Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf on the path of discipleship

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.
"If you hesitate in this adventure because you doubt your ability, remember that discipleship is not about doing things perfectly; it’s about doing things intentionally. It is your choices that show what you truly are, far more than your abilities.

"Even when you fail, you can choose not to give up, but rather discover your courage, press forward, and rise up. That is the great test of the journey.

"God knows that you are not perfect, that you will fail at times. God loves you no less when you struggle than when you triumph.

"Like a loving parent, He merely wants you to keep intentionally trying. Discipleship is like learning to play the piano. Perhaps all you can do at first is play a barely recognizable rendition of 'Chopsticks.' But if you continue practicing, the simple tunes will one day give way to wondrous sonatas, rhapsodies, and concertos.

"Now, that day may not come during this life, but it will come. All God asks is that you consciously keep striving."

- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Your Great Adventure," General Conference October 2019, Sunday morning

Elder Uchtdorf related highlights of the story of Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit in introducing the idea of a "great adventure." Our mortal journey is the adventure he speaks of, and the challenges and opportunities in this journey are regular and real. As we undertake this journey, Elder Uchtdorf reminded us that we must begin by inclining our heart to God, loving Him more deeply and fllowing His teachings and commandments. We don't have to be perfect in that endeavor; we just need to be determined and committed.

Discipleship, then, is that process of progressing gradually and steadily along our great adventure, learning to be more like the Master. Our emulation and adoration of Him naturally lead to lives devoted to serving as He did. A heart filled with the love of Christ naturally overflows in giving and blessing as it becomes more pure.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2020)

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