Elder David A. Bednar: ‘If Ye Had Known Me’

In his Saturday afternoon talk, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles posed two essential questions:

Do we only know about the Savior, or are we increasingly coming to know Him?

And then, how do we come to know the Lord?

It was Jesus who taught that as people come to know the Father they also come to know Him.

“A grand objective of mortality is not merely learning about the Only Begotten of the Father but also striving to know Him,” he said. “Four essential steps that can help us come to know the Lord are, one, exercising faith in Him, two, following Him, three, serving Him, and four, believing Him.”

The exercise of faith in Christ is relying upon His merits, mercy and grace.

“We begin to come to know the Savior as we arouse our spiritual faculties and experiment upon His teachings, even until we can give place in our souls for a portion of His words. As our faith in the Lord increases, we trust in Him and have confidence in His power to redeem, heal, and strengthen us.”

True faith always leads to righteous action. Exercising that faith is a necessary preparation for following Him. Christ has admonished all to become as He is.

Exercising faith in Him

“In His mortal ministry, Jesus marked the path, led the way, and set the perfect example. A correct idea of His character, perfections, and attributes provides enduring purpose and clear direction as we follow Him on the road of devoted discipleship.”

Serving Him

The Lord’s followers, Elder Bednar added, come to know Him as they serve Him and labor in His kingdom.

“As we do so, He generously blesses us with heavenly help, spiritual gifts, and increased capacity. We are never left alone as we work in His vineyard.”

Serving Christ requires all of one’s heart, might, mind and strength.

“Selflessly serving others counteracts the self-centered and selfish tendencies of the natural man,” Elder Bednar said. “We grow to love those whom we serve. And because serving others is serving God, we grow to love Him and our brothers and sisters more deeply. Such love is a manifestation of the spiritual gift of charity, even the pure love of Christ.”

Believing in Him

Elder Bednar said there are some who accept revealed doctrine — yet have a hard time believing such gospel truths apply in their own lives and circumstances. They seem to have faith in the Savior, but do not believe His promised blessings are available to them or can operate in their lives.

“I also encounter brothers and sisters who fulfill their Church callings dutifully, but for whom the restored gospel has not yet become a living and transforming reality in their lives. We come to know the Lord as we not only believe in Him but also believe Him and His assurances.”

It is one thing to “testify of what we know to be true.” But perhaps the more relevant question is whether “we believe what we know.”

Sacred ordinances performed by proper priesthood authority, he added, are essential to believing the Savior, coming to know Him, and, ultimately, “believing what we know.”

The Melchizedek Priesthood makes it possible for all to receive the power of godliness in their lives.

“My beloved brothers and sisters, we believe and come to know the Savior as we follow Him by receiving and faithfully honoring holy ordinances and increasingly have His image in our countenances. We believe and come to know Christ as we experience personally the transforming, healing, strengthening, and sanctifying power of His Atonement.”

Believing in Jesus Christ also means trusting that His bounteous blessings are available and applicable in individual lives and families.

“Believing Him with our whole soul comes as we press forward along the covenant pathway, surrender our will to His, and submit to His priorities and timing for us. Believing Him — accepting as true His power and promises — invites perspective, peace and joy into our lives.”

Elder Bednar concluded by saying that all will, on a future day, confess that Jesus is the Christ.

“On that blessed day we will know that He knows each of us by name. And I witness and promise we can not only know about the Lord but also come to know Him as we exercise faith in, follow, serve, and believe Him.”

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