Long-Term Disciples

Reading: “The Way of the Disciple,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency, April 2009 General Conference, Sunday Morning Session

In the 25 years I have been alive I have seen many fads come and go.  From side pony tails to low-carb diets to Irish clog dancing and on and on, the world is always looking for something new and exciting.  In this talk President Uchtdorf reminds us that the gospel doesn’t change, and that living the gospel is a life long pursuit.

President Uchtdorf shared this story of a friend:

A friend of mine recently wrote to me, confiding that he was having a difficult time keeping his testimony strong and vibrant. He asked for counsel.

I wrote back to him and lovingly suggested a few specific things he could do that would align his life more closely with the teachings of the restored gospel. To my surprise, I heard back from him only a week later. The essence of his letter was this: “I tried what you suggested. It didn’t work. What else have you got?”

Brothers and sisters, we have to stay with it. We don’t acquire eternal life in a sprint—this is a race of endurance. We have to apply and reapply the divine gospel principles. Day after day we need to make them part of our normal life.

Sometimes when I work on some new goal or embark on a new commitment I expect good results to show up right away.  When it doesn’t, I can feel discouraged.  Yet, as I look back on my life I can see that it is the small things I did regularly over time that have helped me the most.

Today I’m going to watch for times when I am impatient with the effect the gospel has in my life and remind myself that it’s okay not to see results right away. If I have a bad day, it’s okay, I’ll do better tomorrow.

Can you think of a time in your life where you did something good for a long time? How about a time when you did something great but only for a short time? What was the difference in outcome?

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