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Scarcely an hour passes, President Thomas S. Monson has observed, but what we are called upon to make choices of one kind or another.
To make wise choices, he counseled, we need courage—“the courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny.”1
In the following excerpts, President Monson reminds Latter-day Saints that they need courage to stand for truth and righteousness, to defend what they believe, and to confront a world that is rejecting eternal values and principles.
“The call for courage comes constantly to each of us,” he said. “It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be.” 2
Courage Brings God’s Approval
“We will all face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us—all of us—have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully but also as the determination to live decently. As we move forward, striving to live as we should, we will surely receive help from the Lord and can find comfort in His words.”3
Withstand with Courage
“What does it mean to endure? I love this definition: to withstand with courage. Courage may be necessary for you to believe; it will at times be necessary as you obey. It will most certainly be required as you endure until that day when you will leave this mortal existence.”4
Have Courage to Stand for Truth
“[May] you have the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness. Because the trend in society today is away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, you will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which you believe. Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith. When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life.”5
We Need Spiritual and Moral Courage
“The messages portrayed on television, in movies, and in other media [today] are very often in direct opposition to that which we want our children to embrace and hold dear. It is our responsibility not only to teach them to be sound in spirit and doctrine but also to help them stay that way, regardless of the outside forces they may encounter. This will require much time and effort on our part—and in order to help others, we ourselves need the spiritual and moral courage to withstand the evil we see on every side.”6
May We Ever Be Courageous
“As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. …
“May we ever be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe, and if we must stand alone in the process, may we do so courageously, strengthened by the knowledge that in reality we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven.”7
Someone Else’s Sarah
The author lives in Utah, USA.
I used to find it difficult to use my beliefs as a response to a question as simple as “Why don’t you drink coffee?” In the past I came up with excuses like “It’s too bitter” or “I don’t like the taste.”
Why was I embarrassed? Why was I so afraid to stand up for what I believe? Looking back now, I don’t understand exactly what I feared. But I do remember exactly when I stopped hiding behind excuses.
One day in my high school English class, the teacher announced that we’d be viewing an episode of a TV show I knew I shouldn’t watch. While other students cheered in excitement, my classmate Sarah raised her hand and asked if she could leave.
When the teacher asked why, Sarah responded matter-of-factly, “Because I’m Mormon and I don’t watch shows with profanity.”
Her courage to stand up in front of the class was amazing. Thanks to Sarah, I too stood up and waited outside with a clear conscience for the show to finish.
I was forever changed. I started explaining my beliefs instead of avoiding the subject. And as a result, I found confidence in myself and participated even more in Church and school activities.
I never told Sarah how much her example meant to me, but I try to emulate her example of confidence. I now realize that being a member of God’s wonderful, sacred Church is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. I hope that I can, through my example, be someone else’s Sarah.
Courage in the Scriptures
President Monson teaches us to have courage and stand for what we believe. There are lots of examples in the scriptures of people who showed courage. Read the scripture next to each name. How did these people show courage and stand up for what they knew was right? Use the spaces to write or draw a picture of your answers.
Daniel (Daniel 6:7, 10–23)
Thomas S. Monson, “The Three Rs of Choice,” Liahona, Nov. 2010, 67, 68.
Thomas S. Monson, “The Call for Courage,” Liahona, May 2004, 55.
Thomas S. Monson, “Be Strong and of a Good Courage,” Liahona, May 2014, 69.
Thomas S. Monson, “Believe, Obey, and Endure,” Liahona, May 2012, 129.
Thomas S. Monson, “May You Have Courage,” Liahona, May 2009, 126.
Thomas S. Monson, “Three Goals to Guide You,” Liahona, Nov. 2007, 118–19.
Thomas S. Monson, “Dare to Stand Alone,” Liahona, Nov. 2011, 60, 67.