We Need The Wisdom Of A Cowardly Lion

The DiscipleMD

My favorite character from the movie “The Wizard of Oz” is the cowardly lion. In my younger days I did a pretty good impression of his growl and his speech pattern. His character is both loveable and comical. He had the birthright of “courage” as a major characteristic of being born a lion. Somehow he felt himself lacking in that category. In his search for courage he seeks out “The Wizard of Oz” in hopes that the wizard will bestow it upon him. And although the wizard doesn’t have the power to do so, in the end, the wizard gives him this sound advise:

“As for you, my fine friend–you’re a victim of disorganized thinking.  You are under the unfortunate delusion that simply because you run away from danger, you have no courage.  You’re confusing courage with wisdom.”

Dennis B. Neuenschwander gave these thoughts regarding courage:

Alma was among the wicked priests of King Noah. These were men described as being lifted up in the pride of their hearts, lazy and idolatrous, who spoke lying and vain words to the people.  They had perverted the ways of the Lord because they had not applied their hearts to understanding. When Abinadi delivered his message of repentance, they mocked him and finally put him to death. This was indeed an evil crowd. Yet as the scriptures point out, “there was one among them” who believed. Alma alone took to heart what Abinadi had taught. With courage he stepped away from the crowd to follow the Lord. The influence of this one man among the crowd on the course of Nephite history is immeasurable. (‘One Among The Crowd’, April GC, 2008)

I have known many people over my lifetime who have heard “the words of life” when no one else in their family or circle of friends does. Yet they still have the courage to accept the gospel. Many others have “walked away” from dangerous lifestyles that look appealing and that receive the praise of man. Yet, like the cowardly lion, they use wisdom and “run from danger.” Courage is often shown by removing ourselves from dangerous situations. It is not only courageous, but as the Wizard of Oz would say, “It is wise!”

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