Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Way of the Master

The following is a clip from a talk given by one of my favorite Apostles, President Thomas S. Monson. I feel it very appropriate for the Christmas Season because it encourages people to give the very best gift and that is a life dedicated to following Jesus Christ.

Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “The Way of the Master,” Ensign, May 1996, 50 to view the full Talk click on this link

“Two questions, spoken at an earlier time, roll as thunder to the ears of each of us: “What think ye of Christ?” 13 and “What shall [we] do … with Jesus?” 14 I proffer these three suggestions:

1. Learn of Him. “Learn of me,” He pleaded, “for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” 15

2. Believe in Him. The writer of the proverb urged: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” 16 His is the only name under heaven whereby we might be saved.

3. Follow Him. He brought reality to the word compassion. He showed us the way. He marked the path we should follow. Selfless service characterized His life.

By learning of Him, by believing in Him, by following Him, there is the capacity to become like Him. The countenance can change, the heart can be softened, the step can be quickened, the outlook enhanced. Life becomes what it should become. Change is at times imperceptible, but it does take place.

The Savior’s entire ministry exemplified love of neighbor, the second part of that lesson given to the inquiring lawyer—spoken of as the “royal law.” 17
A blind man healed, the daughter of Jairus raised, and the lepers cleansed—all were neighbors of Jesus. Neighbor also was the woman at the well. He, the perfect man, standing before a confessed sinner, extended a hand. She was the traveler; He was the good Samaritan. And so the caravan of His kindness continued.

What about our time and place? Do neighbors await our love, our kindness, our help?...

…If we truly seek our Lord and Savior, we shall surely find Him. He may come to us as one unknown, without a name, as of old by the lakeside He came to those men who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same words, “Follow thou me,” 20 and sets us to the tasks which He has to fulfill for our time. He commands, and to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and they shall learn in their own experience who He is….

He who taught us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and with all our souls, and with all our strength, and with all our minds, and our neighbors as ourselves, is a Teacher of truth—but He is more than a teacher. He is the Exemplar of the perfect life—but He is more than an exemplar. He is the Great Physician—but He is more than a physician. He is the literal Savior of the world, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One of Israel, even the risen Lord, who declared: “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. … I am the light and the life of the world.” 23 “I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.” 24

…as His witness, I testify to you that He lives and that through Him, we too shall live. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

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