Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Way of the Disciple

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

The Way of the Disciple, by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

When I first started college, some of my friends were almost obsessed with their interpretation of a certain diet some doctor came up with. After only a short time, they reported drastic weight-loss. However, a short time later, their food consumption was normal again (and healthier, too), and they returned to their pre-craziness weight.

There have been many people I've known who have tried similarly-based schemes—whether in weight-loss, business ventures, or supposedly healthy-living. They all seem to offer the hope of quick results from minimal effort. While they are incredibly excited and seem to live for their new-found "secret," I'm left to wonder why they can't see how bizarre and irrational it all seems (from my point of view—not that I'm not seen as bizarre and strange by others!).

President Uchtdorf comments on these very kind of things, and then reminds:

It’s not that these worldly options don’t contain elements of truth—many of them do. Nevertheless, they all fall short of the lasting change we seek in our lives. After the excitement wears off, the hollowness remains as we look for the next new idea to unlock the secrets of happiness.

He continues:

In contrast, the gospel of Jesus Christ has the answers to all of our problems.

Instead of offering a way for a quick-fix, President Uchtdorf offers that the gospel is "a divine gift, the ultimate formula for happiness and success."

Whenever I hear of formulas (or formulae, if you prefer) like this, I try to develop an equation that lists (on the left) what is needed and (on the right) what I can expect.

Some of the left-hand side elements of such an equation are: hear and act on the truths of the gospel, repent, and make and keep covenants.

The right-hand side results include: increased faith, illumination
from the light of Christ, and becoming peacemakers.

We can take the formula analogy one step further and discuss reaction times (as in chemistry). President Uchtdorf is clear that the way of discipleship is not a fast reaction; he said "it is not a quick fix or an overnight cure." Nevertheless, the reaction is, apparently, similar a chemical reaction because it produces light and heat (see D&C 88:6-13 [light] and D&C 9:8 [heat]).

"Discipleship is a journey," a gradual process.

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.

We're often reminded that we live in an interesting and precarious time. I want to remember that "the gospel is the way of discipleship" and not fall into the traps of quick-fixes or other worldly options.

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 always the right time to walk in His way. It is never too late.

1 thought:

Maryann said...

I really love that message, and it reminds me that I just need to keep pressing forward doing the best I can.