In our world today, virtue often goes unnoticed. Also, many people do not understand its meaning and importance, and yet for those who diligently seek it, they know that virtue comes with power from the Most High.
One story of Christ’s life where His use of virtue is evident is the account of the woman with an issue of blood for twelve years. Physicians could not heal her but when she touched the garment of Jesus, she was healed. Jesus said, “Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me” (Luke 8:46). This account teaches us that by the power of Christ’s virtue, the woman was healed according to her faith. Virtue comes with great power, but we must seek it.
James E. Faust, while serving as a Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, taught, “[V]irtue in its fuller sense encompasses all traits of righteousness that help us form our character” (The Virtues of Righteous Daughters of God, April 2003). Everything that is righteous is virtuous. As we seek for righteousness in our daily lives, we also cultivate the virtues that we possess.
The Lord promised a blessing to those who live virtuous lives. This is described in the Doctrine and Covenants, “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever” (D&C 121: 45-46). This blessing can be ours if we continue to seek for virtue not only to bless our lives but also to influence the people around us to do the same.
Virtue is regularly attacked and belittled. So, how can we maintain our virtue? The 6th chapter in the Book of Ephesians counsels us to put on the whole armor of God “having [our] loins girt about with truth; having on the breastplate of righteousness; [our] feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; taking the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation; and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Having this whole armor will keep us safe from the adversary’s grasp, help us maintain the virtues that we already possess, and strengthen us as we develop many others. As we do so, we can become instruments in the Lord’s hand to succor a sick woman like He did.
May we have the courage to be virtuous, that our lives may be in accordance with the highest standards of morality, that our happiness may be full, and that the blessings and power of heaven may be with us. To pursue virtue is to pursue eternal life and to receive the blessings of heaven along the way.
In this short clip from Mormon Channel, these young women stand for what is right and for a virtuous life: