Sarah Jane Weaver: The 6 steps to become true disciples of Jesus Christ

These six steps help Latter-day Saints progress from being members of the Lord’s Church to also becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ

Addressing Latter-day Saints in British Columbia and Alberta in October of last year, President Russell M. Nelson testified that joy comes from following Jesus Christ. 

“My dear brothers and sisters, you have a divine birthright and the potential of eternal life,” he said. “That is what our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, offer you. They love you. Above all else, They want you to choose to come back home to Them.”  

During the address, he offered six steps to help Latter-day Saints progress from being members of the Lord’s Church to also becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ. As we study the New Testament this year, it is powerful to review them again:

1. “Increase your capacity to receive revelation.” In a complex world, it can be difficult to know what is true or not. “For that reason, learning to hear the voice of the Lord is one of the most vital spiritual skills you can pursue,” said President Nelson. 

The most important way to prepare to receive revelation is to be ready, he said.  

“When the Lord knows you are eager to communicate with Him, He will teach you how to hear Him. … Heavenly Father is so very generous. He wants to help you with everything  — your families, callings, work, heartaches and concerns.”

2. “Fill your life with truth.” The world is filled with much information that is neither useful nor true, he said. “I plead with you to be discerning about how and where you seek truth,” said President Nelson.

He said it was during his medical education that he came to have a firm testimony of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. “I realized that divine law always holds true. A surgeon would never have the courage to operate on a patient if he or she did not have complete confidence in the divine laws that govern the structure and function of the human body.

“Understanding divine law is important, because ‘when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated’” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:21).

3. “Refuse to let opposition to truth weaken your testimony.” Opposition to a person’s beliefs can be disconcerting, but it does not have to be, said President Nelson. “Opposition can actually strengthen your testimony,” he added.

Angry voices critical of the Church can be unsettling, he said. “But that is when the commitment always to seek truth compatible with gospel principles will help you discern truth from error. Our Father and His Beloved Son would not have sent you to earth now if They had not known you had the strength, wisdom and insight to be able to discern what is right and what is not.” 

4. “Serve and worship in the temple as much as you can.” Recently, President Nelson’s daughter asked him which of the many advancements over his lifetime had been most significant. He responded that it is the Lord’s generosity in making His temples available for His children. “When I was born, there were only six operating temples in the Church — four in Utah, one in Hawaii, and one near here, in Cardston, Alberta. That was it. Now, we have 169 operating temples and 131 more in design or under construction.” 

Every time a temple is dedicated, more light comes into the world, he said. “In this day of intense deception and evil, there is nothing that will protect you more than regular time in the temple.” 

5.  “Realize just how vital you are to the gathering of Israel.” The Lord is “hastening His work and urging us to prepare for His Second Coming,” said President Nelson. “Meanwhile, our charge is to prepare a people ready to receive the Lord.”

President Nelson said all are vital to the work. “Will you pray about the simple things you can do to help gather scattered Israel? Any time you do anything to help someone find or stay on the covenant path, you are helping to gather Israel,” he said. 

6. “Expect joy.” A loving Father designed this mortal probation so that, despite the challenges, His children could experience joy, said President Nelson. “If my 98 years of life have taught me anything, it is that true joy comes by living in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ,” he said. “I have never met any who were happier because they broke their covenants with God. Wickedness does not and cannot lead to happiness” (Alma 41:10). 

— Sarah Jane Weaver is editor of the Church News.

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President Nelson offers 6 steps to becoming ‘true disciples of Jesus Christ’
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