“On to the Victory!” Friend, Apr. 2015, 12–13
What do you love to do? I’ve always enjoyed playing sports. After trying different sports, I settled on American football. Through hard work and great coaching, I became an All-American quarterback in college. When I graduated, I joined the Houston Oilers professional football team.
I’ll never forget that first game. The other team’s defensive linemen were bigger than any I’d ever gone against. I was nervous! In my first big play, two huge players tackled me at the same time—harder than I’d ever been tackled before. My leg throbbed, my shoulder ached, and I wanted to quit right then. I had a decision to make. Would I give in to my fears, or would I have the courage to keep trying?
I couldn’t just give up, so I got up and played with all my might! Through courage and lots of teamwork, we won the game. I learned a lesson I’ve never forgotten: never quit when things get tough.
The Prophet Joseph Smith showed courage when he faced challenges that were much harder than playing a football game. In 1842 he was accused of a crime that he didn’t commit. He had to go into hiding in a cramped attic. He was worried about what might happen to his family, the Church, and himself. The only thing he could do in that crowded space was write.
What would you write if you were hiding in an attic, worried and afraid? I think I’d write a letter asking for help. But that’s not what the Prophet did. He wrote letters that became Doctrine and Covenants 127–128, teaching about baptisms for the dead! He also encouraged the Saints with these words: “Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!” (D&C 128:22).
We can be brave in the face of hard challenges, just like Joseph Smith. We need courage to stay true to our standards, especially as the world becomes more confused about what’s right and wrong. It takes courage to stand for our beliefs or to keep trying when life seems hard. With the Lord’s help, we can do all things!
We were not put on earth to be average. We came here to be noble and great! I’m not part of a football team anymore, but I can always be on the Lord’s team. And so can you! It’s the greatest team anyone can join. On His team we can learn to have the courage to go on, on to the ultimate victory!