What can you do with ten seconds?
You can dial a phone number, send a text, take a photograph, petition God for help, daydream, dance, plant a seed, smile at someone or win a race. You can do anything with ten little seconds. It seems like such a short amount of time but when you are nervous or afraid for ten seconds, they might feel like a lifetime.
There are things we do daily that require courage and dedication. Putting ourselves on our knees to commune with Heavenly Father should last much longer than ten seconds, but very few seconds are needed to choose to follow through. Feasting from the words of God also will be more beneficial if we spend more than just a few moments within their pages but it only takes one second to resolve to make the time. We can help further the work of family history by indexing, preparing the cards representing our ancestors who need to receive their ordinances and searching for our relatives. Some of these can take just a few seconds but the work itself can last for years.
The principles of the gospel bring us joy but there are aspects of living it that can be downright nerve-racking! We know what is right but when we must stand up and do the right thing when so many are enjoying the wrong thing, it can feel very scary. For example, I once walked out of an activity in our singles ward when I felt the movie was more offensive to the Spirit than what others believed. I had to have courage to follow through on what I felt from the Holy Ghost even if I was standing alone.
10-Second for Nephi
The prophet Nephi from the Book of Mormon also had to have courage when the Spirit directed him to act when on an errand to obtain the brass plates. 1 Nephi 4:10 says “And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.”
Even this righteous and faithful young man had to take courage. Notice that he said he “shrunk”. Perhaps Nephi felt afraid. He had always been obedient to the commandments of the Lord and now God required his obedience in something that seemed wrong. We know that he was appeased as the Lord explained why it needed to be so. Nephi did take courage and he obeyed. Because of his courage, thousands upon thousands of people have been blessed by the records he brought out of Jerusalem.
Courage to Say No
We must have courage to say “no” to some activities offered us while we might also need the courage to say “yes” to others. Will you go to a movie that would be offensive to the Holy Spirit? Would you be willing to give a talk in sacrament meeting or accept a calling? Have you ever had that bubbly sensation or felt your heartbeat accelerate during fast and testimony meeting as you recognize the gentle nudge of the Spirit urging you to share your testimony? What about when the you feel strongly about sharing the gospel with someone you know? The choices that require courage are up to you.
Finding the courage to invite someone to learn more about the gospel can feel like the longest ten seconds of your life when the Spirit is urging you to act! But after we have faced the trial, after we have felt the fear or nervousness, then we will feel the Spirit put courage in our hearts and great will be our blessings!
May we ever remember our dear President Monson’s words, “As we make Christ the center of our lives, our fears will be replaced by the courage of our convictions.”1 Everything we do centers upon the Savior. Let us hold onto courage through the faith we place on the holy Son of God.
1 “Be an Example and a Light”, President Thomas S. Monson, General Conference, October 2015