The Lord will strenghthen and inspire those who courageously seek to declare his message in conditions of adversity.
Often we are confronted by people who try to turn us from our spiritual commitment.
They tempt us to sin.
Using ridicule or threats, they try to keep us from defending the kingdom and its laws.
They try to get us to abandon or shirk good works.
Our defense is moral and physical courage.
A true Christian’s courage grows out of his convictions about Christ, his loyalty to Him, his practice of Christ’s laws and programs, and the long-term perspective he gains by concentrating on future heavenly things.
Chapter 42, “As Thou Hast Testified of Me in Jerusalem, so Must Thou Bear Witness Also at Rome”
Jacob 2:1-10. Why would it take courage for Jacob to deliver this message?
Jacob 7:1-20. The story of one who ridiculed a brave man of God.
Mosiah 17. What kept Abinadi true to his trust?
Mosiah 21. What would it have taken to escape the persecution of wicked men?
Acts 21:10-13. It takes special courage to go deliberately on a dangerous errand.
Acts 23:12-21. How determined were Paul’s enemies?
Acts 23:11. Good news and bad news.
Gos. Doc, pp. 530-34. Examples of the courage of President Joseph F. Smith.
Harold B. Lee in CR, Oct. 1972, pp. 123-31. Where do we look for guidance on conduct and doctrine?
Teachings, pp. 155-57. Keys to avoiding apostasy.
Teachings, p. 180. A description of Paul by one who saw him.
Teachings, p. 225. What kind of men have been a problem in the former-day church as well as in the latter-day church?
Discourses, pp. 275-76. What is the effect of lack of confidence?
Discourses, p. 347. How should we meet our trials in doing the work of the Lord?
Gordon B. Hinckley in CR, Apr. 1966, p. 87. Elder Hinckley gives three keys to avoid being led astray.
Parley P. Pratt, Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 192. This records a manifestation to Joseph Smith like Paul had in prison.
Richard L. Evans, From Within These Walls, pp. 77-78. It takes character to carry responsibility.
Orson Hyde in Journal of Discourses, 1:125. He explains the terms in which the Lord intervenes to help us.
Leon R. Hartshorn, “John Taylor the Courageous,” New Era, Jan. 1972, pp. 27-29. Stories of a courageous modern missionary.
(The life of Paul, 7) A Testimony Disregarded (15:22)
(The life of Paul, 8) Enduring to the End (15:22)
Some Suggestions for Presentation
Questions Which Stimulate Discussion
Question: Why is it that the Lord let Paul, Nephi, and many other great servants go through such great trials before rescuing them or giving them the solution to their problems?
Discussion Goals (what should come out of the discussion)
The servants of God should know enough about him and have enough faith to place themselves completely in his hands.
We cannot accomplish the work of the Lord without the kind of commitment demonstrated by Paul and Nephi.
If we have faith, we do not need to know the future but can proceed one step at a time.
We cannot grow spiritually without having to overcome obstacles and hardships.
Question: Why does it take courage to resist false doctrine and temptation?
Sometimes there are implied threats of physical harm or economic or social reprisal. (What is economic reprisal? Answer: Loss of a job status if you don’t conform to a certain life-style. What is social reprisal? Answer: Exclusion from the group, and so forth.)
Ridicule attacks the victim’s self-image. (For example, “You’re stupid! All scientists believe you are wrong!”) Often it is easier to recover from physical pain than from psychological damage or social rejection.
Question: What is the source of courage?
A correct knowledge of God leads to faith.
Others. (What other goals can be reached in such a discussion?)
Question: What do personal purity and obedience have to do whith courage in declaring God’s message?
A smoker, for example, cannot present the Word of Wisdom with the same conviction as a nonsmoker.
Others. (The teacher should have discussion goals in mind or on paper for all discussion questions. Otherwise the discussion will become aimless.)
A Chalkboard List of Synonyms and Antonyms
Instructors may wish to emphasize the need and nature of courage and faith in promulgating the gospel by showing the relationships which develop out of words in a list such as this:
Parallels Between Colossians and Conference Reports
The instructor may wish to show how the teachings of Colossians are equally applicable to our day. This could be done by listing on a handout or on the chalkboard some of the warnings and teachings of Colossians and then reading excerpts from the recent Conference Reports. (See, for example, Harold B. Lee in CR, Oct. 1972, pp. 59-65, 123-32.)