Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Be Valiant in Courage, Strength, and Activity

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Be Valiant in Courage, Strength, and Activity, by Gary E. Stevenson
Presiding Bishop

If you found a magic lamp, what would you wish for?

The other day I caught my self daydreaming about this very question. My initial thought was to have all the powers of Superman, without that pesky kryptonite allergy! As I imagined all that I would be able to do, I wondered how my life would change, how I would change. Would any courage I have now morph into pride or cruelty as fears disappeared?

In my wonderings on my new super powers, I started to think about courage. I questioned if Superman could be thought of as having courage in an environment without fear (except for that kryptonite thing). I imagined standing against foes and their weapons without being concerned over being injured, due to the effects of the yellow sun. Yes, I think of myself as Superman sometimes. Would I/Superman really have courage without the chance of being hurt?

In his remarks to the young men, Bishop Stevenson focused on courage. Instead of sharing stories of standing up to physical danger, he recounted an experience where courage was shown through walking away from danger—spiritual danger. (A young man left a party where illegal activities were about to occur just before police arrived.) He emphasized that the courage that counts is the courage to do—or not do—little things. In speaking of "digital peer pressure," he said:

The The demonstration of righteous courage will often be as subtle as to click or not to click.

So, does Superman have courage? I really wondered about this, but after reading Bishop Stevenson's talk, I know that he does (and I think I do, too). In my initial daydreaming of somehow getting the powers of Superman, I wondered if the good I think I have now would morph into something terrible with the limitless power that came. Courage is more than facing a villain in a dark alley; courage is standing for what is right, even when others don't.

Bishop Stevenson gave an invitation with a powerful question at the end (which I've highlighted):

I invite you to qualify yourselves as did the 2,000 stripling soldiers by being valiant in courage as worthy priesthood holders. Remember, what you do, where you go, and what you see will shape who you become. Who do you want to become?

It's true that I daydream about being Superman, but I don't really think I'll ever get his powers. When I'm not daydreaming, I still want to have the courage to do what is right, even—and especially—when others think it doesn't matter.

Who do I want to become?

If I can't be Superman, I want to be super, man!

But really, I want to become like Jesus.

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