Monday, April 7, 2014

The Path of Discipleship

This amusing photo showed up on Pinterest
If you are one of the 15 million+ members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you probably will chuckle at the above photo.  If not, well, just trust me, we all love Elder Holland.

This past weekend marked the 184th General Conference of the Church, and I, for one, was glued to my TV all weekend, soaking up both the messages and the wonderful spirit that the proceedings brought into my home.

A life of discipleship may be difficult, but it is worth it, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught during his conference address on Saturday morning.

The Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah

I'd like to consider myself one of those disciples.  It's not always easy, as Elder Holland goes on to say.

“You will one day find yourself called upon to defend your faith or perhaps even endure some personal abuse simply because you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” he said. “Such moments will require both courage and courtesy on your part.”
In keeping with the Savior’s own experience, Elder Holland said “there has been a long history of rejection and a painfully high price paid by prophets and apostles, missionaries and members in every generation all those who have tried to honor God’s call to lift the human family to ‘a more excellent way.’”
There are costs of discipleship, but there are also great blessings, the apostle taught.
Jeffrey R. Holland, one of the Twelve Apostles
“You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school, or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled, or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion,” he said. “Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our ‘houses’ left unto us ‘desolate’ — desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods and desolate nations ... (see Matthew 23:37-38).

The iconic Salt Lake Temple
“In addition to teaching, encouraging and cheering people on — that is the pleasant part of discipleship — from time to time these same messengers are called upon to worry, to warn and sometimes just to weep — that is the painful part of discipleship,” he said. 
Unfortunately, messengers of divinely mandated commandments are often no more popular today than they were anciently, Elder Holland said.
“Sadly enough, my young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods and smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds. Talk about man creating God in his own image! Sometimes — and this seems the greatest irony of all — these folks invoke the name of Jesus as one who was this kind of ‘comfortable’ God. Really?”

Just as Christ understood and taught, individuals must remember — even though many in the modern culture seem to forget — that there is a crucial difference between the commandment to forgive sin, which Christ had an infinite capacity to do, and the warning against condoning it, which He never ever did even once. That pure Christlike love flowing from true righteousness can change the world because righteousness accompanies it, he said.
“Now be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t have it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them.

Synopsis of Elder Holland's talk from the Deseret News

1 comment:

Marybeth said...

Love his talk! Thank you for posting this!