When we set our foot on the path of righteousness, when we set our eyes on the Savior and redeemer – Jesus the Christ – and when we comply in fulfilling our priesthood duties, we inevitably strive to become a righteous man. Not a man that meets the standards of the world today, but a man that upholds the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his everyday life. One who possesses a perfect understanding and has liberating joy because of the freedom offered by his country. Today, as Christian men who uphold the Gospel, our responsibility and duty is more profound than at any other time in the history of human civilization. We must ponder and answer the question for ourselves – what manner of men ought ye to be?
Let us consider the passage of Alma 48:11-13, 17:
And Moroni was a strong and mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery; Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people. Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country and his religion, even to the loss of his blood. … Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is about liberation and freedom – Liberation and freedom from the bondage of sin and death. As righteous bearers of God’s kingdom, we must keep ourselves from unwanted desires. Moroni himself, closing out the sacred record of the Book of Mormon, gives this counsel:
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God (Moroni 10:32).
Becoming a righteous man is not something that we must wait upon. We must take action today. We must search our hearts and take inventory where there needs to be improvement. If there is sin, we must confess those sins, repent of those sins, and forsake them. We are to turn no more to those desires that may keep us from fulfilling the unique responsibility and duty we have before our Heavenly Father.
We are the light and example of what a true man ought to become. For our sons, we are the light and example on what they should strive to become. For our daughters, we are the light and example of what a righteous husband and father is to his companion and his children. To our community, we are the light and example of what a true man is and how we can share the love of Christ to all who are laden with heavy burdens. Through our example of service to our fellow neighbors, we show the love of Christ in all ways and in all things.
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