Monday, April 9, 2018

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf on the blessings of following the Savior

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He served as second counselor in the First Presidency from 2008 to 2018.
"In a figurative sense, we too are invited to 'behold the man.' ... So, when you ponder the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, what do you see?
"Those who find a way to truly behold the Man find the doorway to life’s greatest joys and the balm to life’s most demanding despairs.
"So, when you are encompassed by sorrows and grief, behold the Man.
"When you feel lost or forgotten, behold the Man.
"When you are despairing, deserted, doubting, damaged, or defeated, behold the Man.
"He will comfort you.
"He will heal you and give meaning to your journey. He will pour out His Spirit and fill your heart with exceeding joy. (See Mosiah 4:20.)
"He gives 'power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.' (Isaiah 40:29.)
"When we truly behold the Man, we learn of Him and seek to align our lives with Him. We repent and strive to refine our natures and daily grow a little closer to Him. We trust Him. We show our love for Him by keeping His commandments and by living up to our sacred covenants.
"In other words, we become His disciples.
"His refining light saturates our souls. His grace uplifts us. Our burdens are lightened, our peace deepened. When we truly behold the Man, we have the promise of a blessed future that inspires and upholds us through the bends and bumps in life’s journey. Looking back, we will recognize that there is a divine pattern, that the dots really connect."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Behold the Man!", General Conference April 2018
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The New Testament records the incident when Jesus was was brought before Pilate; the Roman prefect questioned him but could find no fault in him. Struggling to know how to resolve the situation in the midst of the demands of the Jewish Sanhedrin for crucifixion, Pilate had Jesus scourged thinking that they might be satisfied. Then displaying Jesus before them, he uttered the unforgettable phrase, "Behold the man." (See John 19:1–5.)

Elder Uchtdorf borrowed that language to apply to our time and situation: in what ways do we "behold the man" of Jesus Christ as we ponder His life and ministry? How do we think of Him, how do we allow Him to influence and bless us? He suggests that when we truly learn to behold Him properly, our life can be deeply blessed:

Power comes when we "truly behold the Man" as we feel the desire to "align our lives with Him" in obedience and spirit, and become His disciples. I love that thought that "His refining light saturates our souls. His grace uplifts us." Truly, there is wondrous power and peace in that path of true discipleship!

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

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