One of the oddities that I have noticed getting weirder and weirder in hollywood movies over the years is that if a bad guy has someone else hostage, you have to do whatever they say.
That is actually quite wrong.
If there are things that are more valuable to us than our own lives, then there are also things that are more valuable to us than other people’s lives.
Bruce R. McConkie and Spencer W. Kimball both wrote that a person should value their virtue over their life. It is a foreign idea to us, but I think it is correct. The idea is that one who doesn’t value one’s own virtue more than one’s own life does not have the full measure of virtue. Thus a woman should resist to the point of giving her life rather than submitting to rape no matter what the threat.
I think most members know that they should not deny their testimony even if their life was threatened, or even if their family’s lives were threatened.
But actions speak louder than words. If we know not to deny our testimonies even to save our own families, then we should know not to do evil on pain of being threatened or even on pain of our families being threatened.
Hollywood gets increasingly weird about this. Recent movies portray heroes who become automatons that will do whatever a villain demands regardless of the consequences if another person is threatened with death if the hero disobeys.
But there are things which mean more to us that our own lives. And our words and our actions and our willingness to submit must be among them in some cases. And, just so, there are things that mean more to us than other people’s lives as well, even more to us than the lives of our own family members. There are things we do not do, or say, or submit to no matter the consequence or force of threat that can be held against us. We will not be held accountable for other people’s violent acts but we will be held accountable for our own actions and for our own words.