The unwavering faith and conviction Desmond demonstrated on the battlefield was not new – he showed those traits his whole life, even in his earliest years.
By Natalia Grobler.
Desmond Doss (7 February, 1919 to 23 March, 2006) was born in Virginia, USA. He grew up with a mother devoted to God and a despondent father devoted to alcohol. It was his mother who fostered Doss’ faith and inspired him to develop his unique identity that set him apart from his peers from an early age.
His greatest defining moment was the night his father and uncle were fighting while drunk. Desmond’s father pulled out a gun pointing it at his uncle. His mother bravely stepped between the two, demanding that he hand over the weapon. The confrontation resulted in her securing the gun and passing it to Desmond, who she urged to run and hide it. Following this incident, Doss determined that he would never again hold another gun.
Ironically, it was Desmond’s father who was responsible for acquiring The Ten Commandments poster that was prominently displayed in the family home. It was the command not to kill that had a profound impact on Desmond. This was illustrated with Abel lying dead on the ground while his brother Cain loomed over him, club in hand. Desmond’s brother was his best friend and he could not comprehend how Cain had intentionally killed his own brother. Doss took this personally and an impression was embedded in his mind, “Desmond, if you love me you will not kill.”
This was the background that helped to define Doss’ character inspiring such unwavering faith and conviction. These were the building blocks that would certainly help Doss later withstand intense rejection and ridicule in order to fulfill God’s purpose for his life — a purpose that Doss, himself, could hardly have imagined.