Onward Christian Soldiers

Onward Christian Soldiers

Seven years ago, I chose the middle name of “Christian” for my son to serve as a constant reminder to him and others of his willingness to “gladly take upon himself the name of Christ”.


“For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church. And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.” (Alma 46: 14-15)


Little did I know that a mere seven years later the question of whether or not you stand as a Christian would become a question of life and death, and not just in other parts of the world, but here in our own country—our land of freedom.


“And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored…And he said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed…” (Alma 46:16, 18)


I, too, am praying that “the freedom of the land might be favored”, and that we can continue to worship the way we see fit.


“And it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful into the Lord their God. Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land.And in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which was possessed by the Nephites. (Alma 48: 7-9)


As I sat in the temple this week, I poured over these chapters in Alma and my heart was filled with renewed determination to fortify and strengthen our “modern armies of God” as Moroni did his.  The October 2015 General Conference was filled with counsel on how to go about doing that:


“And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of perfect understanding; …yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges an blessings which he bestowed upon his people;…he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ;…Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, 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: 11-13, 17)


I am so grateful to live in these last days where we have the opportunity to raise modern-day Christian soldiers…modern-day “Moronis”.


“[The Lamanites] marched toward the land of Noah, supposing that to be the next best place for them to come against the Nephites.
For they knew not that Moroni had fortified, or had built forts of security, for every city in all the land round about; therefore, they marched toward the land of Noah with a firm determination; yea, their chief captains came forward and took an oath that they would destroy the people of the city.
But behold, to their astonishment, the city of Noah, which had hitherto been a weak place, had now, by the means of Moroni, become strong, yea, even to exceed the strength of the city of Ammonihah.” (Alma 49: 12-14)


To have spiritual strength enough to astonish our enemies. This, too, was addressed in many of the October 2015 General Conference talks.


Tonight, I’m feeling particularly grateful for valiant friends and family and wise and loving church leaders who assist with my efforts to raise a righteous and unapologetically Christian generation.


“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone that believeth…” (Romans 1:16)


Onward Christian Soldiers


1. Onward, Christian soldiers!
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before.
Christ, the royal Master,
Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
See his banners go!


2. At the sign of triumph
Satan’s host doth flee;
On, then, Christian soldiers,
On to victory.
Hell’s foundations quiver
At the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices,
Loud your anthems raise.


3. Like a mighty army
Moves the Church of God;
Brothers, we are treading
Where the Saints have trod.
We are not divided;
All one body we:
One in hope and doctrine,
One in charity.


4. Onward, then, ye people;
Join our happy throng.
Blend with ours your voices
In the triumph song:
Glory, laud, and honor
Unto Christ, the King.
This through countless ages
Men and angels sing.


Onward, Christian soldiers!
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before.


Text: Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924
Music: Arthur S. Sullivan, 1842-1900


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