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President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: 'Lord, is it I?'

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf began his priesthood session address recounting what happened at the last supper of Jesus and His apostles when He said that one of them would betray Him, and they each asked, “Is it I?”

“I wonder what each of us would do if we were asked that question by the Savior,” mused President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency. “Would we look at those around us and say in our hearts, ‘He’s probably talking about Brother Johnson. I’ve always wondered about him,’ or ‘I’m glad Brother Brown is here. He really needs to hear this message’? Or would we, like those disciples of old, look inward and ask that penetrating question: ‘Is it I?’”

President Uchtdorf added, “In these simple words, ‘Lord is it I?’ lies the beginning of wisdom and the pathway to personal conversion and lasting change.”

He told of a research experiment in which scientists had college students participate in a series of tests on various life skills and found that the students who performed poorly were the least accurate in evaluating their own performance, some of them estimating their scores to be five times higher than they actually were.

“The study has been replicated in numerous ways, confirming over and over again the same conclusion: Many of us have a difficult time seeing ourselves as we truly are, and even successful people overestimate their own contribution and underestimate the contributions that others make,” President Uchtdorf said.

“It might not be so significant to overestimate how well we drive a car or how far we can drive a golf ball. But when we start believing that our contributions at home, at work and at church are greater than they actually are, we blind ourselves to blessings and opportunities to improve ourselves in significant and profound ways.”

He observed that once-worthy priesthood holders start to tell themselves that the Church is a good thing for women and children but not for them, or some become convinced their busy schedules exempt them from daily acts of devotion and service.

“Brethren, will you please look inside your hearts and ask the simple question: ‘Lord, is it I?’” he urged.

He posed a series of questions designed to evoke introspection: “Does the Spirit of God dwell in your hearts? Are you ‘rooted and grounded’ in the love of God and of your fellow men? Do you devote sufficient time and creativity to bringing happiness to your marriage and family? Do you give your energies to the sublime goal of comprehending and living ‘the breadth, and length, and depth, and height’ of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ?”

President Uchtdorf told the priesthood holders that being able to see themselves clearly is essential to spiritual growth and wellbeing. “If our weaknesses and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths. Ironically, our blindness toward our human weaknesses will also make us blind to the divine potential that our Father yearns to nurture within each of us.”

He suggested that the scriptures and the talks given at general conference are “an effective mirror that we can hold up for self-examination.”

“We must approach our Eternal Father with broken hearts and teachable minds,” he declared. “We must be willing to learn and to change. And oh, how much we gain by committing to live the life our Heavenly Father intends for us.”

He admonished, “Brethren, we must put aside our pride, see beyond our vanity, and in humility ask, ‘Lord, is it I?’

“And if the Lord's answer happens to be ‘Yes, my son, there are things you must improve, things I can help you to overcome,’ I pray that we will accept this answer, humbly acknowledge our sins and shortcomings, and then change our ways by becoming better husbands, better fathers and better sons. May we from this time forward seek with all our might to walk steadfastly in the Savior’s blessed way — for seeing ourselves clearly is the beginning of wisdom.”

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