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'Courage brings the smile of God's approval'

When Lachoneus, the Nephite governor, received an epistle from the leader of the Gadianton robbers, he was astonished at the boldness of Giddianhi in claiming the robbers were the wronged ones. The robber leader demanded the Nephites surrender all their lands and rights or they would be destroyed. (3 Nephi 3: 1-11.)

Verse 12 describes the governor's response: "Now behold, this Lachoneus, the governor, was a just man, and could not be frightened by the demands and the threatenings of a robber; therefore he did not hearken to the epistle of Giddianhi, the governor of the robbers, but he did cause that his people should cry unto the Lord for strength against the time that the robbers should come down against them."

Lachoneus "could not be frightened" in the face of great ridicule and threats. In his October 1986 general conference address, President Thomas S. Monson, then second counselor in the First Presidency (now first counselor in the First Presidency), said: "Of course we will face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God's approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but as the determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well."

In his closing remarks, President Monson added, "May we muster courage at the crossroads, courage for the conflicts, courage to say no, courage to say yes, for courage counts."

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