One of my previous church callings was a Sunday school teacher for the 12-14 year-old kids. Each week we would start the class by asking an introductory question, such as what is your favorite candy bar or if you could travel anywhere, where would you go? It was a fun way to get classes started and help the youth get to know each other. One of my favorite questions to ask was, besides Christ and your family members, who is your hero. The girls in the class would answer Thor because they thought he was “dreamy” and the boys usually answered Superman, Batman, or Captain Moroni.
Just as the youth in my class, we are all in search of heroes. We look for people to inspire us, to look up to, for people to model our lives after. There is something reassuring about knowing there are heroes in the world and good can triumph over evil. We want to know that with all the catastrophes, disasters, and calamities in the world, that there are heroes we can count on to do the right thing when times get tough. Yet, as the world continues to get closer to the second coming, where we see atheists trying to kill God, people trying to redefine the family, evil leaders trying to start wars for personal gain and power, heroes are getting harder and harder to find. So where do we find our heroes? Who do we tell our kids to look up to and model their lives after?
Heroes are not found on Google. Just try searching for “how to find heroes” and the top search results are video games. Heroes are not found in government positions, where there is so much infighting, selfishness, and pride on both sides of the aisle that nothing gets done. True heroes are not found in the pages of comic books or in fictional movies.
To find heroes, we must first know what heroes look like. Do they have lots of muscles? Are they good looking? Are they highly intelligent? Do they have lots of money? While heroes may have one or more of these attributes, these attributes are not the qualities of heroes.
Romans 15:1-2 gives us a great definition of what a hero is:
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
First and foremost, heroes are those who have unwavering trust in our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. If a person lacks faith in his almighty creator, he cannot be a true hero. Heroes are also courageous, selfless, humble, patient, caring. Heroes are not people that perform one monumental task, but rather are those that exemplify these attributes on a daily basis. So where do we find these heroes? On the nightly news? In the latest movies? In the best-selling books? No.
We find these heroes in our daily lives. We find them in the people around us, who care for us, sacrifice for us, worry about us, and do anything for us. To find these heroes, we need not look beyond our front door, our neighborhood, or our community. For me personally, I need not look any further than my father who sacrificed his time for his kids, my mother who selflessly cared for her family, my wife that makes sure our kids know they are loved, my grandfather who served in a world war to courageously protect the freedoms of others. We have heroes all around us, if we know how to find them.
President Kimball shared great insight on the topic of heroes in a 1976 general conference talk where he stated:
So where do we find our heroes? We find them on the street, close-to-home, and in down-to-earth situations. They are close to us if we look for them, and if you are having a hard time finding heroes in your life, then work to become a hero for others. To be that person of “towering strength and basic integrity, personally.” As we find and honor the heroes close-to-home and strive to become those heroes to others, our world will become full of heroes and we can change the world around us on the streets, in the home, and in our everyday lives.<