Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when the rising generation has appropriate role models and heroes. Children and youth must be shown good examples in order know to reject the bad examples that are all around them. Mothers and fathers, as well as other adults, would be wise to parade a steady stream of heroes in front of the rising generations.
A young mother I know holds a weekly “Heroes Hour” in her home with her young children. Each week she teaches them about a single person that she considers a hero. She shares pictures of the activities on her Face Book page. After I wrote this essay but before I posted it, I learned that my youngest daughter has started to hold Hero Hour. She started a blog and reported to her friends and family the success of her first Hero Hour starring Daniel in the Lion’s Den. She of course has the complete support of her husband and held her first Hero Hour on his day off. The pictures he took showed the children completely engrossed in the story and activity.
The Bible contains stories of many heroes such as Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Esther, and Joseph with the Coat of Many Colors. The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ contains many more stories of heroes such as Nephi building a boat, Helaman and the 2060 stripling warriors. The history of our nation contains even more stories of heroes such as George Washington, Paul Revere, Booker T. Washington, Jonas Salk, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Donny and Marie Osmond were role models for earlier generations and continue to be good examples to young and old. Donny and Marie Osmond are still part of the entertainment industry. Marie was on “Dancing with the Stars” in recent years, and the two of them have a show in Las Vegas. In July 2014 Donny celebrated 50 years in the entertainment industry. The LA Times published an article dated May 19, 1989, that highlights Donny’s career.
“With the 1980s just months away from becoming a nostalgic memory, Donny Osmond has scored what some record executives are calling `the comeback of the decade.’
“That’s a tall claim, but Osmond’s remarkable resurrection invites such hyperbole.
“Whether performing sugary pop ditties with his singing siblings, the Osmond Brothers, or playing comic foil with his sister, Marie, Donny Osmond was a role model for conservative youth during the 1970s.
“But the singer’s wholesome career was washed away with the arrival of the cynical 1980s and a harder-edge pop and rock music.”
Seventeen-year-old Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty and Dancing with the Stars is a fairly new addition to the entertainment industry. She has already set the standard high because she “knows what she believes and never wavers, no matter what pressures she may be facing from the outside.”
Sadie recognizes that she has a platform, and she uses it well as she shares her faith and values with all who will listen. “The topic of modesty is one that has become especially dear to Robertson. When asked why encouraging young girls to dress modestly is so important to her, she said, `It’s important to me because whenever I came into the fame and spotlight I’ve always been a Christian and I knew that I was going to carry that out no matter where I am in life. And so I really wanted to be something that I can share my message, and modesty kind of became my thing. That was something I could speak freely about and openly about, and lead by example.’”
Sadie continues to share her beliefs and values wherever she can. She wrote a book entitled Live Original “in which she shares stories about her life and talks about her values and how her faith influences her choices.” She also posts videos on a YouTube channel, “the New Different.” She “collaborated with designer Sherri Hill to create a line of modest and fashionable prom dresses, and … [took] the opportunity to model some of them herself.” She travels “around the country speaking to girls about modesty and purity” and spreads “love and the light of Christ to others around the world.”
There are many good people living among us – neighbors, school mates, teachers, etc. – who can also be illuminated and hailed as heroes. Be sure to bring attention to the athlete who helps an opponent who has fallen or needs help, a student brave enough to voice the truth, a friend showing integrity, etc.
Our rising generation needs positive role models and good examples in order for them to know there is a better way. When we are good examples and bring attention to other positive influences, we can strengthen the children and youth in our families, communities, and nation.