09281_000_032“Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9).
Have Courage: Lead Out in the Cause of Virtue!
Photograph of Young Women Presidency by Busath Photography
Have you ever wanted to make a difference in the world but didn’t know how to start? Have you wanted to stand up for something right but lacked courage because doing so might draw ridicule from your peers? This is the year to become the leader you were sent here to earth to be. Now, more than ever before, the world needs your light and your leadership. You can make a difference.
The 2010 theme invites us to “be strong and of a good courage” (Joshua 1:9). Strength and courage are attributes of leaders. As a member of the Church, you are a leader in the cause of virtue and righteousness.
Our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, has called for us to have courage:
“Great courage will be required as you remain chaste and virtuous amid the accepted thinking of the times.
“In the world’s view today there is little thought that young men and young women will remain morally clean and pure before marriage. Does this make immoral behavior acceptable? Absolutely not!” 1
Your courage to lead will come as you live the standards, make correct choices, and follow the prophet. Your strength will come as you strive daily to increase your testimony of the Savior by praying and reading in the Book of Mormon. Your strength to lead others will come as you live the standards found in the booklet For the Strength of Youth. As you do these things, you will feel good about yourself. You will have confidence, and you will grow in spiritual strength.
And don’t forget to smile! Have a positive attitude. “Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God” (D&C 123:17). Knowing what is right and wrong is always possible (see Moroni 7:16), and you are promised that the Holy Ghost will tell you “all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5). As you study, listen for the guidance of the still, small voice. You have the promised assurance that “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5).
Whatever your circumstances, you were born to lead in your family, in your school, and in your community. So this year, be strong, have courage, and make a difference in the world! You are not alone. Heavenly Father will hear and answer your prayers and guide your actions as you remain pure and worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
You are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves you. These are your days. We love you and pray that you will be strong and courageous in living the standards and leading out in the cause of virtue. Your righteous example will make a difference!
Facing Challenges with Courage
Photograph of Young Men Presidency by Craig Dimond
Have you ever been worried about measuring up to a task? Imagine how Joshua might have felt as successor to the great prophet Moses. The heavy responsibility to lead the people of Israel into the promised land fell to Joshua. Remember that the promised land was occupied by numerous Canaanite nations, many of which were fearsome and warlike. Can you imagine that Joshua may have felt unsure of his abilities to accomplish such a daunting task, maybe even afraid?
In the space of four verses in the first chapter of Joshua, the Lord commands Joshua to be strong and courageous—three times! (see verses 6–9). Then the Lord promises Joshua that he will succeed in bringing the Israelites to their land of inheritance, that strength and courage will come to him because of his obedience to all the law, and—most significantly—that the Lord will be with him wherever he goes.
The 2010 Mutual theme is the third instance of the Lord’s call to Joshua to “be strong and of a good courage” (Joshua 1:9). That same call to courage is yours. And the same promises are yours as well. With the Savior’s help, you too will succeed in your callings and in your life. You will have strength to withstand any temptation as you obey the commandments and keep the standards found in For the Strength of Youth. As you honor the priesthood and each week renew the covenants you made at baptism, you can have the Savior’s Spirit with you—always.
There were many unknowns facing Joshua. He didn’t know how he would be able to bring the children of Israel into the promised land, but he trusted in the Lord. You face challenges in your life. You might be one of the few members of the Church in your school or even in your family. You might feel isolated or discouraged or afraid. You might feel uncertain about your future in these troubled times. But be of good courage. The Lord is with you. You can trust in Him. He will help you succeed.
This wonderful reminder is found in Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” As we serve in our calling, we are committed to trust in the Lord. We encourage you to do the same. We love you. We trust you. You are part of a select generation of strong and courageous young men.
Illustration by Michael T. Malm