Wednesday, September 9, 2009

2 Nephi 31

What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? The word disciple is from the Latin discipulus (pupil) which is from discere, to learn. But just learning is not enough to qualify someone for true discipleship.

10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?

If we are going to follow Him, we have to be willing to conform our lives to His teachings to the greatest extent possible. We'll never be perfect in following Him, and life is a school where we learn from our mistakes. But no one who professes to love Jesus Christ would live out their daily lives in a way contrary to His example and teachings. Discipleship is more than declaration of faith. Sunday Christians hear the word of God, but they are not doers of the word. The Savior's teachings are meant to be transformative. In one of his first addresses in General Conference (October 1985) as president of the church, Ezra Taft Benson said:

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature. "

Nephi further declared:

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

We should learn and then live what we have learned. It is in attempting to live the principles that He taught that we become refined and access the full measure of His grace and blessings of peace in our lives.

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