What does it mean to be “valiant in [your] testimony of Jesus Christ”?
Nina, from Lewisville, Texas
A dictionary definition of valiant is to be marked with courage or determination. So to be valiant in our testimonies would be to have the courage or determination to be true to our commitment to be true to the Savior and the principles of the gospel at all costs. Joseph F. Smith exhibited such valiancy when put upon by a mob at nineteen years of age—
“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” (Elder M. Russell Ballard, Standing for Truth and Right, Ensign, November 1997, p.37).
We are not confronted by such effrontery in our day. But we are often ridiculed in many non-violent ways. If we are valiant in our testimonies we will speak out and stand up for the truth, not with acrimony or with contention, but with an affirmation of our beliefs and a testimony of their truthfulness.