Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Christian Courage

"To respond in a Christlike way cannot be scripted or based on a formula. The Savior responded differently in every situation….

"Some people mistakenly think responses such as silence, meekness, forgiveness, and bearing humble testimony are passive or weak. But, to “love [our] enemies, bless them that curse [us], do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us], and persecute [us]” (Matthew 5:44) takes faith, strength, and, most of all, Christian courage….
When we do not retaliate—when we turn the other cheek and resist feelings of anger—we too stand with the Savior. We show forth His love, which is the only power that can subdue the adversary and answer our accusers without accusing them in return. That is not weakness. That is Christian courage.

I assure you that to answer our accusers in [kindness] is never weakness. It is Christian courage in action.
“As we respond to others, each circumstance will be different. Fortunately, the Lord knows the hearts of our accusers and how we can most effectively respond to them. As true disciples seek guidance from the Spirit, they receive inspiration tailored to each encounter. And in every encounter, true disciples respond in ways that invite the Spirit of the Lord. Paul reminded the Corinthians that his preaching was “not with the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). Because that power resides in the Spirit of the Lord, we must never become contentious when we are discussing our faith.”

“…More regrettable than the Church being accused of not being Christian is when Church members react to such accusations in an un-Christlike way! May our conversations with others always be marked by the fruits of the Spirit—”love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23). To be meek, as defined in Webster’s Dictionary, is “manifesting patience and longsuffering: enduring injury without resentment.”2 Meekness is not weakness. It is a badge of Christian courage.”

“This is especially important in our interactions with members of other Christian denominations. Surely our Heavenly Father is saddened—and the devil laughs—when we contentiously debate doctrinal differences with our Christian neighbors.”

This is not to suggest that we compromise our principles or dilute our beliefs. We cannot change the doctrines of the restored gospel, even if teaching and obeying them makes us unpopular in the eyes of the world. Yet even as we feel to speak the word of God with boldness, we must pray to be filled with the Holy Ghost (see Acts 4:29, 31). We should never confuse boldness with Satan’s counterfeit: overbearance (see Alma 38:12). True disciples speak with quiet confidence, not boastful pride.”

“Sometimes others want us to come down off the high ground and join them in a theological scrum in the mud. These few contentious individuals are set on picking religious fights, online or in person. We are always better staying on the higher ground of mutual respect and love.”
“…all who seek to know how we should respond to our accusers, I reply, we love them. Whatever their race, creed, religion, or political persuasion, if we follow Christ and show forth His courage, we must love them. We do not feel we are better than they are. Rather, we desire with our love to show them a better way—the way of Jesus Christ….To help them, to be an example for them, is not for the weak. It is for the strong. It is for you and me, Latter-day Saints who pay the price of discipleship by answering our accusers with Christian courage.”

- Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

(may be viewed in many different languages.) http://www.lds.org/conference/languages/0,6353,310-1,00.html


Tony said...

What an Awesome talk!
Thanks for posting, I needed that reminder today after seeing some of those popular tv show hosts disowning the church. It is so true!

Alicia said...

I hate to say it but, the opposition and hatred is going to get worse before it gets better. It will come from those in the church and out of the church. uggg. Sometimes my heart gives in to fear at such a thought... all I can do is pray hard that I will respond in a Christlike way without compromising my beliefs. It is so much easier said than done... But I am reminded of one of my favorite scriptures Heleman 5:12. Thanks Tony for even taking the time to visit my blog and read my posts.

Tony said...

No problem...and yes, it can only get worse before it gets better...but there in lies the need for hope, and more importantly, the need for a Savior!


Alicia said...

Ah Yes!
1 Nephi 8:33-34
Heleman 3:33-35

Dawn Gray said...

Alicia..thank you so much for contributing..please keep up with the travels..they should air a show on what I am doing out in NIcaragua on FUEL TV this January..it's on ON SURFARI and its about how www.lovelightandmelody.org, myself, JJ Yemma and his family and shine God's love to the people. THank you so much. I would like to see your art..where can I?

Alicia said...

Hi Dawn Gray,
I have basic cable but I'm not sure if I have that station I'll have to see. I would love to watch the show in January. You can find my art on my website aliciarawlins.com or I have a couple posted here on my blog... just click on the Label "Art" and go to "He Prays for Us".