Monday, March 27, 2017

Unwavering Courage

"Abinadi was a man of unwavering courage who stood for truth when it was unpopular to do so. As he courageously called the people to repentance, he knew his own life was in jeopardy. In your mind's eye, you can see the riveting scene of Abinadi, who has just had the death sentence pronounced upon him. He had an opportunity to save himself by denying his faith and testimony, but instead he fearlessly proclaimed, I say unto you, I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you concerning this people, for they are true."

                                                                   - W. Craig Zwick

"I remind all of us that we are Latter-Day Saints. We have made covenants with our Heavenly Father,
sacred and binding. Those covenants, if we keep them, will make us better fathers and mothers better
sons and daughters.

I believe that others will rally around us if we will do so. We can stand for truth and goodness, and we will not stand alone. Moreover, we shall have the unseen forces of heaven to assist us."

- President Gordon B. Hinckley

Sometimes we hear the quote from the scripture in 2 Kings 6:16, "Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." Sometimes I think we expect that since we have more people on the side of righteousness that nothing bad can or will happen to us. Lets look at Abinadi, Abinadi was a man of conviction and had the courage to stand up for what he believed, even after he was sentenced to death. The priests of King Noah took Abinadi and bound him (notice the angels did not help him escape), and lit him on fire (notice the angels did not protect him from death). I do want you to notice that when the flames began to scorch him, he prophesied unto the King and the priests that they would suffer death by fire just like him. I sometimes wonder if the angels made it possible for Abinadi to continue his prophesying and surrounded him while he testified of Christ and called them to repentance. Sisters, we are not alone. When we stand for what is right, we are never alone. There is an army of angels that stand with us. God's army will always be bigger than Satan's. Let us take courage as we stand for what is right and always remember that an unseen power will aid me and you in the glorious cause of truth."

Love, Sister Landers

Monday, March 20, 2017

Dare to Stand Alone

Dare to be a Mormon;

Dare to stand alone.

Dare to have a purpose firm;

Dare to make it known.

Courage comes in many forms. Wrote the Christian author Charles Swindoll: "Courage is not limited to the battlefield…or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter."
"They are inner tests, like remaining faithful when no one is looking,…like standing alone when you are misunderstood; I would add that this inner courage also includes doing the right thing even though we may be afraid, defending our beliefs at the risk of being ridiculed, and maintaining those beliefs even when threatened with a loss of friends or of social status. He who stands steadfastly for that which is right must risk becoming at times disapproved and unpopular."

- President Thomas S. Monson

Have you ever had an experience where you had to stand up for something and you stood alone?

Recently I have experienced this very thing. I was surrounded by a group of people who felt one way
and I was the only person in the room who felt differently. In order to be true to myself and my beliefs I had to tell the others that I disagreed with them and why. I remember before I shared my opinion I said a quick prayer to my Heavenly Father. I asked for help from my ancestors and any angels who could help me have the courage I needed to have to stand alone and to help me express my opinion in a pleasing way. I was able to stand up for my beliefs but things were not easy for me. After I shared my position I was treated poorly from some of those who disagreed with me. I was ignored and isolated and made to feel very alone. This lasted for over a year. I finally had to gather more courage to confront the individuals who were treating me bad. Things have gotten better since then, but I
understand how alone we can sometimes feel when we choose to stand up for our beliefs. In pondering about courage to stand up for our beliefs, I think of Captain Moroni and his Title of Liberty. Moroni had the courage to stand up and defend the truth during war, when the entire Nephite nation was under attack and his own life was being threatened. The book of Alma states that if all were like Moroni, the very powers of hell would be shaken forever and the devil would have no power over the hearts of the children of men. Let us strive to be courageous like Moroni to stand up for truth, defend the gospel and win the war against evil.

- Love, Sister Landers

Monday, March 13, 2017

Courage is an Action Word

Image result for fork in the road
"Now there neither are nor can be any neutrals in this war.  Every member of the Church is on one side or the other.

"….In this war all who do not stand forth courageously and valiantly are by that fact alone aiding the cause of the enemy.

"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 [young woman] who fights openly and boldly in his army."
- Bruce R. McConkie

There is a story of a college student who was given a one question essay exam.  

The essay question was "What is courage?"

The student wrote two words…"This is."….and he turned in his test.

We can talk and learn about courage all we want, but at the end of the day, courage is about action.  It's about standing when everyone else is laying down.  It's about running when everyone else walks.  It's about speaking up for what we believe when everyone around us in shouting us down.  It's about befriending the friendless.  It's about following Jesus Christ when the world is run by Satan and his minions.  True courage is action.  Take courage…. Take ACTION.
- Love, Sister Rhinehart

Monday, March 6, 2017

Be Strong & of Good Courage

Steve Nethercott -

"God bless you, my dear young friends  You are the best generation we have ever had.  You know the gospel better.  You are more faithful in your duties.  You are stronger to face the temptations which come your way.  Live by your standards.  Pray for the guidance and protection of the Lord.  He will never leave you alone.  He will comfort you.  He will sustain you.  He will bless you and magnify you and make your reward sweet and beautiful.  And you will discover that your example will attract others who will take courage from your strength.  

"As it is with the youth, so it is with you adults.  If we are to hold up this Church as an ensign to the nations and a light to the world, we must take on more of the luster of the life of Christ individually and in our own personal circumstances.  In standing for the right, we must not be fearful of the consequences.  We must never be afraid.  Said Paul to Timothy:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. (2 Timothy 1:7-8)
Gordon B. Hinckley

I had an experience in High School that changed me.  Every day when the bell rang between classes, a skinny, short boy with glasses would run as fast as he could down the halls to his next class.  And by run, I mean RUN.  He had his black corduroy pants hiked up way past his belly button, white button down shirt half tucked in and half not, blond hair slicked back to his head, really thick glasses that even had tape down the middle, and tennis shoes.  He was considered a "Nerd".  He played the part well, running down the halls, frantic to get to his next class, and knocking people aside with his backpack.  He drew attention to himself by his actions, and the popular group of boys noticed and formulated a plan.  One day, as he was running down the hall, this group of popular boys grabbed him and put him behind a door to the stairway, so he was wedged in the triangle behind the open door.  Their goal was to make him tardy so he would quit running into them with his backpack.  A crowd gathered, laughing, pointing, and taunting.  The taunting  became severe and very cruel.  I was at my locker and noticed what was going on.  It made me angry.  This boy hadn't done anything wrong.  These boys were being mean.  Yet, they were popular and everyone thought they were funny.  I had a choice to make.  I walked across the hall and told the group of popular boys to open the door and let him out, and that they were being mean.  They laughed at me.  I gathered up every ounce of courage I had and told them to let him out now or I would get a teacher.  They let him go.  The boy ran off, crying, tears running down his face.  It broke my heart to see people treating others so poorly.  Girls, we must take courage in this battle against evil.  It is not easy.  It will not be popular.  You may lose friends, reputation, or social status.  But girls, the reward is worth it.  God's Kingdom is worth it.  Any price we have to pay  for standing up for what is right will be worth it.  
- Sister Landers