So, I pretty much read every article that comes out about Mitt Romney online. I read through all the articles and the comments and there really is a lot of anti-Mormon stuff coming out in these articles and comments because of Mitt. A lot of it is about Joseph Smith. It's kinda strange reading this stuff from my "interested in politics" side instead of my "religious" side. A couple days ago, in my scripture study, I was reading a talk and it went into Joseph Smith's vision when he saw God and Jesus Christ. It was just a good experience where the Spirit confirmed once again, that Joseph Smith was a prophet. No matter how much others try to demonize him, he is the prophet of the Restoration and did God's work while he was here. "I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true." I've always been really impressed with people who stay strong to their convictions no matter what kind of opposition they face. I really think there are only a couple individuals in history who have gone through as much as he did. Joseph Smith is absolutely my hero.
Ori, in Rigoletto, is also a really good example. The movie doesn't say much about his background, but you can figure out that he was a pretty selfish guy. But once he decides to help others and goes gung ho about it he is more liked, happier, and does lots of good. Bonnie sings a song, that is up for interpretation, but here are the words:
Music boxes have with them, Melodies they carry within
Once they're opened music fills the air
Every person you have known, Has a song of their own
Once they open up you'll hear what's there
It's not easy you must listen With your heart for what lies hidden
There was a melody Locked deep inside of me But now it's free
It found a place embraced by harmony, Sweet harmony
Love, more than anything teaches our hearts to sing
Only love could break the shell
Now I know very well The love within myself
At one point in the movie goes back and forth between her singing it and Ori helping a girl and then going into town to get medical help for her. The people are really afraid of him because he looks different and they end up killing him without realizing, until they break into his house and steal his records, that he actually made anonymous payments, helping the disabled citizens in the town. Bonnie sings about how great of a person Ori is for being so selfless in helping her with her singing problems but also her personal confidence. So what I'm basically getting at, is Ori's personal growth, selflessness, and ability to bring out the best in people is heroic.
Samwise Gamgee ladies and gentleman. A couple weeks ago I felt like watching my favorite part of Lord of the Rings. Instead of pulling out the DVDs I found it online. Watch it online:
Steve Jacobs reminds me of Sam. Samwise is extremely loyal to Frodo at every step of the way. Even when Frodo is a jerk and tells him to leave, Sam stays close and is there to help him when he needs it most. Just look at how willing he was to take on the orcs to save Frodo, or how he kept on encouraging Frodo to take another step on the way to Mount Doom. He was optimistic, humble and just an example of loyalty to a cause or a person. I think back to the blessing I got when I was set apart as a missionary, President Bendorf said that my mission would teach me about loyalty and a sacred devotion to Christ. Ever since then I've noticed and admired that trait of loyalty
Jean Valjean from Les Meserables. I saw this play in London a year and a half ago and then finally saw the movie a couple weeks ago. Isn't it amazing how much an act of mercy changed his life and shaped him into a selfless person. I think he did his best to help who he could and as mayor of the city he had lots of opportunities to do lots of good. But what gets me the most is when he prays to God in the form of song and pours his heart by pleading with God to keep alive Cosette's fiancee so he can take care of Cosette and that he is willing to give his life for him.God on high, Hear my prayer
In my need, You have always been there
He is young, He's afraid
Let him rest, Heaven blessed
Bring him home
He's like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die, One by one
How soon they fly, On and on
And I am old, And will be gone.
Bring him peace, Bring him joy
He is young, He is only a boy
You can take, You can give
Let him be, Let him live
If I die, let me die, Let him live
Bring him home.
Back in September or October when I was on one of my long runs this song played on my MP3 player and I thought about it a lot. When I saw the play Jean sang it while kneeling, praying to God, holding Cosette's fiancee (what is his name?). It was dark with just one light on them. I think I've seen a painting of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane very similar to this scene in the musical. So as I was running I thought of Christ singing this song about me and how much he has done for me. I'm not entirely sure why I've been thinking about these particular heroes lately, but in thinking about them I thought about why they impress me and what is it about heroes that impress us all: they have Christ-like characteristics. Of course none of them come close to being perfect like he was, but they demonstrate an attribute or two that Christ has. I like the fact that our society admires and rewards goodness still and heroes leave impressions on us.