President Uchtdorf talks about the blessings of the gospel and how it gives us direction and light for our mortal journey
- The gospel of Jesus Christ has the answers to all of our problems. The gospel is not a secret. It is not complicated or hidden. It can unlock the door to true happiness. It is not someone’s theory or proposition. It does not come from man at all. It springs from the pure and everlasting waters of the Creator of the universe, who knows truths we cannot even begin to comprehend. And with that knowledge, He has given us the gospel—a divine gift, the ultimate formula for happiness and success.
How Do We Become Disciples of Jesus Christ?
President Uchtdorf talks about the changes that occur in our lives as we put ourselves on the path to following the Savior Jesus Christ.
- When we hear the transcendent truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, hope and faith begin to blossom inside of us. The more we fill our hearts and minds with the message of the risen Christ, the greater our desire is to follow Him and live His teachings. This, in turn, causes our faith to grow and allows the light of Christ to illuminate our hearts. As it does, we recognize the imperfections in our lives, and we desire to be cleansed of the depressing burdens of sin. We yearn for freedom from guilt, and this inspires us to repent.
- The more we are filled with the Spirit of God, the more we extend ourselves to others. We become peacemakers in our homes and families, we help our fellowmen everywhere, and we reach out in merciful acts of kindness, forgiveness, grace, and long-suffering patience.
The Path of Patience
It is important to understand that the transformation that the gospel brings happens over time. For us, it is not an immediate change like Alma had in the Book of Mormon. We need have patience and as we turn to the Lord, His blessings will start to come at that very moment.
- 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.
- From the very moment we set foot upon the pathway of discipleship, seen and unseen blessings from God begin to attend us.
He shares some details about discipleship that will encourage us through the life changing process.
- Discipleship is a journey. We need the refining lessons of the journey to craft our character and purify our hearts. By patiently walking in the path of discipleship, we demonstrate to ourselves the measure of our faith and our willingness to accept God’s will rather than ours.
- It is not enough merely to speak of Jesus Christ or proclaim that we are His disciples. It is not enough to surround ourselves with symbols of our religion. Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessings of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not a primary way of worshipping.
- Ours is not a secondhand religion. We cannot receive the blessings of the gospel merely by observing the good that others do. We need to get off the sidelines and practice what we preach.
The Way Is Open to All
President Uchtdorf reminds us that our path back to following the Savior can start right now. He also tells us some of the basic characteristics that will make us successful on our journey.
- The first step on the path of discipleship begins, luckily enough, in the exact place where we stand! You and I can walk in the path of discipleship today. Let us be humble; let us pray to our Father in Heaven with all our heart and express our desire to draw close to Him and learn of Him.
- Now is the time to adjust your lives to be able to have a temple recommend and use it. Now is the time to have meaningful family home evenings, to read the word of God, and to speak to our Heavenly Father in earnest prayer. Now is the time to fill our hearts with gratitude for the Restoration of His Church, for living prophets, the Book of Mormon, and the priesthood power that blesses our lives. Now is the time to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, become His disciples, and walk in His way.
He concludes with his testimony of the healing power that discipleship brings into our lives.
- The restored gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has the power to fill any emptiness, heal any wound, and bridge any vale of sorrow. It is the way of hope, faith, and trust in the Lord.
We should not wait to get back on the path of true discipleship. Blessings come immediately to us as we put ourselves on the right path. How grateful I am to know that the Lord sees my desire to be His disciple and how willing He is to support me with His blessings along this journey. I have had a couple instances where someone in church is speaking and I am brought back to a conference talk that has been reviewed here. This is one of those blessings of diving into the messages of the prophets. It confirms to me that our leaders are inspired men who have great callings. But they are also men that are trying the best they can to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. They are just like me and receive the same blessings that I can receive along my path to being a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope all of us see the blessings that can be ours by being better disciples of the Savior and changing our lives to follow Him more.