Sunday, June 21, 2009

Real Men

What is a "real" man? In today's world there are so many conflicting descriptions of what makes a man a man that kids, teenagers, and even adults get confused and turn to the world, media, and peers to help them know how to enter into manhood.

Under the pretense of "manhood" boys are encouraged to drink, smoke, engage in immoral activities, use crude language and humor, watch violence on tv, pierce their bodies, steal, and do all sorts of vulgar things. Those who choose not to participate are called mamma's boys, sissys, pansys, or religious fanatics. We see enticing advertisements on tvs, magazines, and billboards promoting beer, smoking, and other vices. "Those who use cunning tactics to peddle their mares disregard the souls of young people and love only their money. They would have us believe that a person with a cigarette or alcoholic beverage in hand is a man, when in reality he is nothing more than a slave to a destructive substance. They would have us believe that a person who engages in illicit sex is a man, when in reality he is nothing more than an abuser of those who are "tender," and "chaste," and "delicate." (Jacob 2:7) They would have us believe that brute force, or crude behavior, uncontrolled temper, foul language, and dirty appearance make a man, when in reality these characteristics are animalistic at best and the opposite of manhood at worst." -Elder Carlos E. Asay

A real man is not what the world would have him be. He patterns his life after the most perfect man to ever live on the earth- even Jesus Christ. Our Savior, Jesus, was the man among men. He was pure, meek and humble and yet was more of a man then any man who has every lived. He yielded not to temptation, learned obedience by the things which he suffered, and he grew in love and grace. "Thus, he, the only sinless and perfect man who ever walked this earth, is qualified to state: "What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." (3 Ne. 27:27.) " -Elder Asay

I want to pay tribute, on this Father's Day, to all the REAL men out there, who are working hard to become the best men they can be by becoming more Christ-like every day. To the father who loves his children more than anything and teaches them correct values in a firm and loving way, to the man who is willing to stand up for what he believes in even in the face of obscenities and ridicule, to the husband who takes care of his dying wife through years of heartache and pain without ever uttering a word of complaint, to the ultimate father- even our Father in Heaven- who loves each of us with the love of a perfect father.

So, even though the world may wish to turn our men from the truth about what it truly means to be a man, let us be thankful for those men in our lives who stand a little taller and are better than the world. Let us encourage all boys and men that we know to be true men, and let us be ever thankful for good fathers and men who make this world a better place.

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