THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS – October 2020

“Perfect worship is emulation. We honor those whom we imitate. The most perfect way of worship is to be holy as Jehovah is holy.”

Bruce R McConkie

“As we ponder having been commanded by Jesus to become like Him, we see that our present circumstance is one in which we are not necessarily wicked, but, rather, is one in which we are so half-hearted and so lacking in enthusiasm for His cause—which is our cause, too! We extol but seldom emulate Him.”

Neal A Maxwell

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

Matthew 5:48

How do I better worship Him? How do I better emulate Him? How do I become like Him – a perfectly loving, all seeing, omnipotent being of light and of might and of purity and of perfection? How do I even start to obey this daunting command?

From a place of love, and one step at a time.

“The commandment to be like Him is not intended to make you feel guilty, unworthy, or unloved. Our entire mortal experience is about progression, trying, failing, and succeeding. As much as my wife and I may have wished that we could close our eyes and magically transport ourselves to the (far distant) summit (of Mt Fugi), that is not what life is about.”

How do I climb a mountain? One step at a time. How do I heal relationships? One (sometimes uncomfortable) step at a time. How do I create a life for myself and for my family? One step at a time. How do I become who it is that I want to become, like my Savior? One step at a time.

Then where do I start?

“Those of us who are brave might consider asking a trusted family member, spouse, friend, or spiritual leader what attribute of Jesus Christ we are in need of—and we may need to brace ourselves for the response! Sometimes we see ourselves with distorted fun-house mirrors that show us either much more round or much more lean than we really are.”

I decided that I was up to this task – I asked Bryant which attribute of Jesus Christ I was lacking. After thinking for a few minutes (I was really sweating those few minutes) he said to me, If, as the prophet says, the Lord loves effort, then you are doing exactly what you should be doing.

That felt nice.

But it didn’t help me understand where to start my journey.

“It is vital that we also ask our loving Heavenly Father what we are in need of and where we should focus our efforts. He has a perfect view of us and will lovingly show us our weakness.”

We’ve been given resources to help us better understand the Lord’s attributes, and to better detect where we are lacking. One of those resources is Preach My Gospel. There is an entire section on developing Christ-like attributes:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/how-do-i-develop-christlike-attributes?lang=eng&para=title12#title12

For my personal study this week, I would like to look over this section of the manual again, and honestly assess where I am right now. And then I want to repent – to change my view of myself, of God, of the world around me and how I’m showing up in the world. I will record my experiences and what I am learning, as I study with an attribute in mind.

“By focusing deeply on one needed attribute, as you progress in obtaining that attribute, other attributes begin to accrue to you. Can someone who is focusing deeply on charity not increase in love and humility? Can someone who is focusing on obedience not gain greater diligence and hope? Your significant efforts to gain one attribute become the tide that raises all boats in the harbor.

…As I study with one of His attributes deep in my mind, the scriptures become new as I see examples of this attribute in His teachings, His ministry, and His disciples. My eye also becomes more focused on recognizing the attribute in others. I have observed wonderful individuals both within and without the Church who have attributes that emulate Him. They are powerful examples of how those attributes can be manifest in mere mortals through His loving grace.”

“All are under the directive to become like Him, just as Jesus Christ became like the Father… It is through this lens that lives should be lived, communications considered, and relationships fostered.”