Arise from the dust, and be MEN: Transfer 2, Week 3‏‏

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A lady in Oregon City makes super awesome realistic wands for missionaries and she made me one even though I haven't served in OC yet, but this is when I got mine. It's pretty sweet.
A lady in Oregon City makes super awesome realistic wands for missionaries and she made me one even though I haven’t served in OC yet, but this is when I got mine. It’s pretty sweet.

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Hello everyone! This week was a super good week for us. We got one new
investigator, three with a baptismal date and we had almost 30 people
come to church yesterday. Us missionaries and the branch presidency
were so sorely astonished by the amount of people at church that we
almost fell to the ground and it were almost as if we were dead. But
seriously, it was a solid week.

In my email this week, I want to talk to all the guys (Sorry ladies.
You’re still encouraged to read this though). I want to talk about
some of the things I’ve been studying lately that we can apply in our
lives.

In my younger days when I would use the computer my google search
history would look something like this: “How to be more manly.” As a
boy, all I wanted was to be as manly and macho as I could (I still do,
oops). I had many manly examples in my life, like both of my grandpas,
John Wayne, Andy Griffith and my father. One of my grandpas taught me
how to fish and how to hunt, and the other once got run over by a
tractor, got up, and kept plowing. I loved watching John Wayne
westerns growing up because he was always quick with the draw, and
quick with the wit. Andy Griffith was the best Justice of the Peace
Mayberry ever saw, and he dealt with belligerent drunks like Otis and
a well-meaning, but somewhat clueless deputy. But the most important
in my life was my dad. He taught me how to shave, everything I know
about sports, how to change my oil and my tires, how to treat women
respectfully and how to read my scriptures and pray. I am very blessed
to have many manly examples in my life, and I want to talk about some
from the scriptures.

When I think of manly attributes, some specific words come to mind.
Words like honesty, integrity, courage, patience, perseverance, honor
and valor. My google searches all brought me to these attributes and
all the men I mentioned earlier have them as well. As a missionary,
I’m not permitted to use google, so I’ve been consulting the
scriptures to help me in my quest to become a man.

Possibly my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon come when a
father gives advice to a son. The bond between a father and a son is
special thing and we can learn so much when a father passes his
knowledge to his son. A scripture of mine that I have always liked is
when Lehi is giving his final prophetic advice to his children before
he passes on. It can be found in 2 Nephi 1:21 and it says: “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.”

It’s almost like Lehi is saying: “Look, Laman and Lemuel, y’all have
been acting really immature and I’m tired of it. Cut it out. MAN up.”
I find it a little humorous that Lehi calls them out on it, because as
guys, we’ll protect our manhood to the death. It’s a pride thing.
We’re proud to be men. But Laman and Lemuel weren’t acting like it,
and Lehi called them out. “Arise from the dust and be MEN”. I love
that line.

It’s so easy to say “arise and be MEN”, but how do we become men? My
recent scripture study has helped me identify some men in the
scriptures I want to pattern my life after. The first and biggest
right now for me is Captain Moroni. The scriptures tell us Captain
Moroni was only 25 when he first took over ALL the armies of the
Nephites (Alma 43:16-17). This is a big deal. Most 25 year olds have
their hands full getting a job and starting a family, but imagine
being the head honcho over an army of thousands and thousands. But
Moroni was a smart guy, he was blessed of the Lord, and he was more
than qualified for the job. He knew how to lead his people. There was
a time when wicked men wanted to destroy the Nephites so they decided
to lead some of the people astray. This is what happened:

11 “And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief
commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these
dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah.”

12 “And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece
thereof, and wrote upon it–In memory of our God, our religion, and
freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children–and he fastened
it upon the end of a pole.”

13 “And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his
shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the
pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it
the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed
mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his
brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to
possess the land” (Alma 46:11-13)

After Moroni did this, he went around and showed all the people his
Title of Liberty. When the people saw it, they all rent their clothes
as a covenant to God that they would never forsake Him, and if they
did, He could rent them like they had rent their clothes. I love what
the Title of Liberty says and what it stands for.

Another admirable quality about Moroni was that he went to the Lord
for everything. Moroni was a military leader, but he was fighting for
righteous causes, so he was able to receive revelations from God about
where to go and what to do to defend his people from the Lamanites. He
also hated to shed the blood of the Lamanites, but he knew that the
Lamanites sought their lands and their liberty, so he fought to defend
their rights and their families. The Nephites felt sorrow that they
had to kill so many Lamanites without the knowledge of the gospel in
their lives. If Moroni could, he would always give the Lamanites the
opportunity to give up their weapons and let them take an oath of
peace.

Moroni also knew it was better to fortify his cities from the
Lamanites that to try to retake them if they became captured. He was
constantly building up and fortifying the cities the Nephites had
possession over, which diverted many attacks. He also recognized the
weak cities he had, and anticipating the Lamanites to attack these
first, he fortified these cities the most, and stationed the more
parts of his armies here. This can be used as an analogy in our lives.
In my scriptures I have these words from President Ezra Taft Benson
written “It is better to prepare and prevent, than to repair and
repent”. It is so much easier for us to avoid temptations than to have
to repent after making mistakes. Also, let us recognize our
weaknesses, and determine to fortify these places the most. The Lord
can make weak things become strong, so let us pray to Him and rely on
Him to help us turn our weaknesses into our strengths. Let us build up
our fortifications so we can resist the attacks of the adversary.

Another example of the manliness of Moroni is when he writes an
epistle to the chief judge over the land because of the neglect from
the government to the people. Moroni spoke boldly, candidly and openly
about the unjust treatment of his men. He said:

28 “Yea, behold I do not fear your power nor your authority, but it is
my God whom I fear; and it is according to his commandments that I do
take my sword to defend the cause of my country, and it is because of
your iniquity that we have suffered so much loss.”

36 “Behold, I am Moroni, your chief captain. I seek not for power, but
to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory
of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country. And thus I close
mine epistle.” (Alma 60:28,36)

Even though he was just sending a letter to get more food for his men,
I have found so much inspiration in this epistle. He says he fears God
more then man. He says he seeks not for power or honor, but he only
seeks for the freedom and welfare of his country. I find these words
so admirable.

I want to end my example of the manliness of Captain Moroni with some
scriptures that sum all these things up. Alma 48 says this:

11 “And Moroni was a strong and a 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;”

12 “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.”

13 “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.”

How much of a MAN was Captain Moroni?

17 “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.”

Brethren, let us be like Moroni. Let us rent our clothes in covenant
with God that we will never forsake Him. Let us raise our Title of
Liberty. Let us consult Him in everything we do. Let us fortify our
weak places, and be so firm that the adversary gets discouraged when
he tries to tempt us. Let us hate the shedding of blood, but do
whatever is necessary to defend our families, our country, our rights
and our religion. Let us speak out boldly and openly when we see
injustice. Let us not fear men, but fear God. Let us not seek for
power, honor of men, or glory. Let us seek for freedom and liberty.
Let us be strong and mighty both physically and spiritually. Let us
study the scriptures, pray, and attend church so we we can obtain a
perfect understanding of things through the Holy Ghost. Let us be
thankful and always grateful to others and to the God that has given
us everything we have. Let us labor for the welfare of others. Let us
be firm in our faith. Let us be the type of men that shake the gates
of hell. Let us arise from the dust and be MEN.

I know that I still have a long way to go and I’m still learning, but
I am striving each and every day to be somebody that Moroni would be
proud of.

I would recommend that y’all all go back and read the chapters in Alma
that I mentioned, because there are so many other examples of
manliness I wasn’t able to talk about. There are also other men in the
scriptures that I have been studying that we can take examples from. I
might start to have a Scripture Man of the Month email every once in a
while.

Anyways, I love you all. The work here is going great and the Spanish
is coming along wonderfully. Just another day in Paradise!

Have a good week!

Elder Davies
From our P-Day trip to a pumpkin patch and a giant hay mountain (everybody is Spanish but the two elders in the back)

A lady in Oregon City makes super awesome realistic wands for missionaries and she made me one even though I haven’t served in OC yet, but this is when I got mine. It’s pretty sweet.

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