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Arise and be men
By josh
9/18/2006 3:40:05 PM
2 Nephi 1:21 — And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;

Doctrine and Covenants 121:45 — Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

Articles of Faith 1:13 — We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

I wanted to write about the first presidency message for this month (September) - "The Father Who Cares." In our world today it seems like the phrase "be a man" has such trivial and even negative connotations. So often a man is portrayed as "trying to be a man" until he has to be put in his place by a woman (or other men) kind enough to remind him he is just an idiot and that his only real chance at happiness and success is to admit that. While I don't watch TV much, especially sitcoms, many sitcoms today, although funny, portray this notion. What does it mean to "be a man?" I'm sure there are books and articles written on this by far more eloquent and authoritative persons than I (this month's Ensign article being an example of one). But I was thinking what it means to ME to be a man. What I have discovered is that first and foremost I can't be a man (at least to my expectations) when mired down in an addiction to lust. Ironically, the justification that "I am a man" is so often used to rationalize the behavior of viewing inappropriate materials or pursuing inappropriate activities. So many today view lust as just a natural result of our physiology, or that a man inherently has these needs, and that fulfilling them through pornography is either harmless or beneficial.

A few nights ago my wife really felt that she needed a blessing. She didn't want to ask, and I've never been one to offer, but I sensed what she wanted and did offer - probably the second time in my life I've done so (I've discussed my feelings about priesthood blessings previously, and will probably copy those blogs to this site eventually). I was able (and more importantly, I felt worthy) to give her a blessing and we both had an absolutely beautiful experience together. To me, that was what being a man is all about.

Being a man is having the sensitivity to determine what your wife needs and appropriately offer it. It is the ability to sense what your children need from you that only you can offer them. It is having the character to exercise patience and restraint in both teaching and disciplining them. It is being the type of person you are always telling them to be. It is being confident in your worthiness to receive promptings of the spirit for the benefit of your family, and having the courage and faith to follow them. It is having the humlity to recognize when you are wrong (and most often when your wife is right), and the subsequent courage to admit it and change your course. It is to exhibit a proven track record of hearkening to the counsel of God, and presiding in the home in such a way that others seek to follow your righteous counsel and example.

We read in the Doctrine and Covenants "Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall they confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from Heaven. (D&C 121:45)" I think that pretty well defines being a man, at least from the perspective of being a worthy priesthood holder. In the context of this site, two words really stick out to me from that scripture: virtue, and unceasingly. It is a tall order to unceasingly garnish your toughts with virtue in a world where not virtue, but vice constantly surrounds you. Truly, to see virtue, you must do more than passively take in what is presented to you,you must actively pursue those things that are virtuous. We must live the 13th article of faith: "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

Comments:

Rationalization    
"I really like your comments here. When I was on my mission, I heard more than once "if you don't look once, you're not a man, but if you look twice, you're not a missionary". More often than not, this was said by an elder as he took a LONG "first look" at a pretty woman. Obviously this was said mostly in jest, but how sad that that idea is so prevalent: "Well, I'm a man, OF COURSE I ____________" (fill in the blank). That may be the NATURAL man, but it's not the TRUE man. The true man we can look to as our example is, as always, the Savior. Of course he would never entertain pornography or lust at all in His thoughts. Can any of us imagine Him walking down the streets of Jerusalem, and staring at the beautiful women on the street? And then justifying it by saying, "well, I AM a man, after all"? Of course not. He is THE MAN and all that you described is embodied in Him."
posted at 09:40:46 on September 19, 2006 by derek
Great thoughts    
"I think it is interesting that the 2007 theme for the Young Men and Young Women is "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (D&C 121:45). How often this addiction starts in youth. And the youth of today are bombarded with much more worldly influences of this sort than 5 or ten years ago. If they can learn to keep their thoughts constantly on things of virtue than they might be better abel to withsatnd this evil plague that Satan is working very hard at. "
posted at 15:22:01 on September 19, 2006 by Anonymous
Bump    
"2 Ne 1:21 is one of my favorites. This was a good read."
posted at 12:28:53 on June 13, 2011 by maddy
Fallen Man vs. Sanctified Man    
"For me at least, I need a role model. I rejoice in the Words of Christ. All of the artists portrays cannot even come close to portraying Jesus The Man, even the Son of Man. I even saw one painting of Christ with rouge and mascara on. Other painting often feminize him. He was a carpenter for Heavens sake and many of His disciples smelled like fish.
The manly leadership of Christ leaps out of the pages of the 4 gospels and 3rd Nephi.
Other great role models of being a Man of Christ are Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, the 4 sons of Mosiah and the Great Captain Moroni.
Sad to say, the modern man of today has been efeminized or takes on the role of a cage fighter. Our current leaders such as President Monson (a gentle giant) Pres. Uchtdorf who is probably a manly as they come, even the mild mannered Elder Richard G. Scott show forth what it means to be a man. I once saw a speech given by Elder Scott to the student body at BYU. His remarks were sharp and culminated in a rebuke of certain elements in the student body that were disobedient and proud of it. In essence he said "if you can't live up to the standards then get out. His voice was manly and powerful it his rebuke sent shock waves through the audience. He is a Man of Christ.

That's what I want to be, like my Savior. He was accused of eating with Publicans and sinners and had women of low reputation seeking Him out. His great example is a light in this dark world of ours. I have re-worded the 23rd Psalm to read, The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not lust.... Try this out for yourself. "
posted at 23:49:32 on June 13, 2011 by 3R's


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"My spiritual prescription includes six choices which I shall list alphabetically, A through F:
  • Choose to Be Alive
  • Choose to Believe
  • Choose to Change
  • Choose to Be Different
  • Choose to Exercise
  • Choose to Be Free "

    — Russell M. Nelson

    General Conference, October 1988