“The Commitment to Accomplish What God Expects of Us”
Camila Guth Schick
Our school’s mission is to develop capable and trusted disciples of Jesus Christ. The time in my life that I strongly felt I was a capable and trusted disciple of Jesus Christ was during my full-time missionary service in Chile. I believe the reason is because I was sincerely committed to best accomplish what God expected from me when working in His kingdom. In my daily life, I often feel God’s trust when He places people in my way, giving me opportunities to serve and help them. It brings me joy to realize that I am capable of lifting others and following the promptings of the Spirit to know what to do.
I learned that to be a capable disciple of Christ I need to have the skills and the knowledge that are necessary to do His will. A good way to understand this principle, in my opinion, is to use the “if… then…” tool. If I repent, then I can invite others to repent. If I learn Spanish, then I can teach the people in Chile. If I study Human Resources Management at LDS Business College, then I can help employers and employees to fulfill their goals in harmony. I have learned that we cannot do what we are not capable of doing. The key is to ask God what He needs of us, then to make a personal decision and become a capable disciple of Him. I testify that when we make that decision, we will hear God inviting us to act, and we need to be ready to answer like Samuel did: “Here am I” (1 Samuel 3:4).
President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “The Lord would want you to be successful. He would. You are His sons and His daughters. He has the same kind of love and ambition for you that your earthly parents have. They want you to do well and you can do it.”
When I was 7-years-old, I participated in a tennis tournament. I played the first game and it was bad; I lost with not even a remote chance of winning. After that game, my dad, who was watching and cheering up for me, took me to the side and told me he was going to help me win that tournament. He practiced with me during the time I had between that game and the next one. He reminded me how to serve the ball and how to focus on the game. I knew my dad believed in me; he could teach me how to win. I went to the next game, and by the end of the day, I took the first-place trophy home. That experience helped me understand better the influence of a loving father. Our Heavenly Father teaches us in similar ways and in much more meaningful manners. I say, like Paul from the Old Testament said: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
During my second semester at LDSBC, I participated in the Interpersonal Communications class; during that semester I realized I was really failing at listening to people and making them feel heard and validated. I made a personal goal to listen better. I practiced that for many weeks; those who know me know that I love to talk, so being quiet and listening can be challenging for me. I prayed many times asking God to help me develop that talent. A couple months later, I was leaving work to go to school, as I walked through the lobby of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, I saw one of my classmates and walked in her direction to greet her. As she looked up to me, she started crying. I knew that my Heavenly Father was trusting me to listen and lift her up. At that moment, I felt that I could listen to her. We talked, we listened to each other, we shared personal experiences, we cried and had lunch together. I cherish that experience in my heart.
When I think that something is too hard, or that I am not capable of doing something, when I think that I cannot accomplish any more, I like to remember that becoming a capable and trusted disciple of Christ is not something we do alone, no one has ever done it alone. Just as He walked side-by-side with His disciples in the New Testament and guided them, He walks and guides us. We need to believe that we are capable and that it is possible because we are doing it with Him. We need to be sincerely committed to best accomplish what God expects from us when working in His kingdom, when we do so, He has promised: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88). I know that promise to be true, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
"Capable and Trusted Disciples of Christ”
What does it mean to be a capable and trusted disciple of Jesus Christ? As a child, I grew up with the misunderstanding that Apostles and disciples were the exact same thing. As you can imagine, this caused a great deal of confusion to me when the various primary presidents in my different wards would teach us that we all needed to be disciples of Christ...when there were always well over twelve of us there. I have since learned that there is a difference between the two. Though it is unlikely that we will each be called to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, each of us has been invited and called to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The Savior Himself personally invited you to be His disciple when he beckoned, "Come Follow Me" (1).
In 2017, Elder Robert D. Hales taught, "A disciple is one who has been baptized and is willing to take upon him or her the name of our Savior and follow Him." He continues, "A disciple strives to become as He is by keeping His commandments in mortality, much the same as an apprentice to become like his or her master" (2). This is what discipleship is, but do we understand what it means to be capable and trusted?
Capability refers to the capacity or ability of an individual. For example, "Do you have the capacity to assume more responsibility?," or "Do you have the abilities and skills to solve the problems you're presented with?"
When I think of trustworthiness, I think of integrity. When defining integrity, Elder D. Todd Christofferson said the following: "Integrity means being truthful, but it also means accepting responsibility and honoring commitments and covenants” (3).
So, being capable and trusted could be described as having the capacity to assume responsibility or as the ability to honor covenants and commitments.
Our capability and trustworthiness as a disciple of Jesus Christ is, in large part, determined by our willingness and consistency in keeping the commandments of God. As we obey the commandments, we will receive all the blessings that are predicated, avoid the awful chains that the adversary wishes to ensnare us with and are ultimately choosing liberty and eternal life through the great Mediator of all men (4). Those who keep the commandments of God will always be more capable than those who do not. And, like the parable of the talents, as we show the Lord that we are good and faithful in these things, He will know that He can trust us with greater things.
Discipleship does not ensure a care-free life. It requires us to "take up His cross daily and follow [Him]" (5). In a world full of distractions and sin, we cannot idly wander and hope to honor our commitment to Christ. As Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf explains, "Discipleship requires our willingness to swim upstream when needed" (6). It requires effort.
Though the path of discipleship may not be the easiest route in life, I continue to echo Elder Uchtdorf in promising:
- Your life will be better.
- God will use you to make the lives of others better.
- You will see great progress in your life, in ways you could never imagine.
- Angels will prepare the way before you.
- And doors that seem shut will open (6).
I testify that as I have made the personal choice to follow Jesus Christ, keeping His commandments, and doing what He would have me do, I have felt the Spirit more in my life, I have accomplished more with my life, and I have gotten to know my Savior on a more personal and intimate level. I know that the Savior loves each and every one of us and wants each of us to follow Him and be His disciples. Of this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
“The Real Joy, the Real Peace”
Sometimes I feel the Spirit of God in the temple, while reading the scriptures or while praying, but sometimes when the load is too heavy, I’m prompted to ask God, “Where is God? Why does He not stretch forth His hands as He did in ancient times?"
One night, when I tried to seek comfort from a picture of Jesus Christ, I looked at the portrait of the Savior and said, “You are just a picture here, but you are more than a picture because you are the Son of God.”
Working with God transforms our nature to endure the oppositions of life. Another night, I pondered why I was sometimes happy and sometimes felt peace. When I woke up early the next morning, I read a compelling sentence in Doctrine & Covenants 36:101 which said, "We might not find joy in this world, but in Jesus Christ, our joy is full."
So, what is joy?
The story of President Brigham Young urging members to rejoice even during their hard times inspired me to write a poem about how we can find joy.
“The only thing that He knows is that we can find joy through our sorrows
like the pioneers of the ancient day,
we can still rejoice and pray;
we can be free; we can be happy
even though how uncertain the road might be.
As Paul said, ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or a test?’
Shall death or misery
Shall pain or victory?
Because His love is mightier than the waves of the sea,
He asked us to serve our community.
I know that Heavenly Father will provide us with multiple blessings if we follow His Son and His teachings.
I know that He is praying,
and I know He knows what He is doing
because He has loved us from the beginning.
I know that He will make us free
even from the wounds that we cannot see.
Because He is our Master, our true friend,
He understands, He comprehends.
The Holy Ghost will help us know that
communication with Heaven will help us to grow.”
Brothers and sisters, we can be happy like the pioneers of old. If our life is under hard circumstances, I know that if we center our peace in Jesus Christ, we can still find hope because the Holy Ghost is there, our true friend, who will never leave us alone with our mistakes.
I also testify that Jesus Christ is our best friend because He will tell us who we really are. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
- Hymn, Come Follow Me
- Becoming a Disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ - Elder Robert D. Hales April 2017 General Conference
- Let Us Be Men - Elder D. Todd Christofferson October 2006 General Conference
- 2nd Nephi 2:27
- Luke 9:23
- A Yearning For Home - Elder Uchtdorf October 2017 General Conference
Devotionals are streamed online on the Church's website (https://ldsbc.in/devotional) each Tuesday at 11:15 a.m.