~ by K
Articles of Faith #13
[I] believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, [I] may say that [I] follow the admonition of Paul—[I] believe all things, [I] hope all things, [I] have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, [I] seek after these things.
I have had a hard time for the past few years. Life events have stretched my hope and strength nearly to the breaking point. This Article of Faith has been on my mind a lot during this time. In particular, I have been thinking of what virtue means to me.
To me, virtue is something that keeps you standing tall, even if you feel tattered, ragged and besmirched with mud thrown from misunderstanding hands. It is an inner loveliness that surmounts all other forms and measures of beauty. It incorporates integrity, faith, duty, dedication, the Spirit of God, seeking everything praiseworthy, and all the things mentioned in this Article of Faith.
More than anything, I think it is the power derived from all these things.
Several times in scripture, the word “virtue” is used almost interchangeably with “power.” When the woman touched Jesus’s hem, He perceived that the virtue had gone out of Him—that some sort of power had gone from Him to her, healing her. In The Book of Mormon, in the book of Alma, they “try the virtue of the word of God“—preaching had more power than any other source of power they knew to change the hearts of men.
In one final example, Joseph Smith, the prophet through whom the Church was restored, tries to teach us how God’s power, the priesthood, is channeled; it comes through virtue and living according to virtuous principles.
I believe these principles apply to accessing the power of God in our individual lives. There is no true power except that which is gained through integrity, faith, and pure charity.
I am slowly being taught by the Spirit that by doing my best to follow God’s will, to live true to my faith in Him and my covenants, despite my failings, I can have access to the Savior’s virtue, and thus become, through His grace, more virtuous in my life. I can become changed — purified, sanctified, and eventually exalted.
Interestingly, I feel the struggles and pain I have been experiencing are helping me understand the virtue and power of God more. I am grateful for that. I am seeking to draw upon that power for hope and strength to face my trials, and to become better.