Just yesterday I was helping my 12-year old son write an essay on the story, Unbroken, which he and I recently read together (we read the young readers adaptation by the same author, Laura Hillenbrand), along with his online English class. It's the story of Louie Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who ended up a POW during WWII. What he went through before, during and after his POW experience, was incredible and shows a man of immense courage and faith. My son chose courage as the theme for his Unbroken essay.

Whenever I open up my internet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's homepage comes up first. This morning as part of my scripture study I wanted to read something church related. This article caught my eye. It's by our living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and it's about courage.

My favorite quote about courage by President Monson is this:
“[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.”   
I think this quote stood out to me because I can think of times when I have been tested in my beliefs, as a youth and as a adult, and it has taken an amount of courage for me to stand true to what I believe in. One example was when I broke off my first engagement to a young man who would not have married me in an LDS temple. I had made a commitment to myself and to my Heavenly Father when I was 12-years old (the same age my son is now) that I would only marry in the temple so I could be sealed to my husband and our future children, not only for time, but for all eternity. It took courage for me to break off that engagement because I did love that young man, but I knew in my heart that I was making the right choice and I trusted in my Heavenly Father that I would be blessed for staying true to my beliefs.

Later, I was married in the Jordan River Temple to a truly wonderful man whom I love deeply. We are sealed to each other and to our children for time and eternity. We can be a forever family as long as we have courage to stay true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and keep the covenants made in the Lord's temple.

Something else that comes to my mind when I ponder President Monson's words on courage is how it has taken courage for my husband and I to choose a different educational path for our children by taking them out of mainstream schools and giving them an education in our home. I think many of the choices parents make for their own families take courage. For example, sometimes parents make the choice to raise their children in a completely different way than how they were raised. That takes courage, especially when it means changing ingrained habits.

I'm thankful for a living prophet who gives us such wise council and I loved hearing from him in this past General Conference.

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