Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Elder D. Todd Christofferson on finding our lives in faithful discipleship

Elder D. Todd Christofferson (b. January 24, 1945) was called to the Seventy in 1993, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2008.
"Finding our life by losing it for His sake and the gospel’s entails a willingness to make our discipleship open and public: 'Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.' (Mark 8:38.)
"Elsewhere in Matthew, we find a companion statement:
"'Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
"'But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.' (Matthew 10:34–38.)
"One obvious and rather sobering meaning of losing your life by confessing Christ is to lose it literally, physically, in sustaining and defending your belief in Him....
"The more common (and sometimes more difficult) application of the Savior’s teaching, however, has to do with how we live day by day. It concerns the words we speak, the example we set. Our lives should be a confession of Christ, and together with our words testify of our faith in and devotion to Him. And this testimony must be stoutly defended in the face of ridicule, discrimination, or defamation on the part of those who oppose Him 'in this adulterous and sinful generation.'"
D. Todd Christofferson, "Saving Your Life,"  CES Devotional, September 14, 2014
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

On occasion, people in this world have been given the choice to deny their faith and belief in God or to lose their life if they won't. Many have become martyrs for their Christian faith. Elder Christofferson discusses that interpretation; then goes a step further, to discuss how we can "lose our life" in the way we live it from day to day:

This is a high standard: "Our lives should be a confession of Christ, and together with our words testify of our faith in and devotion to Him." Our example and our testimony need to shine brightly, regardless of what is happening around us. In effect we are losing the worldliness and selfishness, and finding something far better. In that process we discover a richness and fulfillment of joy on the path of discipleship. Elder Christofferson goes on to explain that when we "lose one’s life in Christ and His gospel [we] thereby find authentic (and eventually eternal) life."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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