Sunday, May 4, 2008

Striving to be Like Him

I love the March special issue of the Ensign which features a portrait of Christ on the cover. The issue is all about Jesus Christ, including testimonies from General Authorities and from members all over the world. The issue is great to order (for only $1.50) and share with friends and family and potential investigators.

"Becoming a Witness of Christ" is a great article by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Seventy. This one part really touched me while I was reading it this morning:

"The central message of the apostles and prophets in all ages is the need to repent to receive a remission of sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Our own repentance bears testimony of Him and the power of His grace to pardon and cleanse us. We need not have achieved perfection for our witness to be valid so long as we are striving to conform our lives to the Savior's standard."

That last line is awesome! It is so easy for us to be hard on ourselves and get upset about every little mistake we make. It doesn't matter if we trip up once or twice or many times as long as we rely on the Atonement and make an effort to get back on track. The key word here is striving. Christ didn't say "I will only forgive you x number of times." He will always forgive you if you take the necessary steps to repentance. In Sunday School today we talked about experiencing a "mighty change of heart." I believe that even after this change of heart life is hard and temptations are ever-present. That's why it's the path that we are on that's important. We should always strive for perfection, but at the same time we have to realize that we will make mistakes and not get so caught up in the mistakes that we loose sight of the big picture.

To me, that's why it's important not to judge people. Everyone makes mistakes and has their own relationship with Heavenly Father. I try not to judge people for what they do or don't choose to do on Sunday or what movies they watch. The little decisions people make are their decisions and it is their journey, not mine. What really matters is if we are trying every day to be closer to the Savior's standard, and also realizing that is a day-by-day process that will continue throughout our lives. I say: check yourself often, see what you can remove from your life and what you're doing that's good, and keep on improving.

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