3 Nephi 3:5
Badge of Courage
Giddianhi knew that Lachoneus was a noble and valiant man and tried to weaken him by acknowledging that .
28 A time to come in the which anothing shall be withheld, whether there be bone God or many cgods, they shall be manifest.
OCTOBER 2014 | Which Way Do You Face?
By Elder Lynn G. Robbins Of the Presidency of the Seventy
“Which way do you face?” President Boyd K. Packer surprised me with this puzzling question while we were traveling together on my very first assignment as a new Seventy. Without an explanation to put the question in context, I was baffled. “A Seventy,” he continued, “does not represent the people to the prophet but the prophet to the people. Never forget which way you face!” It was a powerful lesson.
Trying to please others before pleasing God is inverting the first and second great commandments (see Matthew 22:37–39). It is forgetting which way we face. And yet, we have all made that mistake because of the fear of men. In Isaiah the Lord warns us, “Fear ye not the reproach of men” (Isaiah 51:7; see also 2 Nephi 8:7). In Lehi’s dream, this fear was triggered by the finger of scorn pointed from the great and spacious building, causing many to forget which way they faced and to leave the tree “ashamed” (see 1 Nephi 8:25–28).
This peer pressure tries to change a person’s attitudes, if not behavior, by making one feel guilty for giving offense. We seek respectful coexistence with those who point fingers, but when this fear of men tempts us to condone sin, it becomes a “snare” according to the book of Proverbs (see Proverbs 29:25). The snare may be cleverly baited to appeal to our compassionate side to tolerate or even approve of
OCTOBER 1974 | Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith
Bruce R. McConkie -quorum of the 12 apostlesSpeaking of himself and the great warfare with the world which he had won, Paul said:
“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:7–8.)
As members of the Church, we are engaged in a mighty conflict. We are at war. We have enlisted in the cause of Christ to fight against Lucifer and all that is lustful and carnal and evil in the world. We have sworn to fight alongside our friends and against our enemies, and we must not be confused in distinguishing friends from foes. As another of our ancient fellow apostles wrote: “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4.)
The great war that rages on every side and which unfortunately is resulting in many casualties, some fatal, is no new thing. There was war even in heaven, when the forces of evil sought to destroy the agency of man, and when Lucifer sought to lead us away from the path of progression and advancement established by an all-wise Father.
That war is continuing on earth, and the devil is still wroth with the Church and goes forth “to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 12:17.)And it is now as it has always been. The Saints can only overcome him and his forces “by the blood of the Lamb, … by the word of their testimony,” and if they love “not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:11.)
Now there neither are nor can be any neutrals in this war. Every member of the Church is on one side or the other. The soldiers who fight in its battles will either, with Paul, come off victorious and win “a crown of righteousness,” or they shall, in Paul’s language, “be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” in that day when he comes to take “vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thes. 1:9, 8.)
In this war all who do not stand forth courageously and valiantly are by that fact alone aiding the cause of the enemy. “They who are not for me are against me, saith our God.” (2 Ne. 10:16.)
We are either for the Church or we are against it. We either take its part or we take the consequences. We cannot survive spiritually with one foot in the Church and the other in the world. We must make the choice. It is either the Church or the world. There is no middle ground. And the Lord loves a courageous man who fights openly and boldly in his army.“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:15–16.) The summer patriot and the sunshine saint retreat when the battle wages fiercely around them. Theirs is not the conqueror’s crown. They are overcome by the world.
Members of the Church who have testimonies and who live clean and upright lives, but who are not courageous and valiant, do not gain the celestial kingdom. Theirs is a terrestrial inheritance. Of them the revelation says, “These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.” (D&C 76:79.)
As Jesus said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62.)
“Be not … ashamed of the testimony of our Lord,” Paul wrote to Timothy, “… but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel.” (2 Tim. 1:8.) And to the Beloved John came this divine message: “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10.)The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. It is a gift of the Spirit. It comes in full measure only to faithful members of the Church. It is reserved for those whose right it is to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. It is the spiritual endowment which sets a man apart as a prophet in fulfillment of the prayer of Moses: “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” (Num. 11:29.)
It is to be courageous and bold; to use all our strength, energy, and ability in the warfare with the world; to fight the good fight of faith. “Be strong and of a good courage,” the Lord commanded Joshua, and then specified that this strength and courage consisted of meditating upon and observing to do all that is written in the law of the Lord. (See Josh. 1:6–9.) The great cornerstone of valiance in the cause of righteousness is obedience to the whole law of the whole gospel.
To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him”; it is to deny ourselves “of all ungodliness,” and “love God” with all our “might, mind and strength.” (Moro. 10:32.)unshakable conviction. It is to know of the verity and divinity of the Lord’s work on earth.
But this is not all. It is more than believing and knowing. We must be doers of the word and not hearers only. It is more than lip service; it is not simply confessing with the mouth the divine Sonship of the Savior. It is obedience and conformity and personal righteousness. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21.)
continued from Elder McConkie:To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.” It is to “endure to the end.” (2 Ne. 31:20.) It is to live our religion, to practice what we preach, to keep the commandments. It is the manifestation of “pure religion” in the lives of men; it is visiting “the fatherless and widows in their affliction” and keeping ourselves “unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27.)
To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to bridle our passions, control our appetites, and rise above carnal and evil things. It is to overcome the world as did he who is our prototype and who himself was the most valiant of all our Father’s children. It is to be morally clean, to pay our tithes and offerings, to honor the Sabbath day, to pray with full purpose of heart, to lay our all upon the altar if called upon to do so.
To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to take the Lord’s side on every issue. It is to vote as he would vote. It is to think what he thinks, to believe what he believes, to say what he would say and do what he would do in the same situation. It is to have the mind of Christ and be one with him as he is one with his Father.
246 Onward Christian Soldiers
162 I Will Be Valiant