- What does it mean to be a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ? A disciple is one who has been baptized and is willing to take upon him or her the name of the Savior and follow Him. A disciple strives to become as He is by keeping His commandments in mortality, much the same as an apprentice seeks to become like his or her master.
Elder Hales shares that discipleship is more than attributes that we possess, it is found in the character of who we are.
- Many people hear the word disciple and think it means only “follower.” But genuine discipleship is a state of being. This suggests more than studying and applying a list of individual attributes. Disciples live so that the characteristics of Christ are woven into the fiber of their beings, as into a spiritual tapestry.
- The attributes of the Savior, as we perceive them, are not a script to be followed or list to be checked off. They are interwoven characteristics, added one to another, which develop in us in interactive ways. In other words, we cannot obtain one Christlike characteristic without also obtaining and influencing others. As one characteristic becomes strong, so do many more.
He shares that faith is a key part of our journey of discipleship. Without faith, we have no purpose in following any religious philosophy.
- Faith is a catalyst. Without works, without virtuous living, our faith is without power to activate discipleship. Indeed, faith is dead.
As we put in our efforts to exercise our faith in the Savior, to learn of His many attributes, and focus on how to become a disciple instead of just following the Savior, we will find that we have become something. When we become a disciple, we will be filled with the love the Savior has for all of us.
- I testify that the efforts we make to become disciples of our Savior are truly added upon until we are “possessed” of His love.
Elder Hales encourages us to be all in with our discipleship. He tells us we can't do this part-time. We need to follow the Savior completely and not just on a few teachings.
- Now more than ever, we cannot be a “part-time disciple”! We cannot be a disciple on just one point of doctrine or another.
He concludes with encouragement to recommit ourselves. This is truly a call to Come Unto Christ by one of His living apostles.
- Now is the time to recommit ourselves to being His disciples with all diligence.
I love the plainness of speech that Elder Hales uses. On my personal journey of discipleship, I have found that true discipleship has to come from who you are, not what you know. Great knowledge of the Savior is all around the world and found in many different religions. True discipleship is found in living what we know to be true. It is putting our actions in line with the principles of our faith. I am grateful to have additional knowledge and understanding on my personal journey from Elder Hales. It is time we are truly committed to becoming a disciple of Christ and not just a follower of his teachings. This requires that we become something and not just know in our minds about His teachings. Continue to join me on my personal journey of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.