Conference Questions – Following Christ

Recently, I watched the 182nd Semi Annual General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When I watch conference, I am always filled with the spirit and a desire to be a better person and draw closer to the Savior. I love to take notes. When I first started being a note taker for learning in church settings, I would write everything I possibly could down. Including what the speakers said, as well as the little lessons the spirit would teach me during the talks. Once that became a habit, I learned that I should really be focused on writing down the things that I am personally taught by the spirit. So, with that as my focus for note taking, I found myself writing down questions that I should be able to answer. The thought then came to me that these are questions that I could attempt to study on this blog. To view other questions in this series, go here: Conference Questions

My final question in this series, comes from a talk given by Robert D. Hales during the Sunday afternoon session of conference. His talk was called, “Being a More Christian Christian“. As the title suggests, his talk discussed what it is to be a Christian and how we can do it more in our lives. My question was posed by Elder Hales during this talk, and it is what kind of Christian am I? Likewise, how am I doing in my quest to follow Christ?

What is a Christian? A Christian is one who follows Christ. It was a title given to those who believed in Jesus Christ both in the New Testament times as well as in the times of the Book of Mormon. In Acts 11:26 we read, “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Likewise in Alma 46:15 we read, “And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.” Elder Hales described a Christian as one who took upon themselves the name of Christ.

I love that his second question uses the word quest. A quest is a long and difficult search for something. To seek after Jesus Christ is a quest. Having the faith to continue hoping for something that cannot be scientifically proven is difficult. Maintaining a hope in the atonement when none of us were there to witness the events for ourselves, is not easy. If it was easier, there would be more people willing to believe in Jesus Christ.

How do we take upon ourselves the name of Christ, and then take the steps necessary to seek for him through the difficult and long journey of our lives? We do this by first making the covenants that we have been commanded to make. We start the quest with baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is the first steps the Savior took in his ministry and must be the first we take as well. Then, we continue in that quest, by following his example and living as he lived.

A true Christian strives daily to become more converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This means looking at ourselves to see what things we need to change in us to become more like our Savior. This requires quite a bit of humility on our part. The Savior taught us the value of humility in Matthew 18:4 which says, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” We need to recognize that we are far from perfect. We need to gain a desire to change our natural ways and become better. Conversion comes in repenting and returning to the Savior whenever we find we have lost our way, even in the slightest. The quest to follow Christ is full of moments of reflection and repentance and we should check ourselves to see if we are doing this often enough to be truly converted to Christ.

Elder Hale’s talk caused me to question if I am one who responds right away. I would hope that I am now. I have had many times in my past, when I have been asked to do something that would show my discipleship to Christ, but I have hesitated to heed the call. Not that I did not respond, but I did hesitate. The more I learn of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more willing I am to listen and follow immediately. I have struggled internally when it has come to changing a habit I know to be wrong, but I have eventually followed through with feelings to change. I think that the parable of the ten virgins is applicable to this situation. We have to respond now and avoid procrastination. This applies to changes in our lives as well as to calls of duty assigned to us, or even simple inspirations. In Matthew 25:10 we read, “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” We miss out on the blessings now, when we hesitate to respond. Being a more Christian Christian means responding right away to those things that the Lord would have us do. I hope to be able to become the kind of person who can react immediately in all things that Christ would have me do. A true Christian, will act upon direction and inspiration immediately

A Christian Christian will do the work of the Lord. That work is to “bring to pass the immorality and eternal life of man” (see Moses 1:39). We do this by sharing the gospel with others. We do this by behaving as Christ would, and bring others to him by sharing his light. We do not have to share the gospel with words in order to this, but we do need to be living the gospel so that others can see by our example, the better way. In 3 Nephi 12, the Savior taught a portion of the sermon at the temple (see also the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5)

14 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
15 Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;
16 Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

We can do the work of the Lord at all times, in all things, and in all places. We start in our homes, with ourselves and then our families. Then we can do His work at church, at work, in the community and so on. The Lord will provide the opportunities for us, if we will look faithfully for them. As a seeking Christian, I must ask myself if I am standing as an example of the Savior’s light in each area of my life. Am I patient at home? Am I loving at church? Am I kind at the grocery store? Am I caring and considerate in my neighborhood? What can I work on today to be a better light to the world? Elder Hales proposed several areas for us to consider how we are doing. These areas are love, faith, sacrifice, caring, service, patience, peace, forgiveness, conversion, and endurance. These things will bring us closer to Christ. We should take a look at where we are, study how Christ was in that thing, make a plan or goal for ourselves, and then seek for the way to become more like Him. It truly is a quest and we cannot expect to become the perfect Christians overnight. It will be something that we spend our whole lives working on. The faithful Christian is one who recognizes this, doesn’t find failure in not being perfect right away, and strives each day to do more than the day before.

I am grateful to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I have faith in Him. I believe Him. I want to be like Him. I know that if I reflect on how I am showing my faithfulness as a Christian, the Lord will help me to see ways that I can improve and become more converted to Him. I am grateful for my weaknesses and the opportunities that I have to learn and grow. I am so glad that I have a Lord who is patient with me and allows me the opportunity to make mistakes, repent of my shortcomings and try harder each day. I know that it is a blessing to be a Christian and I hope to become more of a Christian throughout my life.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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