President Thomas S. Monson spoke during priesthood session of the need for courage in the face of an increasingly troubled world.
He encouraged the men of the priesthood to look to the examples in both ancient and modern scripture for courage in defending what they believe.
He spoke of the seemingly limitless choices available in our day and the negative influences and pressures of secular society.
“Because of these and other challenges, decisions are constantly before us which can determine our destiny,” he said. “In order to make correct decisions, courage is needed … the courage to do the right thing because it is right.”
President Monson said courage comes in many forms. He said inner courage would include defending one’s beliefs when faced with possible ridicule from others, loss of friends and the lowering of social status.
He gave an example of a soldier who served with him in the U.S. Navy. This 18-year-old sailor was not a member of the Church, but President Monson was touched by the man’s dedication to praying every night, even with some of the 250 other men in the company mocking him.
President Monson also admonished the members to “be the same person wherever you are and whatever you’re doing — the person our Heavenly Father wants you to be and the person you know you should be.”
In doing so he quoted an interview by prominent NCAA basketball player and church member Jabari Parker.
“Just be the same person you are in the dark that you are in the light,” Parker said, quoting his father who had given him that advise when he was younger.
President Monson used the examples of the prophets Daniel, Abinadi, Moroni and Joseph Smith as inspiration members can look to for courage in the scriptures. He spoke of Joseph Smith’s experience being held captive, when the prophet rebuked his captors for their blasphemous language and silenced the men while bound in chains.
“Not all acts of courage bring such spectacular or immediate results,” Monson said. “Yet all of them do bring peace of mind and a knowledge that right and truth have been defended.”
President Monson concluded by reminding the priesthood brethren that “catastrophic conflicts come and go, but the war waged for the souls of men continues without abatement.” Only by having the necessary courage can brethren remain strong in the face of that war, President Monson said.