Sunday, July 10, 2011

Followers of Christ

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Followers of Christ, by Walter F. González
Of the Presidency of the Seventy

Have you ever been asked why you're different?

At the beginning of a new career in a new location provides many opportunities to meet new people. In my situation, I'm finding that almost everyone is nice! People go out of their way to welcome me, kindly answer my questions, and make sure I'm comfortable in my new surroundings. With so many things that can be used to separate and divide people, it's nice to be around so many that are happy to be helpful.

As I'm observing how wonderful others are, I can't help but wonder how I'm perceived? There have been numerous times when I've been told that I'm different—sometimes even in good ways!

In his talk, Elder González spoke of "two characteristics [that] can help us recognize to what extent we follow [Christ]. First, followers of Christ are loving people. Second, followers of Christ make and keep covenants."

Elder González points out that there are millions who are already doing the first item: being loving. It is important to be loving, and it's important to be loving for the right reasons; however, simply being loving isn't enough, and it's usually not enough to make us stand out.

I remember hearing about someone's response to an interesting question (full disclosure: I don't have the actual quote, so this is entirely hearsay): A visitor to Salt Lake City was struck by how happy and loving people were, but even more, the visitor asked what it was that made LDS (Mormon) women so beautiful. After some thought, the guide had an answer.

Here's an example of a beautiful LDS woman!

Before reading what I remember the answer being, what do you think? What makes loving LDS women—followers of Christ—so beautiful?

The answer from the quote without a source is covenants.

How does the making and keeping of sacred covenants make us (I'll include the men, too) beautiful? Elder González said:

I testify that we are happier when we follow the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we strive to follow Him, the blessings of heaven will come unto us. I know His promises will be fulfilled as we make and keep covenants and become true followers of Christ.

In addition to the increases in beauty found in being happy and loving people, followers of Christ benefit from having an extra light or purity that can sometimes be perceived (see Alma 5:14,26). This light is made brighter through making and keeping covenants.

(At least this has been what I've observed being married to a beautiful follower of Christ who is loving and keeps covenants.)

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