In our faith we have Thirteen Articles of Faith. This is what we believe as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love article of faith thirteen.This is a favorite because it describes the characteristics of one who believes in and follows our Savior Jesus Christ.
"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.
In an article in the Liahona Jan. 2011, the Young Women General Presidency wrote an article entitled; "We Believe!" Here are a few thoughts from this article.
"We believe that one virtuous young woman, led by the Spirit, can change the world". I would add not only one young woman but one young man too and of course all of us combined. We could have a deep impact upon this world.
When Joseph Smith wrote the thirteenth article of faith, he expressed everything we can and must seek and become as believers. Joseph Smith knew that we must believe in standards and values and seek after these things in order to have the power and strength of the Holy Ghost. He knew we would need to follow the Savior in word and deed. He knew that doing this would prepare us to be worthy of the blessings of the temple.
As I observe the young people today; many are leading out in being examples of these characteristics. They are strong and true in the faith. They are living virtuous lives and preparing for the temple. They are true believers in being "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy."
We live in a society today that is dwindling in unbelief. In school halls you will find bad behaviors such as crude language, immodest dress, poor sportsmanship and dishonestity in the classrooms. However, this behavior is not limited to the youth in fact the adults are even worse. The workplace and everywhere we turn we find ourselves subject to bad behaviors.
As a mother, grandmother and great grandmother I desire to be an example of these virtues. It is our responsibility to live these values and teach them to our posterity.
In a New Era Article in June of 2001 entitled: "Making A Mighty Change" ; Elder Marlin K. Jensen challenges us to do the following:
"I'm going to ask you to participate in a brief experiment. Start by standing in front of a mirror and reciting out loud to yourself the 13th Article of Faith. You may remember it is the longest and last article you memorized as you were preparing to advance from Primary.
Analyze your feelings and mannerisms as you voice the words "We believe in being honest, true, chaste"; "we hope all things"; "we seek after these things"; etc.
Do you feel a little removed or distant from the expression of belief being made? Do the words seem to apply more to we than to me? Do they possibly convey a group but not a strong individual sense of conviction?
Now repeat Article 13 again. But this time, personalize it by substituting and emphasizing the pronoun I whever the pronoun we appears. Say the words slowly and thoughtfully: "I believe in being honest, true, chaste"; "I follow the admonition of Paul"; "I have endured many things'; etc. Do you detect a difference? Does it feel more like a part of you, something you truly accept and are personally committed too."
I am going to take this challenge. I am going to memorize again this wonderful Article of Faith and make it my own. I want to be a better follower of Jesus Christ. Will you take this challenge too?