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Showing posts with the label Discipleship

Relying on God every day (C.S. Lewis)

"Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done."  Source: “Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis” (2006)

How can I become a disciple of Christ? (Uchtdorf)

“The first step on the path of discipleship begins, luckily enough, in the exact place where we stand!  We do not have to prequalify to take that first step.  it doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor.  there is no requirement to be educated, eloquent, or intellectual.  We do not have to be perfect or well-spoken or even well-mannered.  You and I can walk in the path of discipleship today…. It is always the right time to walk in His way.  It is never too late.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf -”The Way of the Disciple,”  Ensign,  May 2009, 77, 78

our "do it" switch (Uchtdorf)

The words written in the scriptures and spoken in general conference are for us to “liken them unto [ourselves],” not for reading or hearing only.   Too often we attend meetings and nod our heads; we might even smile knowingly and agree. We jot down some action points, and we may say to ourselves, “That is something I will do.” But somewhere between the hearing, the writing of a reminder on our smartphone, and the actual doing, our “do it” switch gets rotated to the “later” position. Brethren, let’s make sure to set our “do it” switch always to the “now” position! As you read the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets with all your heart and mind, the Lord will tell you how to live up to your priesthood privileges. Don’t let a day go by without doing something to act on the promptings of the Spirit. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, April 2011 General Conference  http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/your-potential-your-privilege?lang=eng

preparation for the Second Coming (Brigham Young)

Are you prepared for the day of vengeance to come, when the Lord will consume the wicked by the brightness of His coming?  No.  Then do not be too anxious for the Lord to hasten His work.  Let our anxiety be centered upon this one thing, the sanctification of our own hearts, the purifying of our own affections, the preparing of ourselves for the approach of events that are hastening upon us.  This should be our concern, this should be our study, this should be our daily prayer...Seek to have the Spirit of Christ, that we may wait patiently for the time of the Lord, and prepare ourselves for the times that are coming.  This is our duty. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 9:3

the costs and rewards of discipleship (Brigham Young)

There is a class of persons that persecution will not drive from the Church of Christ, but prosperity will; and again, there is another class that prosperity will not drive, but persecution will. The Lord must and will have a company of Saints who will follow Him to the cross, if it be necessary; and these He will crown. They are the ones who will wear a celestial crown and have dominion, rule, and government. These are they who will receive  honor  of the Father, with glory, exaltation, and eternal lives. They shall reign over kingdoms, and have power to be Gods, even the sons of God. Those other classes will take different stations and possess inferior glories, according to their works in the flesh. That class who will altogether serve the world and disregard the cause of truth will become servants to the sons of God and be in servitude throughout eternity. What shall we do? I say, Cleave to “Mormonism,” work with all our might for the Lord, and love Him better than any other e

righteous character (Scott)

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.  Righteous character is a precious manifestation of what you are becoming...Righteous character is more valuable than any material object you own, any knowledge you have gained through study, or any goals you have attained. Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, November 2010, page 43

Of Regrets and Resolutions (Uchtdorf)

When it comes to living the gospel, we should not be like the boy who dipped his toe in the water and then claimed he went swimming. As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we are capable of so much more. For that, good intentions are not enough. We must do. Even more important, we must become what Heavenly Father wants us to be...  Discipleship is the pursuit of holiness and happiness. It is the path to our best and happiest self... The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets. The more we rely on the Savior’s grace, the more we will feel that we are on the track our Father in Heaven has intended for us.  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (2012 October General Conference, Of Regrets and Resolutions, Sat. Morning Session) http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/10/of-regrets-and-resolutions?lang=eng

The Way of the Disciple (Uchtdorf)

A friend of mine recently wrote to me, confiding that he was having a difficult time keeping his testimony strong and vibrant. He asked for counsel. I wrote back to him and lovingly suggested a few specific things he could do that would align his life more closely with the teachings of the restored gospel. To my surprise, I heard back from him only a week later. The essence of his letter was this: “I tried what you suggested. It didn’t work. What else have you got?” Brothers and sisters, we have to stay with it. We don’t acquire eternal life in a sprint—this is a race of endurance. We have to apply and reapply the divine gospel principles. Day after day we need to make them part of our normal life. Too often we approach the gospel like a farmer who places a seed in the ground in the morning and expects corn on the cob by the afternoon. When Alma compared the word of God to a seed, he explained that the seed grows into a fruit-bearing tree gradually, as a result of our “faith, a

"Abide in Me" (Holland)

Christ  said, “I am the true vine, and … ye are the branches.”   2   “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”   3 “Abide in me” is an understandable and beautiful enough concept in the elegant English of the King James  Bible , but “abide” is not a word we use much anymore. So I gained even more appreciation for this admonition from the Lord when I was introduced to the translation of this passage in another language. In Spanish that familiar phrase is rendered “permaneced en mi.”  Like the English verb “abide,”  permanecer  means “to remain, to stay,” but even gringos like me can hear the root cognate there of “permanence.” The sense of this then is “stay—but stay  forever. ” That is the call of the gospel message to Chileans and everyone else in the world. Come, but come to remain. Come with conviction and endurance. Come permanently, for your sake and the sake of all the generation

The Power of Doing (Uchtdorf)

My dear brethren, divine blessings for priesthood service are activated by our diligent efforts, our willingness to sacrifice, and our desire to do what is right. Let us be the ones to act and not be acted upon. Preaching is fine, but sermons that do not lead to action are like fires without heat or water that cannot quench thirst. It is in the application of doctrine that the purifying flame of the gospel grows and the power of the priesthood ignites our souls. Thomas Edison, the man who bathed the world in glowing electric light, said that “the value of an idea lies in the using of it.” 4  In a similar way, gospel doctrine becomes more precious when it is put to use. We must not allow the doctrines of the priesthood to lie dormant in our hearts and unapplied in our lives. If there is a marriage or family in need of rescue—perhaps even our own—let’s not just wait and see. Rather, let us thank God for the plan of happiness that includes faith, repentance, forgiveness , and new

willing to submit to all things...

The work of devils and of darkness is never more certain to be defeated than when men and women, not finding it easy or pleasant but still determined to do the Father's will, look out upon their lives from which it may seem every trace of God has vanished, and asking why they have been so forsaken, still bow their heads and obey.  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Will of the Father in All Things" (BYU Devotional, January 17, 1989) [Paraphrased from C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1961), p. 39]
For how knoweth  a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart? Mosiah 5:13

we must battle every day

The men and women, who desire to obtain seats in the celestial kingdom, will find that they must battle with the enemy of all righteousness every day . "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all Saints." Thus let every Saint protect and guard his little castle against every effort of the enemy to assail, and secure a foothold therein. Let us see to it that we are ready for the enemy, to baffle him at every point, contending bravely against him until he is successfully repulsed. (emphasis added) Brigham Young, Journal of

the more you have the Spirit of God, the better you feel and act

…if you will be honest and united, you will get the Spirit of God; and the more you have of the Spirit of God, the better you feel and the better you will act. Talk about people feeling well that act as mean as the Devil!—it is nonsense. Does a man or woman feel well that will steal, that will traduce a friend, speak evil of a neighbor, and seek to stir up strife? No; they cannot. Does an individual feel well that will lie and cherish opposition to the advice, the counsel, and instruction that is given us from the Prophets that God has placed in his Church to rule and dictate us? If I were to judge others as I feel myself, I would judge that they could not feel well. Why? Because I feel well in acting with them—in saying amen to what they say. I feel and find the happiness that I enjoy by doing this, and no man or woman can find happiness in pursuing an opposite course; and if you are unbelieving, it is because you do not comprehend the truth with all your hearts—you do not understand

a world of marshmallow men

I am surprised (I would be amused if the cost were not so great) that people think they can remove the foundations of our social structure--things like work, chastity, and family and then wonder why other things crumble. You can't remove the foundation of a building while standing inside and not be hit with falling plaster... You're soon going to go out into a world full of marshmallow men. Like the act of putting a finger into a marshmallow, there is no core in these men, there is no center, and when one removes his finger, the marshmallow resumes its former shape. We are in a world of people who want to yield to everything--to every fad and to every fashion. It is incredibly important that we be committed to the core--committed to those things that matter, about which our Father in heaven has leveled with us through his Son, Jesus Christ, and his prophets. I saw an interesting cartoon not too long ago that bears on this point of marshmallow men. It showed

we are here to be tested; we must learn to trust God

We are placed here on the earth that we may be tested. We are very independent beings, we have our agency, and can choose the road to life or the road to death, just as we please. If we would secure eternal life we shall have to take a course to command the confidence of our Father in heaven, and to accomplish this, we must not be weary in well doing, for it is said that only they who endure will receive the reward. Endure what? Why, the trials, temptations and difficulties that we may have to encounter in the path which the Gospel marks out. Our path, as followers of the Savior, is beset with evil on every side, and with influences which, if yielded to, will bring us under the power of the oppressor. They may seem alluring, to a greater or less extent, and so they are, for the power of evil has great influence in the earth. The wealth of the earth has long been controlled by the evil one, and he has bestowed it upon whomsoever he has seen fit. Perhaps this has been ordered so in the e

little acts

Chemists who are familiar with analyzing matter, inform you that the globe we inhabit is composed of small particles, so small that they cannot be seen with the unaided natural eye, and that one of these small particles may be divided into millions of parts, each part so minute as to be indiscernible by the aid of the finest microscopes.  So the walk of man is made up of acts performed from day to day.  It is the aggregate of the acts which I perform through life that makes up the conduct that will be exhibited in the day of judgment, and when the books are opened, there will be the life which I have lived for me to look upon, and there also will be the acts of your lives to look upon.  Do you not know that the building up of the Kingdom of God, the gathering of Israel, is to be done by little acts?  You breathe one breath at a time; each moment is set apart to its act, and each act to its moment.  It is the moments and the little acts that make the sum of the life of man.  Let every s