Unlocking Your Inner Warrior: Conquering Discouragement

Unlocking Your Inner Warrior: Conquering Discouragement

My insecurities seem to be screaming today. I’m sitting at my desk preparing to study my scriptures and receive a download of revelation, only to be hit with an absurdly loud assortment of discouraging thoughts, ideas, and noise in my head. 

I couldn’t focus on anything. My scripture study was so lackluster, that my mind only caught hold of a few words, “large and mighty man…and highly favored of the Lord.” I only noticed it because, as a family, we’re studying the Book of Mormon in “Come Follow Me” and all of us commented about Nephi referring to himself, multiple times, as large in stature and highly favored. We laughed about it because it made Nephi seem so arrogant.

The scripture I was reading, however, was in Ether and referred to the Brother of Jared the same way→ (Ether 1:34). After seeing this almost identical phrase again, I was curious. What makes the words mighty, large in stature, strong, and highly favored so significant that it’s used to describe a particular type of man? There are a lot of good men in the scriptures, but only certain men are described with these adjectives: Nephi (found in the first chapter of the Book of Mormon), the Brother of Jared, Ammon, Captain Moroni, Mosiah, and his sons, as well as Alma and his sons (Alma 43:18).

Their leadership was so effective and influential that entire societies were changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ because of their efforts to be instruments in His hands. He described them this way:

“...if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto [these men]...the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” (Alma 48:17)

I can see why these words carry so much weight. They’re like a superpower.

Maybe it wasn’t arrogance that Nephi was expressing, but an understanding about who he was that, deep down, I wanted to understand, too. I was feeling everything BUT strong, mighty, and highly favored.

Searching for the Warrior in Me

I always look at the scriptures from a personal perspective, which means there’s typically something I’m experiencing in my life that grabs my attention when I’m reading God’s Word. Although stories, talks, and lessons from prophets are compelling, God’s Word is a direct message to me that I can uncover by the power of the Holy Ghost. The Book of Mormon’s purpose is to bring us, individually, to Christ. He helps us discover our mission and purpose, guides us on how to use our gifts, and magnifies aspects of our personality that will help us fulfill our mission on earth and ultimately return home. All of this brings us closer to Him, comforts us when we’re faced with adversity, and drives us to endure when we are tempted to quit.

The words mightylarge in stature, strong, and highly favored are provocative to me. I identify with these words despite my 5’2”ー116lb. frame. I may be small in stature physically, but I am large in stature in intensity, passion, drive, and faith. 

These men inspire me. They were not only followers of Christ, but prophets, commanders, leaders, and missionaries. They sacrificed everything for the work of salvation, even their lives. They preached repentance and redemption, served for and with their people, turned some of their enemies into friends, and faced armies double and triple their size to protect their families and freedoms. How did they do it? How did they endure the intense life-threatening circumstances of their day with such faith and confidence? How did they serve with such love and dedication ALL.THE.TIME?

For example, Captain Moroni was not only described as “strong and mighty…but a man of perfect understanding…whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country…Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed on his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare of his people.” (Alma 48:11-18)

When I read their stories, I’m inspired but dumbfounded at their fortitude. It’s like they never quit, questioned, or doubted their path. As a human being who IS regularly tempted to quit and DOES have doubts about the direction I’m going, I have to check in with Heavenly Father over and over just to be sure what I felt prompted to do was actually what I felt prompted to do–like, are you SURE though? What’s even more ridiculous about my doubts is that I get cold feet about blogging, ministering, and learning Spanish while these warriors faced death and, the loss of family, friends, and their homes. I can’t help but feel stupid making the comparison, honestly. However, the darkness that engulfs me sometimes with the simple things can be so discouraging that it feels like it might crush me. So, I gravitate to the examples of these men as a way to build my confidence and grit. I look for what they did to fortify their testimonies and their relationship with the Savior. These men knew where their strength came from and lived what they taught.

The same can be said about me, I guess. I know without the Savior I am nothing. If I were to rely on my own strength I’d fail every time. So, I lean on Jesus Christ, too. I pray, study, and seek answers from Him. I ask for strength and courage. I keep striving. 

Conquering Discouragement

I suppose grit, courage, fortitude, and faith don’t require perfection. A sprinkle of doubt, fear, and discouragement are part of the process. They are in opposition to faith, which if we see them for what they are, they are the resistance that grows our faith muscles. Strong, mighty, and highly favored individuals are the ones who consistently pray to Heavenly Father and face trials knowing His army of angels and the Savior stand by our side. “...fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”(2 Kings 6:16)

It is this relationship that sets my soul on fire. More than anything, I want my life, my choices, and all that I am to emulate the Savior. It’s a GINORMOUS goal and I tend to get overwhelmed with the magnitude of what that means for me, but it’s been worth it so far.

I think I need to allow myself time. I tend to be in such a big hurry to complete whatever the Lord asks of me, that I don’t give myself grace when things don’t work out the way I have in my head. I assume I’ve failed. Seriously, the ease of discouragement is unreal sometimes.

Strong and mighty women are built over time. They consistently move forward, endure even when they get discouraged, and trust the Lord’s plan is better than their own. That’s what these warrior men understood and why they were able to keep going. Their trust was in Jesus Christ. What more do we need?

A very obvious call to action

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