Beholding the Glory of Christ, and trying to be like Him

Ultimately, it will all work outLet us follow the Son of God in all ways and in all walks of life. Let us make him our exemplar and our guide. We should at every opportunity ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” and then be more courageous to act upon the answer. We must follow Christ, in the best sense of that word. We must be about his work as he was about his Father’s. . . . To the extent that our mortal powers permit, we should make every effort to become like Christ—the one perfect and sinless example this world has ever seen.

His beloved disciple John often said of Christ, “We beheld his glory” (John 1:14). They observed the Savior’s perfect life as he worked and taught and prayed. So, too, ought we to “behold his glory” in every way we can.

We must know Christ better than we know him; we must remember him more often than we remember him; we must serve him more valiantly than we serve him. Then we will drink water springing up unto eternal life and will eat the bread of life.

What manner of men and women ought we to be? Even as he is.

Howard W. Hunter, “What Manner of Men Ought Ye to Be?”, April General Conference, 1994

The Savior’s only motivation was to help people

[Christ] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.

Philippians 2:7

The Savior’s only motivation was to help people.

Henry B. Eyring, “Where Is the Pavilion?“, October General Conference, 2012

 

Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Paul taught the Corinthians that while we “walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.” The war we have is against “imaginations, and every thigh thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).  Commenting on this passage, Mathew Henry (1662-1714) wrote of the opposition that is made “against the gospel by the powers of sin and Satan in the hearts of men.”

Ignorance, prejudices, beloved lusts, are Satan’s strong-holds in the souls of some; vain imaginations, carnal reasonings, and high thoughts, or proud conceits, in others, exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, that is, by these ways the devil endeavours to keep men from faith and obedience to the gospel, and secures his possession of the hearts of men, as his own house or property. (Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible, 2 Cor. IX)

How do we gain power over these vain imaginations, these reasonings disconnected from the mind of God, this prideful conceit? Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians was to  “[bring] into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). The Lord Himself said to Joseph Smith, “Look unto me in every thought” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36). No wonder in partaking of the sacrament we covenant to always remember Him.

David O. McKay said, “That man is most truly great who is most Christlike. What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are, will largely determine what your acts will be. … By choosing him as our ideal, we create within ourselves a desire to be like him, to have fellowship with him” (Conference Report, Apr. 1951, 93, 98).

 

Operating from a base of fixed principles

Jesus knew who he was and why he was here on this planet. That meant he could lead from strength rather than from uncertainty or weakness.

Jesus operated from a base of fixed principles or truths rather than making up the rules as he went along. Thus, his leadership style was not only correct, but also constant. So many secular leaders today are like chameleons; they change their hues and views to fit the situation—which only tends to confuse associates and followers who cannot be certain what course is being pursued. Those who cling to power at the expense of principle often end up doing almost anything to perpetuate their power.

Spencer W. Kimball, “Jesus: The Perfect Leader,” Ensign, August 1979

The holy, harmless, undefiled Messiah

I testify of him, the Redeemer of the world and Master of us all. He is the Only Begotten Son of the living God, who has exalted that son’s name over every other, and has given him principality, power, might, and dominion at his right hand in the heavenly place. We esteem this Messiah to be holy, harmless, undefiled—the bearer of unchangeable priesthood (see Heb. 7:24, 26). He is the anchor to our souls and our high priest of promise. He is our God of good things to come. In time and in eternity—and surely in striving to fulfill this new responsibility which has come to me—I shall forever be grateful for his promise: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). I thank him for that blessing upon us all. . .

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Miracles of the Restoration,” 1994 October General Conference

Burnishing more brightly the Savior’s name

As His followers, we cannot do a mean or shoddy or ungracious thing without tarnishing His image. Nor can we do a good and gracious and generous act without burnishing more brightly the symbol of Him whose name we have taken upon ourselves. And so our lives must become a meaningful expression, the symbol of our declaration of our testimony of the Living Christ, the Eternal Son of the Living God.

Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Symbol of Our Faith,” Ensign, April 2005

Rededicating ourselves to Christ, over and over and over

The Lord has said, “I am the Almighty.” “I am Jesus Christ.” “I am Jehovah.” He is the one we worship. We sing about him in nearly every song. We pray about him in all our prayers. We talk about him in all our meetings. We love him, and we adore him. And we promise and rededicate ourselves over and over and over that we will from this moment forth live nearer to him and to his promises and to the blessings which he has given us.

Spencer W. Kimball, “The Privilege of Holding the Priesthood,” October General Conference, 1975

All His judgments are just

Alma 12:15 is a powerful scripture that points us forward to the time of the judgment, when we will stand before the Lord

in his glory,
and in his power,
and in his might, majesty and dominion,

and acknowledge

this is a key word; each of us will submit, in our minds and hearts and with our mouths, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Savior of all men. Acknowledgement is submission, confession, and acceptation.

that all his judgments are just;

every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just. (Mosiah 16:1)

that he is just in all his works, and
that he is merciful unto the children of men, and
that he has all power to save every man

The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; (Mosiah 16:1)

that believeth on his name and
bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.

This is the commandment John the Baptist gave as he prepared the way of the Savior: “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.” (Matthew 3:8)

I love the way this scripture teaches us the true nature of Christ, and of His Father. He is a being of glory, power and majesty; He is just in every way, and has all power to save “every man.”

Nephi reminds us that, “He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.” (2 Nephi 26:24)

In a world full of injustice, sorrow, pain, and trial, it is critical to remember that one day, “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God…” Those who “live without God in the world” will confess “that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye.” (Mosiah 27:31)

Isaiah is right: “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me….” (Isaiah 50:7-8)

Postscript:

Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught,

Further drama lies ahead for the faithful, including one day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, and when all will acknowledge that God is God, and that He is perfect in His justice and mercy (see Mosiah 27:31; Mosiah 16:1; Alma 12:15). Those who love the Lord will inherit His celestial kingdom, where eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, such things as the Lord hath prepared for them (see 1 Cor. 2:9).
(Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel’,” Ensign, May 1998, 37)

Having faith in the character of the Savior

  President Young observed that real faith requires faith in the Savior’s character, in His Atonement, and in the plan of salvation (in Journal of Discourses, 13:56). The Savior’s character necessarily underwrote His remarkable Atonement. Without His sublime character there could have been no sublime Atonement! His character is such that He went forth “suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” (Alma 7:11), yet He gave temptations “no heed” (D&C 20:22).

C. S. Lewis has said that only those who resist temptation really understand the power of temptation. Because Jesus resisted it perfectly, He understood temptation perfectly; hence He can help us. (See Mere Christianity [1952], 124–25.) The fact that He was dismissive of temptation and gave it “no heed” reveals His marvelous character, which we are to emulate (see 3 Ne. 12:48; 3 Ne. 27:27).

Jesus Christ, who by far suffered the most, has the most compassion—for all of us who suffer so much less. Moreover, He who suffered the most has no self-pity! Even as He endured the enormous suffering associated with the Atonement, He reached out to others in their much lesser suffering. Consider how, in Gethsemane, Jesus, who had just bled at every pore, nevertheless restored an assailant’s severed ear which, given Jesus’ own agony, He might not have noticed! (see Luke 22:50–51).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Enduring Well,” Liahona, Apr 1999, 10

Our security is in our Heavenly Father and His Son

Your security is in God your Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. As one of His Apostles authorized to bear witness of Him, I solemnly testify that I know that the Savior lives, that He is a resurrected, glorified personage of perfect love. He is your hope, your Mediator, your Redeemer. Through obedience, let Him guide you to peace and happiness amid increased evil in the world.

Richard G. Scott, “How to Live Well amid Increasing Evil, Ensign, May 2004, 102