Back in April during General Conference there seemed to be a theme of having faith and courage to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Just look at the titles of the first three talks: The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship, The Joyful Burden of Discipleship, and Christ the Redeemer. In studying the conference talks again I came upon this quote by Thomas S. Monson that was spoken twice. Twice!
“Of course we will face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.“
In his talk, Let Your Faith Show, Elder Russell M. Nelson exhorted us to always live our faith in every aspect of our lives. We shouldn’t try to divide our lives into “my private live” vs “my public life.” It just doesn’t work that way. God will judge us for everything we do, not just for what we do in front of others.
Pres. Monson’s talk, Be Strong and of a Good Courage, elaborated on that topic even more. As I was reading both talks I started keeping track of what we should have the courage to do. Here are just some I recognized. I know there are others that I may have missed. We should have the
Courage to . . .
. . . say no when we should.
. . . say yes when that is appropriate.
. . . do the right thing because it is right.
. . . defend that which we believe.
. . . declare our faith.
. . . make decisions or respond to circumstances around us.
. . . remain faithful when no one’s looking.
. . . stand alone when you’re misunderstood.
. . . do the right thing even though we may be afraid.
. . . defend our beliefs at the risk of being ridiculed.
. . . maintain those beliefs even when threatened with a loss of friends or of social status.
. . . pray.
. . . be the same person you are in the dark that you are in the light.
. . . offer your life rather than to deny the truth.
. . . follow the teachings of parents.
. . . be chaste and pure.
. . . persevere in righteousness to the very end.
. . . do not that which is easy but that which is right.
. . . defy the consensus.
. . . stand for principle.
. . . search for God’s guidance.
. . live faithful to covenants made with the Lord.
. . . increase your faith.
. . . proclaim your faith.
. . . let your faith show!
Wow! What a great list to work on! There are so many ways we will need to have and display courage in our daily lives and interactions with others. As I pondered this list I remembered another General Conference talk given four years ago titled, Courageous Parenting, by Elder Larry R. Lawrence. It too is a wonderful resource specifically for parents. And, of course, my list of what to have courage for grew.
Courage to . . .
. . . pray for answers to help you guide your children through these important years.
. . . be not afraid to speak up and take a stand.
. . . be responsible for the protection of your children, spiritually as well as physically.
. . . not be afraid to counsel with them for fear of offending them.
. . . be united when making parenting decisions.
. . . support each other and say no.
. . . teach your children to postpone romantic relationships until the time comes when they are ready for marriage.
. . . speak up and intervene before Satan succeeds.
. . . raise a warning voice.
. . . stay up and wait for your children to return home from a date.
. . . say yes to the counsel of modern-day prophets.
. . . establish righteous patterns in our homes: family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, family dinner together, and regular one-on-one interviews with each child.
. . . gather children from whatever they’re doing and kneel together as a family.
. . . turn off the television and the computer and to guide your family through the pages of the scriptures every day.
. . . turn down other invitations on Monday night so that you can reserve that evening for your family.
. . . avoid overscheduling so that your family can be home for dinner.
. . .counsel with our children in private interviews.
. . . raise children in an immoral world.
. . . stand for traditional family.
In a world of declining moral values we must have the courage to stand for what is right, defend our faith, and teach our children to do the same.
“I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. …
“… Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:5, 9)
What a wonderful promise to know when we have the courage to follow God and His laws He will be there! We will feel His smile of approval upon us.