"Courage is the ability to move;
when all around you are frozen in fear
and no one would blame you if you did nothing at all."
Capt. Click. Phx. PD
My Name is Lance Johnson
Taken from the book Think
About it... for your reading convenience
I have been an Arizona State Peace Officer for five years, and have worked for
the City of Mesa for
all five. I am also an Elder in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I am a return
missionary and I served in the then Honduras, Tegucigalpa Mission. I was later
married in the Arizona
Temple. Sam has asked me to share my feelings about the Church and about my job.
To me, the two
cannot be separated. In the Book of Alma is a series of scriptures written about
a Police Officer
named Moroni. A series of scriptures I think about and read often. It reads:
“And Moroni was a strong and mighty man: He was a man of a perfect
yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the
liberty and the
freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery. Yea a man
whose heart did
swell in thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which He
his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his
people. Yea and he
was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to
people, his rights, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.”
“And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he wrote upon it, In memory of
our religion, and our freedom, and our peace, our wives and our children, and he
fastened it upon
the end of a pole. And he fastened on his headplate, and his breastplate, and
his shields, and
girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end
thereof his rent
coat (and he called it the Title of Liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth,
and he prayed
mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so
long as there should
a band of Christians remain to possess the land.”
Thus armored, and empowered with the Holy Priesthood, Moroni went out among the
cities of the
Nephites and kept his vow. For about twenty years he stood the line. Along with
the rest of the
valiant members of his department, he made sure that the blessings he had
invoked upon his people
would be realized.
I have inherited Moroni’s covenant. My badge is my Title of Liberty.
When I put on my blues, my armor and duty belt, I have drawn the line.
I believe that God has a special place in His heart for the
warrior. Throughout the
scriptures we read of the great prophets who fought for their people. These men
lived out their lives
in the service of both their God and their brethren. I can think of no better
way to live. I have a saying
that speaks of the danger of the path we walk. It’s a saying I honestly believe.
If it is my time, the best Doctor will have no power to save me.
If it is not my time, the best criminal will have no power to kill me.
If my sacrifices give others the opportunity to live their lives untouched by
evil, then I have truly
lived. There is a hymn I have always liked, Lead Kindly Light, #97 in the
Hymnal. It explains the pain
I feel for my weakness, and my devotion to my God.
“Lead Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom; lead thou me on! The night is
and I am far from home; Lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
the distant scene, one step enough for me. I was not ever thus, nor prayed that
shouldest lead me on. I loved to choose and see my path; but now, lead Thou me
I loved the garish day, and , spite of all the fears, pride ruled my will.
past years. So long Thy power has blessed me, sure it still will lead me on.
moor and fen, over crag and torrent, till the night is gone. And with the
those angel faces smile, which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.”
There is nothing more important to me than to be able to give an accounting of
my stewardship to
my Savior when my tour is done. With my beautiful wife, Melanie, and our
children, I wish for
nothing more than to stand before Him, clean and sanctified. I will kneel at His
feet and worship, for
He is the example I try in my poor attempt to follow. Even as I write this my
love for Him causes
tears to flow. I have walked into Sacrament Meeting in my Blues, smelling bad
and dirty after a
graveyard shift of patrol. There was nothing more important to me after being
out in the dark,
confronting the true darkness, than to partake of the Bread of my Savior’s Body,
and drink of the
needed renewing. For as Helaman said,
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer,
who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the
send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his
hail and his mighty
storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to
that gulf of misery and wo, because of the foundation upon which ye are built,
is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
Doctrine and Covenants section 138, verse 12-14 reads:
“And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the
spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they
mortality; and who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the Great
Sacrifice of the
Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name. All these had
departed the mortal life firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through
grace of God the Father and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.”
This of course is the object of our existence, to remain true to the knowledge
and covenants we have
made. It is my further hope and mission to allow others an easier voyage by
assisting them in their
time of need. Of course I recognize the right of an individual to choose for
themselves the path they
walk, but if that path leads to the suffering of others, I will do what I can to
stop that suffering.
I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I know that Joseph Smith was, and
is, His prophet. The
Church of Jesus Christ has been restored and is alive upon the earth. His power
and authority has
been given back to men so that salvation and the keys to the Heavens are
attainable. I know that no
sacrifice goes unheeded by the Lord of Sacrifice. I testify that repentance is
the key to His Spirit. That
same Spirit has guided my life, and even my daily activity. It is amazing to me
that as I patrol in my
beat when I am in tune with the Spirit I can tell a vehicle that needs to be
stopped, or a person who
needs to be spoken to.
There is a very discernable light or darkness that surrounds us.
That light or darkness is a direct result of the spirit
we choose to be the influence in our lives.
I am grateful for the Spirit which has guided my life, when I have been worthy.
It is my prayer that
I may live my life in such a manner so as to have that Spirit as my constant
Companion, and that it’s
guidance will cover my back when the going gets ugly. I hope that by reading
this that no one gets
the impression that I believe I am anything but a humble servant of my Savior. I
am the very least of
all of them, and my faults are many. All I can ask is that He will remain my
patient Father in Heaven,
for my only desire is to be His servant.
God protect the warriors, whether their uniform is blue, brown or
God bless those who won’t come home tonight. Bless their families with peace.
Most of all, God bless America, that men and women
will always feel the desire to step up and accept
the Title of Liberty, and join us on the line.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Officer (&RM) Lance Johnson Badge #10003
If you are or were a police officer,
or wife, mother, father of such or some other branch of emergency
and would like to share an unusual testimony building experience with
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Thank you and God bless,