In these simple words, “Lord, is it I?” lies the beginning of wisdom and the pathway to personal conversion and lasting change…being able to see ourselves clearly is essential to our spiritual growth and well-being...So how can we shine the pure light of God’s truth into our souls and see ourselves as He sees us?...As you hear or read the words of the ancient and modern prophets, refrain from thinking about how the words apply to someone else and ask the simple question: “Lord, is it I?"
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Lord, Is It I?”
Matthew 26:26-29 (The Last Supper)
Song: The Sacrament
[I]n the ancient law of sacrifice and in the sacrament, the Lord has helped us be certain that we do not forget His promises and the requirement that we follow Him and obey His will…When we partake of the sacrament worthily, we remember the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, that He gave up His life and took upon Himself the sins of the world that we may have the blessing of immortality. We take upon ourselves the name of our Savior and promise to always remember Him and to keep His commandments.
- L. Tom Perry, As Now We Take the Sacrament
Song: Stand for the Right
How can you consistently make the right choices? The scriptures give us insight. Consider enthusiastic, impetuous Peter...He sincerely meant what he said but would act otherwise…one of the most poignant passages of scripture describes what then occurred. It is a sobering reminder to each of us that knowing to do right, even ardently desiring to do right, is not enough. It is often very hard to actually do what we clearly know we should do…“And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord,…and…went out, and wept bitterly.”
- Richard G. Scott, Full Conversion Brings Happiness
Our desire to serve others is magnified by our gratitude for what the Savior has done for us...[Think] of the promise of the sweet comfort the Lord Himself gave to the woman who was criticized for having anointed His head with expensive oil when it might have been sold to help the poor…That short scripture is sweet and wise counsel for the faithful…in the Lord’s kingdom in tumultuous times. You will pray to know whom the Father would have you serve out of love for Him and for our Savior. And you will not expect a public memorial, following the example of the woman in Mark’s scriptural account, whose holy deed to honor the Savior of the world is remembered but not her name.
- Henry B. Eyring, Trust in That Spirit Which Leadeth to Do Good
Song: I'll Walk With You
The Savior’s example of humility and sacrifice for all mankind is the most profound event in history. The Savior, even as a member of the Godhead, was willing to come to earth as a lowly infant and begin an existence that included teaching and healing His brothers and sisters and ultimately suffering indescribable pain in Gethsemane and on the cross in order to perfect His Atonement. This act of love and humility on the part of Christ is known as His condescension. He did this for every man and woman God has created or will create... Church service requires humility. We humbly serve as called with all our might, mind, and strength. At every level of the Church, it is important to understand the Christlike attribute of humility.
- Quentin L. Cook, The Eternal Everyday
Songs: Love One Another
The gospel of Jesus Christ is centered on the love of the Father and the Savior for us and our love for Them and for one another…Love indeed is the true sign of every true disciple of Jesus Christ. True disciples love to serve. They know that serving is an expression of true love and a covenant they made at baptism. Regardless of their callings in the Church or their role in the community, they feel an increasing desire to love and serve the Lord and one another…Wherever they go, they bring the love of the Lord and peace to the hearts of others...As they love and keep their covenants, their hearts are renewed and their very nature changes.
- Massimo De Feo, Pure Love: The True Sign of Every True Disciple of Jesus Christ
Songs: I Feel My Savior's Love
The Lord Jesus Christ extends to each of us the invitation to abide in Him. But how do we actually learn and come to abide in Him?... We abide in Him by striving continually to strengthen our individual covenant bond with the Father and the Son…We abide in Him by truly feasting upon the words of Christ. The Savior’s doctrine draws us, as children of the covenant, closer to Him and will tell us all things what we should do.
- David A. Bednar, “Abide in Me, and I in You; Therefore Walk with Me”
Song: Keep the Commandments
We have rules to teach, guide, and protect children. Why? Because of the great love we have for them…We may feel at times that God’s laws restrict our personal freedom, take from us our agency, and limit our growth. But as we seek for greater understanding, as we allow our Father to teach us, we will begin to see that His laws are a manifestation of His love for us and obedience to His laws is an expression of our love for Him…
- Carole F. Stephens, “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments”
Song: The Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost provides personal revelation to help us make major life decisions about such things as education, missions, careers, marriage, children, where we will live with our families, and so on. In these matters, Heavenly Father expects us to use our agency, study the situation out in our minds according to gospel principles, and bring a decision to Him in prayer...the Holy Ghost..is the “Comforter,” the same who was “promised unto [the Savior’s] disciples.”
- Robert D. Hales, The Holy Ghost
Song: I Know My Father Lives
In His great Intercessory Prayer, Jesus expressed this important truth: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” …Just as Jesus knows each of us by name, one way we can come to better know Jesus is by learning His many names. Like the names of Israel and Peter, many of Jesus’s names are titles that help us understand His mission, purpose, character, and attributes. As we come to know Jesus’s many names, we will come to better understand His divine mission and His selfless character. Knowing His many names also inspires us to become more like Him—to develop Christlike attributes that bring joy and purpose to our lives…Jesus wants for us to know Him because His is the only name under heaven whereby we can be saved.
- Jonathan S. Schmitt, That They Might Know Thee
[P]rayers of the Lord are also instructive, especially His intercessory prayers. They are so named because the Lord prayerfully interceded with His Father for the benefit of His disciples. Picture in your mind the Savior of the world kneeling in prayer...From [His] prayer[s]...we learn how keenly He feels His responsibility as our Mediator and Advocate with the Father. Just as keenly, we should feel our responsibility to keep His commandments and endure to the end... If we really care for others, we should pray for them. “Pray one for another… ,” taught James, for “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
- President Russell M. Nelson, Lessons from the Lord’s Prayers
How glorious it is to contemplate that we have been invited into that perfect unity that exists with the Father and the Son. How can this happen? Pondering this question, it becomes clear that we must begin by becoming one within ourselves… [which] prepares us for the greater blessing of becoming one with God and Christ.
Jesus achieved perfect unity with the Father by submitting Himself, both flesh and spirit, to the will of the Father. His ministry was always clearly focused because there was no debilitating or distracting double-mindedness in Him...the Savior’s overarching ambition is to glorify the Father. The Father is “in” the Son in the sense that the Father’s glory and the Father’s will are the all-consuming occupation of the Son.
- D. Todd Christofferson, That They May Be One in Us
Being converted unto the Lord starts with an unwavering commitment to God, followed by making that commitment part of who we are. Internalizing such a commitment is a lifelong process that requires patience and ongoing repentance. Eventually, this commitment becomes part of who we are, embedded in our sense of self, and ever present in our lives. Just as we never forget our own name no matter what else we are thinking about, we never forget a commitment that is etched in our hearts.
- Dale G. Renlund, Unwavering Commitment to Jesus Christ
Song: Thy Will, O Lord Be Done
Mortality presents us with numerous opportunities to become more Christlike…We can...further develop our submissiveness to God’s will, so...we too can say, “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”. When heartfelt, this expression of obedience constitutes real petition followed by real submission. It is much more than polite deference. Rather, it is a deep yielding in which one’s momentary uncertainty gives way to the certainty of Father’s rescuing love and mercy, attributes which drench His plan of salvation.
- Neal A. Maxwell, “Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ”
Song: I Stand All Amazed
Our mortal life is designed by a loving God to be a test and source of growth for each of us...[T]he loving God who allowed…tests for you also designed a sure way to pass through them. Heavenly Father so loved the world that He sent His Beloved Son to help us. His Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life for us. Jesus Christ bore in Gethsemane and on the cross the weight of all our sins. He experienced all the sorrows, the pains, and the effects of our sins so that He could comfort and strengthen us through every test in life.
- President Henry B. Eyring, Try, Try, Try
Song: Kindness Begins with Me
For generations, Jews had been taught to hate their enemies, and they were then suffering under the domination and cruelties of Roman occupation. Yet Jesus taught them, “Love your enemies” and “do good to them that … despitefully use you.”… The Savior’s teaching to love our enemies is based on the reality that all mortals are beloved children of God…Knowing that we are all children of God gives us a divine vision of the worth of all…He gave this command to love, and He promises His help as we seek to obey it.
- President Dallin H. Oaks, Love Your Enemies
…Where are we regarding our attitude toward the Savior and His work? Are we in Peter’s situation when he denied Jesus Christ? Or have we advanced to the point where we have the attitude and determination he had after the great commission he received from the Savior? We must strive to obey all the commandments and pay close attention to those that are hardest for us to keep. The Lord will be at our side, helping us in times of need and weakness, and if we demonstrate a sincere desire and act accordingly, He will make “weak things become strong.”
- Claudio D. Zivic, He That Shall Endure unto the End, the Same Shall Be Saved
Jesus taught, “My kingdom is not of this world”…when we are baptized by immersion by one with the proper priesthood authority and choose to follow our Savior, we then are in His kingdom and of His kingdom. Being of the kingdom of God requires that we heed the Savior’s admonition “Follow thou me”...At baptism we make a covenant with our Heavenly Father that we are willing to come into His kingdom and keep His commandments from that time forward, even though we still live in the world…Entering into the kingdom of God is so important that Jesus was baptized to show us “the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which [we] should enter”.
- Robert D. Hales, The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom
The Prophet Joseph Smith faced temptation. Can you imagine the ridicule, the scorn, the mocking that must have been heaped upon him as he declared that he had seen a vision? I suppose it became almost unbearable for the boy. He no doubt knew that it would be easier to retract his statements concerning the vision and just get on with a normal life. He did not, however, give in...Joseph Smith taught courage by example. He faced temptation and withstood it.
- President Thomas S. Monson, Be Thou an Example
The Savior...endured the agony of inquisition, cruel beatings, and death by crucifixion on the cross at Calvary. Recently, there has been a great deal of commentary about this, none of which has made clear the singular point that no one had the power to take the Savior’s life from Him. He gave it as a ransom for us all. As the Son of God, He had the power to alter the situation. Yet the scriptures clearly state that He yielded Himself to scourging, humiliation, suffering, and finally crucifixion because of His great love towards the children of men.
-M. Russell Ballard, The Atonement and the Value of One Soul
Song: Help Me, Dear Father
Real repentance must involve faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, faith that He can change us, faith that He can forgive us, and faith that He will help us avoid more mistakes... I invite you to feel more joy in your life: joy in the knowledge that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real; joy in the Savior’s ability, willingness, and desire to forgive; and joy in choosing to repent.
-Elder Dale G. Renlund, Repentance: A Joyful Choice
[T]he Savior—in an incomprehensible way—[took] upon Him our sins and the sins of those who have hurt or offended us. In Gethsemane and on the cross, He claimed these sins. He made a way for us to let go of a vengeful heart. That “way” is through forgiving—which can be one of the most difficult things we ever do and one of the most divine things we ever experience...live in such a way that...your life is an act of faith that follows the supreme example of a Savior who suffered all that He might succor all…the greatest example of love and forgiveness is that of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who in bitter agony said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
- Kristin M. Yee, Beauty for Ashes: The Healing Path of Forgiveness
It was...central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son...had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone…because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path…Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are.
- Jeffrey R. Holland, None Were With Him
The miracle of resurrection, the ultimate cure, is beyond the power of modern medicine. But it is not beyond the power of God. We know it can be done because the Savior is resurrected and will bring to pass the Resurrection of each of us too...
The reality of the Resurrection of the Savior overwhelms our heartbreak with hope because with it comes the assurance that all the other promises of the gospel are just as real—promises that are no less miraculous than the Resurrection. We know that we can be “made perfect through Jesus…, who wrought out this perfect atonement,” if we will just have faith and follow Him.
- Paul V. Johnson, And There Shall Be No More Death