Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: Courage

Gordon B. Hinckley

President of the Church


Gordon B. Hinckley
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27.)

Courage

When you are baptized, you take upon you the name of Jesus Christ. It takes great courage to honor that name by all you do and all you say. President Gordon B. Hinckley has written about that kind of courage.

As members of the Church, we … [are] set apart from the world. … [Latter-day Saints] may know discouragement and heartache as they explain their Church membership to family and friends. … The price of discipleship is personal courage. …

There is no more poignant (touching) picture in all history than that of Jesus in Gethsemane and upon the cross, alone: the Redeemer of mankind, the Savior of the world, bringing to pass the Atonement.

I remember being with President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. We could sense, if only in a very small degree, the terrible struggle that took place there, a struggle so intense … that blood came from every pore (see Luke 22:44; D&C 19:18). … We recalled that evil men laid brutal hands upon the Son of God. We recalled that lonely figure on the cross, crying out in anguish, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). Yet, courageously, the Savior of the world moved forward to bring about the Atonement in our behalf. …

I think of a friend whom I knew when I was a missionary in London many years ago. He came to our door through the rain one night. I answered his knock and invited him in.

He said, as I remember, “I have to talk to someone. I’m all alone.”

I asked what the problem was.

He said, “When I joined the Church, my father told me to get out of his house and never come back. … Last month my boss fired me because I am a member of this Church. And last night the girl I love said she would never marry me because I’m a Mormon.”

I said, “If this has cost you so much, why don’t you leave the Church and go back to your father’s home, … to the job that meant so much to you, and marry the girl you think you love?”

He said nothing for what seemed a long time. Then, putting his head in his hands, he sobbed as if his heart would break. Finally he looked up through his tears and said, “I couldn’t do that. I know this is true, and if it were to cost me my life, I could not give it up.”

He picked up his wet hat and walked to the door and went out into the rain. …

I should like to say to … young men and women of the Church, that I hope you may come to know inner personal courage. … It takes resolution to be virtuous when those around you scoff at virtue. It takes commitment to abstain from [drugs and alcohol] when those around you scoff. … It takes love in our hearts to speak in peaceful testimony of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who would mock Him and belittle and demean Him.

There will be times that demand courage for each of us. … Each of us is to live with his or her testimony. Unless we do, we will be miserable and dreadfully alone. …

Yet while there may be … heartache, even heartbreak, there can be peace and comfort and strength from the Lord for those who follow Him. …

The Lord [has promised]: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88). …

May we go forward with our righteous convictions. May we walk in truth and in faith and in love. For if we do so, we will be upheld and strengthened by the Lord.

(See Ensign, September 2001, pages 2–5.)

[illustration] Christ in Gethsemane by Harry Anderson

[illustration] Illustrated by Paul Mann