Like me, you will have noticed that being a true disciple of Christ is demanding; there are commandments to keep, meetings to attend, tithes and offerings to donate, service to be given, lessons to be prepared, personal goals to be achieved, scriptures to be studied, and faith in Christ to grow to name just a few expectations. Remember this truth; as we do these things the deeper our spiritual roots will go and the better we will be able to withstand the storms of life and stay true to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We often speak of self-reliance in the Philippines and too often think of that in just temporal terms but the self-reliance of greatest importance is spiritual in nature. Each of us must do all we can to look after ourselves, then our families and each other spiritually. Our personal prayers, daily scripture study, Church meeting attendance and covenant keeping are some of the means of caring for and ‘growing’ ourselves spiritually. When we are strong spiritually we are better able to assist others to grow spiritually. Christ taught us this lesson when he said to Peter, “And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32).
It is our opportunity to help another live the Gospel of Christ for are we not all our brother’s keeper? (Genesis 4:9) We are all at varying levels of spirituality but each of us has room for self-improvement and in a non-judgmental way to help others improve. The help you give may be an encouraging word, a needed smile or a plate of sticky rice delivered to a home. When we are truly converted our hearts turn to the needs of others and we seek after their welfare both physically and spiritually. (Enos 1:9)
It takes a humble heart to accept even kind correction but what a tremendous help it can be. While wandering aimlessly in the desert you would not begrudge receiving direction and yet when we are aimlessly wandering spiritually we sometimes resent the offer of help. Let us all be humble enough to accept the prompting to be better disciples of Christ. (D&C 112:10)
The Lord never intended for any of His spiritual children to be alone; by design there are others who can help us live His Gospel. Each of us has a Priesthood leader; when he teaches and we listen and apply we increase our level of conversion. I know that as I have listened and acted on the council of my Priesthood leaders my life has been enriched and I have been drawn nearer to God. In addition, caring parents help us to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as do youth leaders, Relief Society Presidents, class teachers, visiting and home teachers and quorum leaders. I am also grateful for the Light of Christ which “is given to every man, that he may know good from evil” (Moroni 7:16) which enlightens me. As a member of the Church I am also thankful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost to guide and help me to live Gospel teachings. None of us need feel alone in our effort to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let us go forward with faith and courage knowing that we will be strengthened along the way as we walk with others in living the Gospel of Christ.