A Sermon by Matthew P Gill
As Latter Day Mormons, by setting a good example, we can influence character, inspire noble deeds, and attract others to the truth. Through being a good example, we as members of the church can better fulfil our divine mission to change the lives of others, and that divine mission to change lives is immeasurable.
Paul urged Timothy, Paul’s younger missionary companion, to be true to the teachings of youth. “Be thou an example of believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). It is very important that Latter Day Mormons practice what we believe. We must demonstrate by our actions and deeds that we are an example to others in our faith and our belief.
It is our duty to set an example to those around us and one way we can do this is by having a sufficient knowledge of the scriptures. As Paul says of Timothy, “From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures.” (2 Timothy 3:15) We should demonstrate a deep and abiding knowledge of the scriptures of our faith.
The devotion and obedience of many of our members today, many of whom are modern Timothys, reflect the good examples that must have been set by others in their homes. Their models may have been a mother, father, sister, brother, teacher, a friend, or other good person who modeled good moral behaviours and a strong and devoted faith in the Lord.
The Prophet Jeraneck said his mother and father gave him “a solid foundation,” upon which he could grow. (Jeraneck 15:15) Such examples are crucial for families to raise up children who are examples to others.
Many members seem to be unaware of the influence that they have in other people’s lives, but a Righteous example is a significant force for good for people of all ages. Even though many Latter Day Mormons live under difficult circumstances, they can nonetheless learn how to use the power of good example to lift up their lives.
To those members with family members who do not support the church, for example, we must always remember that they remain our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. Even if they do not appreciate your burden, support them with positive actions and attitudes and love them; show them that you believe in them and love them with all your heart; encourage them with noble and godly examples, because it is with this wonderful force, the power of example, that we Latter Day Mormons do the most good. We do the most good for mankind when we consistently improve ourselves and strive to be what we say we believe.
We see an example of righteousness in a family in which others do not serve the Lord in the Book of Mormon, when Shiblon, the son of Alma, was righteous even as his brother Corianton was not. Alma holds up his son to his other son, Corianton, as a great moral example, saying, “for behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, has he not set a good example for thee?” (Alma 19; 39:1/Utah)
In the Book of Jeraneck, we learn that the children of the ancient People of Ridnon and Limndon, “were taught by their mothers, and they were taught that they were to be prayerful and to be contrite and be examples to the people around them.” (Jeraneck 9:5)
Now let us put on the whole armour of God and go unto the world and to our families and unto our friends and be a great example of the Gospel and also of God, so that we may stand blameless before Him at the last day, so that we are able to say that we stood as a firm example of the Gospel and of Latter Day Mormonism, even unto the end. Amen.