“Sharing Time: The Courage to Choose the Right,” Friend, July 1991, 12
Courage! You probably think of someone doing something very brave and daring when you hear that word—someone fighting battles, exploring dangerous places, or risking his life in some other way. But what about you? Have you ever shown courage? There will be many times in your life when you will need courage to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. When you choose the right when you are tempted to do wrong, or when you defend what you know is true, you are showing courage.
Your testimony can give you that courage. When you know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and restored the true Church, that the true Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that we are led by a prophet today, you have an inner strength that helps you do what Heavenly Father wants you to do.
Helaman’s two thousand stripling warriors had testimonies that gave them the courage to defend their families and country from the Lamanites. Although they had never fought in a war, they did not fear death. Their mothers had taught them that if they believed in God, He would deliver them. In a fierce battle, a thousand Lamanites were killed, but not one of the courageous young warriors died, although all were wounded. This was a great miracle that occurred “because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe—that there was a just God” (Alma 57:26).
Brian, a Latter-day Saint boy, attended a school run by another church. One day the children were being very noisy as the teacher tried to read from the Bible. She closed the Bible and said, “No wonder there are no prophets on the earth today. You children are so naughty that you wouldn’t listen to them anyway.” Brian had an important choice to make. He could remain silent, or he could tell his teacher what he believed. He gathered his courage, quietly raised his hand, and said, “Teacher, there is a prophet on the earth today. He lives in Salt Lake City.” The teacher was very interested in this information and asked him to tell her more about his church.
Melissa’s parents are divorced. On the weekends that she spends with her father, she attends church with him. But when she stays with her mother, she is not allowed to go. Melissa was given a part in the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation, but the presentation was scheduled for a weekend when she would be staying with her mother. Melissa was disappointed, because she wanted to participate. She prayed every night that her mother would allow her to go to church. On the day of the presentation, Melissa found the courage to tell her mother how important going to church was to her and to ask her mother for permission to attend and participate in the presentation. Her mother said yes! When Melissa stood at the pulpit, tears ran down her face as she told of her gratitude to Heavenly Father for answering her prayers and giving her the courage to choose the right.
Just like Brian, Melissa, and Helaman’s stripling warriors, your testimony can also give you the courage to choose the right. So, as it says in the scriptures, “Be of good courage, and do it” (Ezra 10:4).
In the first column, read the names of people in the scriptures whose testimonies gave them the courage to choose the right. Look up and read the scriptures, then match each name to the phrase that tells how he, she, or they showed courage.
Choose the Right
1. Joseph Smith
a. He was rejected by his father, kindred, and friends because he believed the word of God.
b. Even though he was just a boy, he fought Goliath to save Israel.
c. He was put into prison for his testimony and later escaped with the help of an angel.
4. Joseph of Egypt
d. They faced death because they believed in the sign that would tell them of the Savior’s birth.
e. She left her home to go to a country where she could live her new religion.
f. Even though people hated and persecuted him, he told others that he had seen a vision.
g. He went to prison rather than do what was wrong.
Divide children into groups. Have each group read one of the scripture stories, then dramatize or tell it in their own words to the other groups. You could also use pioneer stories that demonstrate courage and faith.
Tell younger children the scripture stories, but leave off the endings. Ask questions such as “What would you do if you were Ruth?” After children have given their ideas, finish the story.
Invite members of your ward or branch to share stories of times when their testimonies helped them to choose the right. Let children share their own experiences.
Give children pieces of paper and have each write down a situation where someone would need courage to choose the right. Read the situations and discuss possible solutions.
Discuss principles in the thirteenth article of faith that children should emulate, such as honesty, truth, chastity, etc. Have the children draw a shield of courage, using the words of the article of faith in their designs to remind them that they have the courage and strength to choose the right.