Monday, March 18, 2019

Elder David A. Bednar on seeking a Christlike character

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.
"We can in mortality seek to be blessed with and develop essential elements of a Christlike character. Indeed, it is possible for us as mortals to strive in righteousness to receive the spiritual gifts associated with the capacity to reach outward and appropriately respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us. We cannot obtain such a capacity through sheer willpower or personal determination. Rather, we are dependent upon and in need of 'the merits, mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah' (2 Nephi 2:8). But 'line upon line, precept upon precept' (2 Nephi 28:30) and 'in [the] process of time' (Moses 7:21), we are enabled to reach outward when the natural tendency is for us to turn inward.
"It is interesting to me that one of the central elements of the word character is created by the letters A, C, and T. As we already have seen in the examples of Christ's character from the New Testament, the nature and consistency of how one acts reveals in a powerful way his or her true character. In the case of Christ, he is described as one '. . . who went about doing good' (Acts 10:38)."
- David A. Bednar, "The Character of Christ," BYU-Idaho Religion Symposium, January 25, 2003
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Bednar delivered this address after hearing Elder Neal A. Maxwell teach, "There would have been no Atonement except for the character of Christ." He was led to ponder the character of Christ and how we can be blessed as we come to understand it. As we humbly and sincerely see the spiritual gifts that will allow us to emulate Him, we will be deeply blessed and enhanced through His grace.

Elder Bednar points out that it becomes key for us to act in accordance with the principles we have learned, in seeking His character. Like Him, we should "go about doing good."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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