet was hosted in this man’s honor. Sitting by the side of each plate at that table was a cocktail glass, and at the appropriate time someone raised their [his] glass and proposed a toast to the officer. Now instantly, John faced a moment of important decision. You see, John didn’t drink. He never had. If he raised that glass now and joined the rest of those officers, ‘potential’ officers I may add, he wouldn’t stand out. He’d blend right in with the rest of them and no one would ever know. But if he didn’t raise that glass, well, that’s a different story.

In that moment John made a decision that changed the course of his life. While all the other officers raised their glasses in salute to their commander, John raised his as well, except – that his was full of milk. Well, at that long table he stuck out like a wart on a witch’s nose. Once the dinner and the entertainment were over, that commanding officer came from his place at the head of the table and made a beeline straight to John, and demanded to know why he had toasted him with a glass of milk.

“Well, sir,” said John, “I’ve never touched alcohol in my life. I don’t want to touch it. My parents wouldn’t want me to touch it, and I didn’t think you’d want me to either. I wanted to toast you. So I thought you’d be satisfied if I toasted you with what I’m accustomed to drinking,”

“Report to my headquarters in the morning!” was all the officer said.

Well, you can imagine how the rest of that night went for John. The next morning at the appointed hour, John walked into the commander’s office and faced him, whereupon – whereupon the commander offered him a position on his personal staff with this explanation:

“I want to surround myself with men who have the courage to do what they think is right, regardless of what anybody else thinks about it.”

My friends, you know I really don’t think the Lord’s expecting us to die for our principles these days so much as He’s asking us to live for them, or rather just live them, regardless. It is critical, I believe, that we stand up for truth even if it means we must stand out alone. There will come a time when we will stand before Him and be judged on how well we have stood for Him.

Adapted from President N. Eldon Tanner, Conference Report, April 1976, p. 65-66.
Glenn Rawson – July 2000
Music: A Toast – Michael Leavitt
Song: Standing as a Witness – Afterglow