Thursday, July 12, 2018

Elder David A. Bednar on what we do and what we are

Elder David A. Bednar (born June 15, 1952) was serving as the president of BYU–Idaho when he was called and sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2004.
"The thirteenth article of faith begins, 'We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.' It is significant to me that the first trait listed in this inspired summary of basic Christian virtues is honesty. Indeed, the very fountain and foundation of our daily discipleship are integrity and honesty.
"People of integrity and honesty not only practice what they preach, they are what they preach. And the Savior stands as the finest example. He said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me' (John 14:6). It is not just that the Son of God brought light into a darkened and fallen world; He is the Light (see 3 Ne. 11:11). It is not just that our Savior showed us the way; He is the Way. It is not just that Christ made the resurrection available; He is the Resurrection (see John 11:25). And it is not just that Jesus of Nazareth restored the truth and taught the truth; He is the Truth."
- David A. Bednar, "Be Honest," BYU-Idaho devotional September 10, 2002; see New Era October 2005, p. 7
Click here to read the full talk

Virtues such as honesty seem so basic and fundamental to Christian discipleship. And on the surface, perhaps in our interactions with others, we seem to do a fairly good job. But Elder Bednar is talking about a more in-depth view of that virtue and its companion integrity, relating to the deeper motivations and subtleties of our behavior and actions.

So in this interpretation, integrity relates more to not just what we do, but what we are in our internal and spiritual motivations. And what we are will then define what we do.

The Savior is the premiere example; it's not just what He did, but what He is that demonstrate the power of His life and message. As our hearts and motivations become pure and clarified, we will realize how much of our discipleship depends on that same principle.

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

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