We're here today to pay tribute to two great soldiers; to two great Americans. I am 100 percent convinced we will win this war because we have soldiers like Sgt. Shields and Spc. Velez, and the enemy does not. The enemy has no response for sergeants that risk everything to rescue their injured comrades only to immediately return to the fight. The enemy has no answer to soldiers standing over their injured buddies, even when it means their own lives, so that others will live. Because of that, we will win.
What is a hero? My heroes are the young men who faced the issues of war and possible death, and then weighed those concerns against obligations to their country. Citizen-soldiers, who interrupted their personal and professional lives at their most formative stage, in the timeless phrase of the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, 'not for fame of reward, not for place of for rank, but in simple obedience to duty, as they understood it.'
Heroes are people who overcome evil by doing good at great personal risk….
Unfortunately our modern definition of “hero” has been stretched to include all manner of people who do not warrant the title. The athlete who just set a new sports record isn’t a hero. Nor is the “daring” movie star or even the adventurer out to be the first solo climber to scale Mt. Everest. They may be brave – but they don’t meet the definition of a hero for whatever they achieve benefits only “self”.
Real heroes are selfless.
(Wives should treat their husbands) with mildness and affection. When a man is borne down with trouble, when he is perplexed with care and difficulty, if he can meet a smile instead of an argument or a murmur—if he can meet with mildness, it will calm down his soul and soothe his feelings.
Our mission in life, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be a mission of saving. . . .
If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God.
I have many memories of my boyhood. Anticipating Sunday dinner was one of them. Just as we children … sat anxiously at the table, with the aroma of roast beef filling the room, Mother would say to me, ‘Tommy, before we eat, take this plate I’ve prepared down the street to Old Bob and hurry back.’ “I could never understand why we couldn’t first eat and later deliver his plate of food. I never questioned aloud but would run down to his house and then wait anxiously as Bob’s aged feet brought him eventually to the door. Then I would hand him the plate of food. He would present to me the clean plate from the previous Sunday and offer me a dime as pay for my services. My answer was always the same: ‘I can’t accept the money. My mother would tan my hide.’ He would then run his wrinkled hand through my blond hair and say, ‘My boy, you have a wonderful mother. Tell her thank you.’ … Sunday dinner always seemed to taste a bit better after I had returned from my errand.
How much larger your life would be if [you] could become smaller in it. . . . You would begin to be interested in [others]. You would break out of this tiny . . . theatre in which your own little plot is always being played, and you would find yourself under a freer sky, in a street full of splendid strangers.
Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being a basher [critical or verbally abusive] repulsive.
Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.
Stated simply, charity means subordinating our interests and needs to those of others, as the Savior has done for all of us. The Apostle Paul wrote that of faith, hope, and charity, “the greatest of these is charity” (1 Cor. 13:13), and Moroni wrote that “except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God” (Moro. 10:21). I believe that selfless service is a distinctive part of the gospel. As President Spencer W. Kimball said, welfare service “is not a program, but the essence of the gospel. It is the gospel in action.
As in all things, we have the example of the Savior on the cross at Calvary. He did something that he was not forced to do—something which would benefit others with the gift of immortality which Jesus already had. His was the supreme act of selflessness.
You may recall reading in 3 Nephi about the visit of the resurrected Jesus to this continent and how after blessing the children he wept twice and he also said, “And now behold, my joy is full” (3 Ne. 17:20).
True joy can only come from giving ourselves to correct causes such as the building up of the kingdom, causes that are in a sense larger than we are. Pleasure tends to be self-centered. True joy always includes others.
Now is the time to set your life’s goals. Now is the time to set your standards firmly and then hold to them throughout your life.