Friday, January 21, 2022

President Ezra Taft Benson on thinking Christlike thoughts

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1943, and served as the 13th President of the Church from 1985 until his death in 1994 at age 94.
"If our thoughts make us what we are, and we are to be like Christ, then we must think Christlike thoughts.
"Paul, en route to Damascus to persecute the Saints, saw a light from heaven and heard the voice of the Lord. Then Paul asked a simple question—and the persistent asking of the same question changed his life. 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' (Acts 9:6.) The persistent asking of that same question can also change your life. There is no greater question that you can ask in this world. 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' I challenge you to make that the uppermost question of your life.
"We are accountable for our thoughts and what we think about. Our thoughts should be on the Lord. We should think on Christ."
- Ezra Taft Benson, "Think on Christ," Ensign, March 1989, p. 2
Click here to read the full talk

This is a simple axiom: "If our thoughts make us what we are, and we are to be like Christ, then we must think Christlike thoughts." We might effectively reverse the conditional and say, "If we think Christlike thoughts, we will become like Christ because our thoughts make us what we are."

That is certainly the beginning of the process. The next insight comes as we ponder Paul's profound and faith-filled question as experienced his soul-changing conversion: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"

President Benson challenges us to make Paul's question "the uppermost question of [our] life." We should, in a spirit of constant humility and discipleship, be asking Him what He would have us do in life. The results of that kind of life will be astonishing. That certainly accelerates the process, helping us think most Christlike thoughts, and therefore progress much more rapidly on the path towards becoming Christlike ourselves.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
March 13, 2016

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