Do We Stand for Righteousness?

As a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), I am a member of one of the largest women’s organization in the world. This group is called the Relief Society. Several years ago, a declaration was written for the Relief Society and the posts in this series are an attempt to apply this declaration to my life more. In this attempt I will be breaking down the parts of it into questions that I would like to try to answer through study. To view other posts related to this declaration, go here: Relief Society Declaration.

We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.
Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes.
Find nobility in motherhood and joy in womanhood.
Delight in service and good works.
Love life and learning.
Stand for truth and righteousness.

The next question in this series, is do we stand for rigtheousness? When I wrote my post on standing for truth, I wondered if I should combine these two posts because they really are so closely related to one another. I felt that I should keep them separate, but it was pretty difficult. I think that you’ll find, when you stand for truth, righteousness is right there as well. (To read that post, go here: Do We Stand for Truth?)

As I said in my most recent post from this series, to stand for anything, means that we actively place ourselves in a position to defend, uphold and be a witness for it. Righteousness is the standard of God or in other words being morally right. Righteousness is not perfection in this life, but is the perfection of God that we should be working towards. Righteousness is holiness, good works, honesty, integrity, truth, uprightness, and all other things that allow us to walk the path that the Lord has walked. We live a righteous life, still erring as the mortal beings we are, as long as we are striving to turn to the Lord in humility and repentance for our wrongdoings so that we can be like Him. Standing for righteousness is to strive to be in the right in the sight of God, to support all that is right in the sight of God, and to witness for all that is right in the sight of God.

Standing for righteousness means to consciously place ourselves where righteousness is found and remain firm in defense of it. We need to be aligning ourselves with righteousness, meaning we need to be doing works of righteousness or good works. If we are not doing good works, we are doing the works of unrighteousness. In Proverbs 11:18 we read, “The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.” One of the great things about aligning ourselves with righteousness, is as we are trying, it will give us the power to stay firm and strong. Conversely, wickedness to those who stand for unrighteousness, has complete power over them. In Proverbs 13:6 we read, “Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.” There is great power in setting ourselves in the path of righteousness.

Those who stand for righteousness, strive to live the commandments of God. In Deuteronomy 6:25 we read, “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” The Savior, Jesus Christ, showed us by example just how important it is to follow the commandments of God. In Matthew 3:15 we read, “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.” He lived a life of perfection as to the standards of God, and yet, to fulfill his mission of righteousness, he had to be baptized. We cannot consider ourselves above the Lord. We too must live according to the commandments of God, in order to stand for righteousness in our own lives.

The next step to standing in the place of righteousness by the way we live our lives, is to defend it. Moroni 9:6 reads, “And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.” We are not taught in this verse to place ourselves right and then let Satan do his thing. We are instead taught that we need to be engaged in the defense to the point where we may conquer Satan, who is the “enemy of all righteousness”. To stand for righteousness, we need to be physically, and spiritually active in fighting against Satan and his powers of destruction. We need to be alert to his tactics and protect ourselves as well as others around us, so that he will not gain power over us. Recognizing how Satan is using the ways of the world to silently pull people his direction, is extremely important these days. One of these ways that has been on my mind of late, is how he is convincing people that the gospel should change with the times. He is putting the idea in the hearts of good people, that the gospel is wrong because it doesn’t fit in with the world today. This is plainly not true. The gospel will not change, because it is eternal. The gospel is all that is right and good. When we recognize that, then in order to stand for righteousness, we have to be willing to separate ourselves from the worldly views that Satan has produced. We need to be willing to represent those things that may seem old-fashioned to many and make them a priority in our lives.

One of the ideas I found used a lot when looking up righteousness in the scriptures, was the idea of seeking for it. In Zephaniah 2:3 we read, “Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Again in Matthew 6:33 we read, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” In the sermon that the Savior gives to the Nephites, so much like the Sermon on the Mount, we read, “And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost (3 Nephi 12:6).” It is not enough to find righteousness on the way. We need to seek after it as if we could not survive (mortally or eternally) without it. It is then, that we will have the spirit with us to the point of being filled. When we find things of righteousness, we need to continue to follow them. In 1 Timothy 6:11 we read, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness. . .”. Where can we find things of righteousness to follow? We can find them in the scriptures, in the gospel taught at church and learned in the temple, and anywhere there are goodly works being accomplished. We stand for righteousness when we actively seek for and follow it.

In order to stand for righteousness, we cannot falter when we are faced with adversity. We must instead, remain on that path and continue doing good works. In Matthew 5:10 we read, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” There are so many good examples in the scriptures of people who continued to have patience through their persecutions, living righteously, and then were greatly blessed for it. I am mindful of the good people of Alma, who lived according to the way that Alma had taught them after leaving wicked King Noah. They were place under bondage of the Lamanites and had heavy burdens placed on them, because they were a righteous people. Mosiah 23:18 reads, “Therefore they did watch over their people, and did nourish them with things pertaining to righteousness.” They followed the teachings of Alma, turned to God and continued to live righteous lives. The Lord blessed them to be able to endure their trials, until it was time for them to escape to safety in Zarahemla. To stand for righteousness, we need to remain firm and upright in living it.

We stand for righteousness, when we stand for the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. In Romans 5:18 we read, “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” The Savior, in his perfect righteousness, blessed every soul that would ever live. His righteousness is the pattern that we should look towards as an example. In Romans 10:4 we read, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” There is no greater example of it, because he is righteousness. Alma 38:9 reads, “And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness.” Live as he taught, teach others to live his teachings, and build up righteousness in the world around you. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, is a sure way to stand for righteousness.

What then, are the blessings from standing for righteousness? Righteousness brings peace. In Isaiah 32:17 we read, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” There is a peace of soul that comes to us when we stand for righteousness. I have felt it in my own life. It is a knowledge from the spirit, that things will be okay and that blessings will come that will be far greater than I can even imagine. In Proverbs 21:21, it teaches is that, “He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” If we choose to stand for righteousness in this life, we will find eternal life and honor when our mortal life ends. This is because righteousness in its perfection, is of God and is eternal. In Psalms 111:3 we read, “His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.” The righteousness of God will exist for eternity, and we will be blessed with all that God has in store for us, when we choose to stand for it.

I look forward to the promise given in Doctrine and Covenants 76:5, which reads, “For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.” I pray that I will find myself in the mercy of the Lord, because I know that without his mercy, I am nothing. I know that in order to receive his mercy, I need to be seeking after righteousness, aligning myself with righteousness, defending righteousness, and being a witness for righteousness. I am so grateful for the example of the Savior, that I can look to and follow, as the perfect model of righteousness.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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