Friday, June 9, 2017

Elder Neil L. Andersen on our relationship to Christ

Elder Neil L. Andersen (born August 9, 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 1993, and was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2009.
"Jesus asked the Pharisees, 'What think ye of Christ?' (Matthew 22:42.) In the final assessment, our personal discipleship will not be judged by friends or foes. Rather, as Paul said, 'We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.' (Romans 14:10.) At that day the important question for each of us will be, 'What thinks Christ of me?'
"Even with His love for all mankind, Jesus reprovingly referred to some around Him as hypocrites, fools, and workers of iniquity. He approvingly called others children of the kingdom and the light of the world. He disapprovingly referred to some as blinded and unfruitful. He commended others as pure in heart and hungering after righteousness. He lamented that some were faithless and of the world, but others He esteemed as chosen, disciples, friends. And so we each ask, 'What thinks Christ of me?' ...
"In this turbulent environment, we rejoice in being disciples of Jesus Christ. We see the Lord's hand all around us. Our destination is beautifully set before us. 'This is life eternal,' Jesus prayed, 'that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.' (John 17:3.) Being a disciple in these days of destiny will be a badge of honor throughout the eternities."
- Neil L. Andersen, "What Thinks Christ of Me?", Ensign, May 2012, p. 111
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

It's very important for each of us to consider, as Jesus asked of the Pharisees, "What think ye of Christ?" What we truly think of Him will determine how closely we follow Him and emulate His life and characteristics.

The corollary question Elder Andersen suggests we ponder is also profound: "What thinks Christ of me?" Of course, we do know that He loves each one of us and longs to help us succeed; but He also knows us each intimately and personally, and understands our hearts and motivations. So what He thinks of us is partly based on our personal righteousness, on our willingness to follow the commandments and serve Him humbly and unselfishly.

In the beautiful passage from His great intercessory prayer, Jesus teaches us that eternal life consists in knowing the Father and the Son. If we truly believe that to know Them is to love and follow Them, then the path of discipleship becomes clear for us and we will "rejoice in being disciples of Jesus Christ."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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