The Hebrew word chayil (חַיִל) appears 224 times in the Old Testament. It is sometimes translated “army,” sometimes “wealth” or “goods,” and sometimes “strength,” “might,” or “valour.” It carries a connotation of power or force that is used to accomplish a purpose. It is not latent power but active power—power in motion.
Balaam prophesied, “Israel shall do valiantly” (Numbers 24:18). King Saul urged young David, “Be thou valiant for me, and fight the Lord’s battles” (1 Samuel 18:17). One of David’s captains, Joab, later urged his brother, “Let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do that which is good in his sight” (1 Chronicles 19:13).
Mormon described the sons of Helaman as “exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity” (Alma 53:20). They were not only strong but willing to use that strength to accomplish the Lord’s purposes.
In their vision of life after death, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw a group of people who would receive some of God’s blessings but not all. They described these people as “honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.” Then they said:
These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.Doctrine and Covenants 76:79
I think there is a direct connection between what these people are willing to give and what they are able to receive. They hold back part of themselves. They only commit partially and provisionally. In the end, when God offers them everything, they will only be able to receive some of his blessings.
Today, I will strive to be valiant. I will follow the Savior, holding nothing back. I will actively use the strength and resources He has given me to accomplish His purposes.
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