Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
~ 1 Corinthians 16:13 ~
The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. We have nothing to fear. God is at the helm. He will overrule for the good of the work.
~ Gordon B. Hinckley – Stand a Little Taller – Counsel and Inspiration For Each Day of the Year ~
I love how the English Standard Version renders this passage: Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. The Greek word is ἀνδρίζομαι (andrizó to behave like a man, to play the man) This admonishment of the Apostle Paul reflects the truth that we are to act as a mature individual where we are responsible and courageous by taking the initiatives God reveals through faith.
What has our Heavenly Father revealed to us in these latter-days? What is it that we are to be watchful, to be courageous of, and brave? It is to stand firm in our faith in who Jesus Christ is. It is to, as President Gordon B. Hinckley said, stand a little taller in our faith and testimony of Jesus Christ.
How do we do this in such a time as this? First, we need to understand that our faith in Christ, our very own testimony, is founded upon the personal revelation of who Jesus Christ is. We attain this testimony through our daily readings of scripture. They all testify of Christ. His mission, ministry, and example. They testify of his death, burial, and resurrection. All scriptures and revelations are given unto us to understand and know whom Christ is and the Father who sent Him (See John 17).
The Old Testament testifies of who Christ is through prophecy and symbolism. The New Testament testifies of who Christ is through those who walked, spoke, and ate with the Savior. They witnessed his ministry and life. The Book of Mormon testifies and gives account of the fulness of the Gospel – the nature and power of the infinite atonement available to all of us. The Doctrine and Covenants testify to the reality of God speaking unto us in these last days – the dispensation of the fulness of times.
Our Heavenly Father is calling each one of us to stand a little taller with bold, courageous, and resilient faith in these last days. And how do we accomplish this? By heeding the words of Thomas Kempis:
“He that followeth me, walketh not in darkness (see John 8:12), saith the lord”. These are the words of Christ, by which we are admonished, how we ought to imitate His life and manners, if we will be truly enlightened, and be delivered from all blindness of heart.
Let therefore our chiefest endeavour be, to meditate upon the life of Jesus Christ.
Christ is our example to stand firm in the will of God. Humble and submissive to our Heavenly Father’s divine plan. He is our example to walk in compassion and kindness. To exercise bold and resilient faith. Even in the face of those who may stand to ridicule, mock us, or even challenge what we believe. It is through our courageous and bold faith that we are able to walk in the light of truth. It is through our courageous and bold faith that we are able to receive personal revelation and Godly wisdom. Our faith is to grow and mature. It is one of resilience in the face of adversity. It is forged in the fires of our own personal struggles. It is a faith that does not fear nor shy away from those who fail to comprehend the truth of the Restored Gospel in these last days. Christ was mocked. He was ridiculed. He had those disciples abandon him. Yet, he feared no one and faced those challenges with resolve and determination. He endured as we are to endure our own personal struggles. This includes facing our present time where all things are in commotion (see, Doctrine and Covenants 45:26 and 88:91).
We see that there is a lot of commotion going on in our society and culture today. Something we have been warned about since the Restoration and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. In his book The Promise of Discipleship Neal A. Maxwell shares this:
In today’s relativistic society, we see indulgence masquerading as tolerance. We see the primary of the “politically correct” substituting for righteous indignation and for moral outrage. Instead of genuine and pervasive concern for the public good, we see intense devotion paid to niche causes. People are often viewed as advocates of causes rather than as neighbors, being stereotyped because of their interest groups. It is anemic enough to know neighbors and others only as functions but worse still to regard them so much more narrowly. Because all others are actually the spirit sons and daughters of God, the new math of the new morality is even more disturbing and fuzzy.
The rise in subjective morality. The entitlement. And the attack on religious freedom, faith, and all things that our Heavenly Father calls us out of appear to bring a spirit of bondage and captivity upon all of society. We stand a little taller against the growing wave of immorality. We stand a little taller in the spirit of truth and light that is Jesus Christ. We stand with bold and resilient faith and courage to be the light by which those truly seeking refuge and sanctuary are able to come into the fold of God’s kingdom. Each one of us, through our faith and commitment to the Gospel Principles established, are able to speak wisdom into those with broken hearts. We are called to serve and minister to those in need. Just as Christ served and ministered to the lowly and broken.
We stand with bold and resilient #faith and courage to be the light of truth.Tweet
On November 10, 1998, President Gordon B. Hinckley delivered a BYU Devotional Speech. His words still ring true today for each one of us. It is our own personal call to not only Sand a little Taller with resilient and bold faith. It is a call for each one of us to seek excellence in this life as we walk in faithful obedience to the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
You will find your greatest example in the Son of God. I hope that each of you will make Him your friend while you are here and ever after. I hope you will strive to walk in His paths—extending mercy, blessing those who struggle, living with less selfishness, reaching out to others.
He is the greatest example of excellence in all the world. He condescended to come to earth under the most humble of circumstances. He grew up as the son of Joseph the carpenter. He struggled with the adversary on the Mount of Temptation. He came forth resplendent and beautiful and magnificent to teach the world. During His brief ministry He brought more of truth, more of hope, more of mercy, more of love than anyone else who has walked the earth. He died on Calvary’s cross for each of us. He arose the third day, the first fruits of them that slept, bringing the promise of resurrection to all mankind and the hope of exaltation to all who would walk in obedience to His teachings. He was the great paragon of righteousness, the only perfect man ever to walk the earth. His was the wondrous example toward whom each of us might point our lives in our eternal quest for excellence.
Let us make our stand today to be tall and resilient in our faith toward Jesus Christ. Emulating him in all that we do. How we minister in the work place. Minister in our homes. Minister in our Church. And how we minister in our own communities. Bold, resilient, and courageous faith brings great joy in our lives when we seek to align our hearts, mind, soul, and strength to God’s will. Let us come to strengthen our testimony in Jesus Christ. Walk in humility and seek his wisdom each day. Through this we are able to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ that is pleasing and comforting to those in need.
What does it mean for you to stand a little taller today? How does having a bold, courageous, and resilient faith impact your home, work place, and community? In what way are you committed to minister to others through your faith? What challenges and struggles are you facing today that need to be given over to our Heavenly Father’s care?
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Thank you – Mormon Apologia.