Brother Douglas D. Holmes, First Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared a message on growing more diligent and joyful by focusing on the doctrine of Jesus Christ at this week's BYU Devotional.
Holmes began his address by highlighting the importance of understanding an individual's divine identity. He counseled that even though members of the Church constantly use the phrase "I am a child of God," sometimes the valuable truth of the phrase is overlooked or forgotten.
"Knowing what it means to be a child of God requires us to come to know God," said Holmes. "Only as God is revealed to us through the Holy Ghost can we comprehend the inheritance that can be ours as His children. As we come to know God, we begin to really know ourselves and our potential."
After understanding our divine parentage, the next step in understanding who we are involves understanding the plan of salvation and the corresponding fall from grace, according to Holmes.
"When we understand we are children of 'the most High God,' but also realize we have made choices that prevent us from returning home, we understand how desperately we need Christ to regain what we have lost," Holmes said. "God has provided a Savior who performed a perfect Atonement and a path for us to return home and receive all that He has."
Holmes focused on each part of the doctrine of Christ, and how we can fully access the Atonement through each part of the process:
Faith and Repentance
Faith in Jesus Christ always leads to repentance.
"The more we learn of Christ – His character, perfections and attributes – the more we trust Him and the more willing we are to give up our own agenda for His," Holmes said. "We offer a broken heart to receive a new heart. Turning to Christ and following Him more diligently is the essence of repentance."
Ordinances and the Gift of the Holy Ghost
Repentance is complete when an individual makes covenants with God through ordinances. These covenants can lead an individual to desire the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
"The Holy Ghost also imparts to us the fruits and gifts of the Spirit, the attributes and powers of God," Holmes said. "We need to remember that Christ is the fountain of all righteousness and He will impart that righteousness to us through the Holy Ghost."
Enduring to the End and the Word
Individuals change gradually as they continually follow each step of the doctrine of Christ, using the word of God for hope and motivation to keep moving forward.
"We are changed degree by degree in the process of time as we grow in faith, repent, participate in ordinances and receive ever greater endowments of the Spirit in our life," said Holmes. "Like the fuel in our vehicles or the carbohydrates in our bodies, we need constant nourishment by the word of God, the iron rod, to move us along the path."
If you missed Brother Holmes' remarks, the Devotional can be streamed on BYUtv.org and will be archived on speeches.byu.edu.
Next Forum: Susan Cain, author and TED speaker
The next BYU Forum address will be given by Susan Cain, author and TED speaker, on Tuesday, January 24, at 11:05 a.m., in the Marriott Center.