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Article, Personal Growth


What is Courage?

cour·age  n.
The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.
[Middle English corage, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *corticum, from Latin cor, heart; see kerd- in Indo-European roots.]

1. the power or quality of dealing with or facing danger, fear, pain, etc
2. the courage of one’s convictions the confidence to act in accordance with one’s beliefs
3. take one’s courage in both hands to nerve oneself to perform an action
4. mind; disposition; spirit
[C13: from Old French corage, from cuer heart, from Latin cor]

Joseph F. Smith was 19 when he returned from his mission in Hawaii. As he traveled from California to his home in Utah, he was confronted one morning by a “wagonload of profane drunks … , shooting their guns, yelling wildly, and cursing the Mormons.” One of the drunks, “waving a pistol,” came toward him. Although Joseph “was terrified, he felt it would be unwise and useless to run … , and so he advanced toward the gunman as if he found nothing out of the ordinary in his conduct. ‘Are you a — — — Mormon?’ the stranger demanded. Mustering all the composure he could, Joseph answered evenly while looking the man straight in the eye, ‘Yes, siree; dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through.’ Almost stunned by this wholly unexpected response, the gunman stopped, dropped his hands to his sides, and, after looking incredulously at Joseph for a moment, said in a subdued tone, ‘Well, you are the — — pleasantest man I ever met! Shake. I am glad to see a fellow stand for his convictions.’ So saying, he turned and walked away.” (Standing for Truth and Right; M. Russell Ballard, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; October 1997 General Conference)

What type of men have courage? Can one include men like Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Chris Kyle?

Martin Luther is celebrated because God put it in his heart to fight for equality.

Abraham Lincoln is celebrated because he stood in the face of war and worked to save the greatest nation on earth and in resolving the slavery issue which at th time of our founding those men could not conceive of a way to remove it from society.

Theodore Roosevelt is celebrated for bravery in battle on the field of war and in politics. He is also recognized for starting the national parks and is one of the early leaders in conservation (which includes hunting).

Chris Kyle is celebrated because he fought and died to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for every free blood American and only God knows the count of how many lives he saved while on the field of battle.

Courage comes when it is needed most. Courage comes from the rock of our convictions. If we have no convictions then we will never have courage.

iron wil