Monday, December 7, 2015

Dieter F. Uchtdorf on the life of discipleship

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (b. 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"When we hear the transcendent truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, hope and faith begin to blossom inside of us (see Romans 10:17). 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....
"To uphold us in the desire to lead a purified and holy life, we are endowed with the baptism of fire—the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, a heavenly Comforter who accompanies and guides us as we walk in the path of righteousness.
"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.
"These are the first steps along the true way of life and fulfillment. This is the peaceable way of the follower of Jesus Christ."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Way of the Disciple," Ensign, May 2009, pp. 75-78
Click here to read the full talk

Moroni described Church members in his day as "peaceable followers of Christ" (Moro 7:3). As he discusses what it means to be a disciple of Christ, President Uchtdorf borrows Moroni's phrase and describes the process of a journey on that path. It begins as the "transcendent truths" of the gospel begin to blossom within a heart, and the person allows those feelings to grow and expand:

This process leads to a "baptism of fire" as the gift of the Holy Ghost brings purification and sanctification. And it results in a changed life. Once that transformation begins, the person is filled with God's Spirit, and is filled with desire to be a peacemaker and to reach out to his fellowmen everywhere with "merciful acts of kindness, forgiveness, grace, and long-suffering patience." What a glorious blessing to anticipate, and to work towards!

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