Modern Prophets Speak, Volume I, No. 11, Uchtdorf
How do we become true disciples of Jesus Christ?
The Savior Himself provided the answer with this profound declaration: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”(1) This is the essence of what it means to be a true disciple: those who receive Christ Jesus walk with Him.(2)
But this may present a problem for some because there are so many “shoulds” and “should nots” that merely keeping track of them can be a challenge. Sometimes, well-meaning amplifications of divine principles—many coming from uninspired sources—complicate matters further, diluting the purity of divine truth with man-made addenda. One person’s good idea—something that may work for him or her—takes root and becomes an expectation. And gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyrinth of “good ideas.”
This was one of the Savior’s criticisms of the religious “experts” of His day, whom He chastised for attending to the hundreds of minor details of the law while neglecting the weightier matters.(3)
So how do we stay aligned with these weightier matters? Is there a constant compass that can help us prioritize our lives, thoughts, and actions?
Once again the Savior revealed the way. When asked to name the greatest commandment, He did not hesitate. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” He said. “This is the first and great commandment.”(4) Coupled with the second great commandment—to love our neighbor as ourselves(5)—we have a compass that provides direction not only for our lives but also for the Lord’s Church on both sides of the veil.
Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.
When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking in the Sunday Morning Session of the 179th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, October 3, 2009.
1. John 14:15.
2. See Colossians 2:6.
3. See Matthew 23:23.
4. Matthew 22:37, 38.
5. See Matthew 22:39.