The Manassas National Battlefield Park is located a few short miles from where we are living in Centreville, Virginia. It is located in a peaceful, pastoral valley of rolling hills and forests. We made a visit there last Friday on our free day and learned about the Battle of Bull Run in 1861. As the Confederate lines began to crumble under heavy Union assault in this early Civil War battle, Commander Jackson provided crucial troop reinforcements, stood firm on Henry House Hill and didn't back down against the opposition. His ally, Brig. Gen. Barnard Elliott Bee, rallied the beleaguered troops by shouting, “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall.” The name stuck. Stonewall Jackson’s brigade stopped the Union forces, causing them to retreat.
The statue memorializing Stonewall Jackson made me think about the Young Single Adults we are meeting in our Institute classes. They are terrific young men and women who daily face a battlefield of competing ideas, values, philosophies, and lifestyles -- many that run contrary to the teachings of the Lord. Their battles are intellectual, social, spiritual, and physical. These students are strong and capable, but the battles are intense. The goal of our Institute classes is to fortify them and help them build a stone wall of moral and spiritual strength to counter the influences that could weaken their resolve to follow the Savior and keep His commandments. Institute is a safe haven for friendship, learning, and connection with the spirit, a place that empowers students to stand firm and triumph against the adversary. It's a place for crucial reinforcement. It's a great place to be. ~Don~