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Nephi and Joseph Smith. Worlds apart from each other- different cultures, different family circumstances, different times, but they both had scripture heros. And they aren't the only ones; throughout the scriptures we are told of good examples and heroes to admire. Scripture heros offer us comfort, guidance, answers, and determination. Joseph Smith said,
I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.
So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.
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It's comforting to know you others have gone through something similar. Later Joseph Smith drew strength from the example of Job. We're constantly told to study the scriptures and apply them to our lives. It's part of Spiritual CPR. It's neat to see the people in the scriptures doing the exact same thing- studying them and applying the scriptures to their lives. President Monson stated, "We tend to become like those whom we admire." Who do you want to become? Who is your scripture hero? Who can you look up to at this time to help you understand the things you need to do in your life? Discover your scripture hero by:
Reading Your Scriptures!
Okay, so that one is obvious because if you don't know the people in the scriptures you can't really admire them. Take a different approach in the way you read the scriptures though to discover your hero. Think back to all the stories you can remember. Which story can you relate to the most? Which story sounds like your story? Can't think of any? Head to the Bible Dictionary and Topical Guide and start flipping through. Stop at any names and read the summary or scriptures about them. Is that someone that you can relate with and want to admire?
Reading More Books
Sometimes when you use other books, it helps you put the pieces together and see these people as who they really are- people! Scripture Princesses by Rebecca J. Greenwood is an excellent example of this. Within its pages you'll find 16 women throughout the scriptures that are excellent heroes for girls and boys. I left this book on my coffee table the other day to see if anyone would notice it on their own. Every single one of my kids picked it up and wanted to read it- even the boys. They all think it's pretty neat especially with all the hand drawn illustrations. Each chapter has the scripture references so you can continue to tie things together for your children or yourself. Seeing things in a different way can shed new light on an old situation. Discover a hero in Scripture Princesses then go back to the scriptures to find out more. Who's Your Hero also has several volumes to help your family discover more great scripture heroes to admire.
Ask Heavenly Father to send you in the right direction to find your scripture hero. Your heroes will change as your circumstances do but you can always be directed towards the right way when you are guided by the Spirit. There are times when Captain Moroni is very much my hero and others when it's Mary.
After you've found your hero, study more! Make a scripture hero journal. Write down all you can find out about your hero; really get to know them. Then compare your stories. How were her struggles similar to yours? What did she do about it? Do you want to do the same thing? What attributes does she have? How can you develop some of the same attributes? How long did she struggle? What else can you learn from her?
If you have little ones to encourage in their hero quest, use these great coloring pages from Rebecca of the Scripture Princesses. Click on the image above to download the Luck Mack Smith coloring page and find more on Rebecca's website. Hang your children's pictures on their wall. Talk about their strengths and how your children can be like them as you tuck them in each night.
I especially love these Scripture Princess Hero Posters. They are perfect for a Family Home Evening lesson or morning devotional. In Scripture Princesses, there is a mantra for each princess that you can use in your family like, "Seek Truth, like Lucy." Use these scripture stories to teach your family gospel values. Show them how to apply the gospel to their lives as you teach them what others did. Hang one of these posters on the last door you see before leaving. That way the last thought you all have before getting into the car is a heroic thought. You can find more of these posters on Rebecca's website as well.
Your Turn- Who is your Scripture Hero? What heroes did you admire as a youth? What have you learned from your hero?