Carefully selected heroes set a pattern for emulation

Heroes figured prominently in the Saturday evening priesthood session address of Bishop H. David Burton, sustained last October as first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.

He mentioned that one of his heroes, baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan, would be retiring soon."In baseball, good pitchers, like Nolan Ryan, are masters at deceiving batters," he said. "In life, he who is the greatest deceiver of all has great influence. He has many names but is best known as Satan or the devil."

Satan's methods of deception involve progressively softening one's senses regarding right and wrong, Bishop Burton noted. "Satan creates false heroes which, if emulated, will lead us to the depths of sin.

"On the other hand, carefully selected heroes can give us a pattern for our lives and serve as our role models. They can give us courage to walk the road of life righteously."

He recounted the experience of Alma and Amulek who endured persecution to preach the gospel.

"They stood tall in the face of adversity and imprisonment," he commented. "They are heroes whose lives are worthy of emulation."

He said each of his bishops has been a hero to him, including his father, who set an example of patience and diligence in serving the Lord.

Drawing a further analogy from baseball, he said exceptional batters can detect the direction a pitched ball is rotating and better respond to the pitcher's deception.

"Our Heavenly Father has given each of us such a gift to help identify and withstand the deception of Satan," he explained. "It is the gift of the Holy Ghost."

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