I had the opportunity to speak in a congregation this past Sunday, and as many in the church find to be the case, I learned more for myself than I was probably able to teach anything to those in attendance. The topic was Living True to Our Faith, and how the principles of commitment, covenants, and obedience enable us to do that.
One point that I rediscovered in my preparation is the idea that the cost of discipleship is sometimes high. The world today is very politically-correct and inclusive, regardless of spiritual or moral guideposts. For disciples of Christ, we find we can’t always be both PC and be true to what we believe is ok with God. Pick nearly any hot-button issue in society and culture today, and you will probably find that being on the side of what’s popular and being a disciple can’t always go together.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an apostle of Christ, spoke on this very topic in April. Quite simply, he said “Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all.” It may not be easy, but there are blessings promised with discipleship.
One of the greatest blessings of life and eternity is to be counted as one of the devoted disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. – James E. Faust
I attended a church conference this weekend at which several members of the church spoke on a variety of assigned topics. One of the women who spoke made reference to discipleship, and what caught my attention was how she phrased it: serious discipleship.
So, what is serious discipleship? I think that at the heart of serious discipleship is loving and serving others. Additionally, obedience to the Lord’s commandments is a principle that serious disciples of Jesus Christ strive to adhere to daily. There are times where I’ve been prompted or impressed to do something for someone else, or go and visit someone, or share my testimony of Christ with another. If I’m serious in my discipleship, I would “go and do as the Lord commands” (1 Nephi 3:7) every time. I wish I could say I always “go and do,” but I don’t. It’s something I have to recommit to daily. However, I know that with obedience comes blessings greater than what’s required, and that inspires me to be more serious in my discipleship.
Discipleship has brought purpose to my life. Knowing my relationship with God is a father-son relationship, and that the Savior Jesus Christ is my older brother, is a daily motivation to do better, be kinder, and serve more selflessly. Discipleship and obedience have brought spiritual strength to me that has helped me through challenges and trials.
How has serious discipleship affected your life?