At some point in our lives we look up to someone who inspires us to live the way we should live. Sometimes we see good in them and try to pattern our lives after theirs. Sometimes we wish we could have a life like that of a promising athlete, a prominent leader, a close friend or a good neighbor. In other words, we all want to have our own role model.
THE SAVIOR IS OUR GREATEST EXEMPLAR
When looking for a life to emulate, however, we can be reminded of a Primary song:
I’m trying to be like Jesus
I’m following in His ways
I’m trying to love as He did
In all that I do and say…
Love one another as Jesus loves you
Try to show kindness in all that you do
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought
For these are the things Jesus taught.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught:
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5: 14-16)
The Savior has shown the way. He has set the perfect example, and He commands us to become as He is. Sharing our light is something we can do all of our lives and it’s something we need to begin while we are young.
To share the light with others is to reflect the Savior’s light in our own lives. Paul, in his epistle to Timothy, taught, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (Timothy 4:12)
President Thomas S. Monson said, “It is our duty to live our lives in such a way that we may be examples of righteousness” to others. He added, “We live in a complex world with currents of conflict everywhere to be found. Ours is the task to be fitting examples.”
HOW CAN WE BE EXAMPLE OF THE BELIEVERS?
- Actions speak louder than words.
President Heber J. Grant declared, “The greatest and the most wonderful preacher among the Latter-day Saints is the man… who lives the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Our lips may tell a thousand sweet tales but our actions never lie a single story.
We can learn from Mosiah who took over for King Benjamin as king. In Mosiah 6: 6-7, we read:
And it came to pass that King Mosiah did walk in the ways of the Lord, and did observe his judgments and his statutes, and did keep his commandments in all things whatsoever he commanded him.
And King Mosiah did cause his people that they should till the earth. And he also, himself, did till the earth, that thereby he might not become burdensome to his people that he might do according to that which his father had done in all things. And there was no contention among all his people for the space of three years.
Imagine if we all could become like Mosiah, who did as what his father did – and walked in the ways of the Lord and not of man, nor the ways of the world. There would be much peace. All of our hearts will be lifted up and would rejoice.
- Be thou humble.
Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service defines humility as the willingness to submit to the will of the Lord. When you humbly trust Him and acknowledge His power and mercy, you can have the assurance that His commandments are for your good. (see Preach My Gospel, page 120)
Humble people are teachable people. When we are humble or teachable, we just don’t listen. We act upon what is being taught. The moment we act upon what we know, the Spirit of the Lord will make a “mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.” (Mosiah 5:2)
- Obedience is the first law in heaven.
Obedience is like putting oil into our lamp. When we want longer lasting light, we need to have more oil in our lamps. Less oil means less light. No oil means no light, only great darkness! But we don’t want that. We always want light so that we can see the way and do more good. Similarly, the more we obey God’s commandments the greater light we possess in us. President Thomas S. Monson said, “If you want to give a light to others, you have to glow yourself.”
As Latter-Day Saints we have covenanted with the Lord to take upon ourselves His name, always remember Him, keep His commandments, and endure to the end. When we take upon us His name, it means that we strive to become like Jesus Christ.
Invitation and Promised Blessings
As the Savior asked His disciples when He visited the American continent, “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be?” And then, answering His own question, He said, “Verily I say unto you, even as I am”. (3 Nephi 27:27)
The Lord is inviting all of us to become a true disciple of Christ. Discipleship is all about doing and becoming. “Not just hearers only but doers of the word.” (James 1:22)
In his book Our Search for Happiness, Elder M. Russell Ballard taught,
If we live a Christ-centered life, our actions become more disciplined, our relationships become more righteous; even our language becomes more pure as we live a life that is centered on Jesus Christ and His teachings.
After the Spirit of Christ enters our hearts, and our souls, we can never be the same again. That doesn’t mean we suddenly become perfect. It means that we’re always trying to live up to the responsibility of being a true follower of Christ…
When we become more converted to the gospel and live as good examples, we will have a greater influence, encouraging others to come to the knowledge of Him who created us. As Elder Russell M. Nelson explained, “Your good works will be evident to others. The light of the Lord can beam from your eyes.”