Elder Scott D. Whiting, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday’s devotional address. He spoke about the eternal significance of deepening our discipleship and following the Savior.
Elder Whiting taught that in order to stay on the path of discipleship, we must learn to love and follow Christ. Although our lives will not always be easy even if we follow Christ, the difficulties we face will help strengthen and protect us from the adversary.
As one way to show discipleship, Whiting invited all to look to support others this holiday season when many have the tendency to look inward.
“As we focus outwardly, we come to know our Savior more fully because we are beginning to think and act as He did,” said Elder Whiting.
He presented five important Christlike characteristics that will help us on our path to discipleship: obedience, endurance, awareness of those in need, willingness to serve and do good works and love towards one another.
Obedience to any commandment God has given can shape character and build faith. Elder Whiting pointed to the BYU Honor Code, although not a commandment, as an example of a commitment each student has made and should therefore live by.
“Personal integrity, demonstrated by being a man or woman of your word, is an important element of the law of obedience and is a means of deepening your discipleship,” Elder Whiting explained.
Enduring along the path of discipleship will help keep us afloat during challenging times.
Endurance is not a one-time action but rather something we must work at throughout our lives; it is continuing to move forward and is a key component of the doctrine of Christ.
3. Remember those in need
The scriptures teach disciples of Christ to always remember the poor and needy. This includes helping those who are poor in physical or spiritual matters.
Elder Whiting acknowledged that many students may be feeling they are the ones in need of help. “Even as you struggle through school, you can help ease the burdens of others through service and sacrifice,” he encouraged. “It is not the amount that you contribute that matters; it is the sacrifice you give that invites the Lord’s blessings into your life.”
4. Service and good works
Once we are aware of others who need our help, doing service for them is a great way to show our love and commitment to our Savior. Elder Whiting suggests JustServe initiatives as a great place to look to serve.
5. Love one another
If we wish to be more like our Savior, we must love others as He did. “Your efforts to love your fellow men and women will be the hallmark of your efforts to deepen your discipleship,” said Elder Whiting.
Our discipleship should reflect our deep devotion to Jesus Christ and His gospel. Following this path will lead us safely home to our Father in Heaven.
“This Christmas season, I encourage you to give a gift to your Master Teacher—the gift of increased effort to allow God to prevail in your life and thereby to deepen your discipleship to Him,” Elder Whiting invited.