Conflict and Courage

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How Can I Do It? March 10

Genesis 39:7-12

How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Genesis 39:9. CC 75.1

It is always a critical period in a young man's life when he is separated from home influences and wise counsels and enters upon new scenes and trying tests. But if he does not of his own accord place himself in these positions of danger and remove himself from parental restraint; if, without will or choice of his own, he is placed in dangerous positions and relies upon God for strength—cherishing the love of God in his heart—he will be kept from yielding to temptation by the power of God who placed him in that trying position. God will protect him from being corrupted by the fierce temptation. God was with Joseph in his new home. He was in the path of duty, suffering wrong but not doing wrong. He therefore had the love and protection of God for he carried his religious principle into everything he undertook.13Letter 3, 1879. CC 75.2

Joseph's faith and integrity were to be tested by fiery trials. His master's wife endeavored to entice the young man to transgress the law of God. Heretofore he had remained untainted by the corruption teeming in that heathen land; but this temptation, so sudden, so strong, so seductive—how should it be met? Joseph knew well what would be the consequence of resistance. On the one hand were concealment, favor, and rewards; on the other, disgrace, imprisonment, perhaps death. His whole future life depended upon the decision of the moment. Would principle triumph? Would Joseph still be true to God? With inexpressible anxiety, angels looked upon the scene. CC 75.3

Joseph's answer reveals the power of religious principle. He would not betray the confidence of his master on earth, and, whatever the consequences, he would be true to his Master in heaven. Under the inspecting eye of God and holy angels many take liberties of which they would not be guilty in the presence of their fellow men, but Joseph's first thought was of God. “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” he said. CC 75.4

If we were to cherish an habitual impression that God sees and hears all that we do and say and keeps a faithful record of our words and actions, and that we must meet it all, we would fear to sin.14Patriarchs and Prophets, 217, 218. CC 75.5