Patterns of Discipleship
Read full address by Elder Joseph W. Sitati
“To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
As I read this week's talk, I kept thinking about my own season of motherhood. With three young boys, the pattern God has assigned to me right now is one of deep love, worry, joy, teaching, exhaustion, hope, and service. Everything, including my involvement with church callings, work, and personal interests is entirely dependent on how much my kids need my attention.
Just as the seasons of the year allow for planting, growing, harvesting, and resting, so do the seasons of our lives. We are in the busiest phases of the planting and growing seasons. Our days are filled with the frantic monotony of keeping little people alive–cooking, cleaning, soothing, talking, reading, negotiating, begging for quiet time, etc.
Often, my own discipleship looks less like calmly drinking from a sacrament cup, and more like frantically gulping from a muddy, crocodile-infested watering hole while running after the toddler who’s desperately trying to jump in. Is my spiritual thirst quenched? You bet. I am not thirsty anymore. Is it peaceful? Not even occasionally.
I’ve been attending the temple monthly, trying to establish my own “pattern of discipleship,” and sometimes it feels a little bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul. The chaos that usually ensues as I’m trying to leave the house feels a bit like it’s negating whatever positivity I gain in the temple. Yet I know that my example of temple attendance and the attunement I bring home with me helps my family in immeasurable ways, so I keep trying.
That is the pattern I’m in right now: the Keep Trying Pattern. Even if you don’t have kids, discipleship comes easily in certain seasons and less easily in others. If you’re in the same boat and it feels like you’re swimming upstream in order to bring yourself and your family closer to Christ, know that you will find rest as you seek Him. It’s not hard because you’re swimming in the wrong direction. It’s hard because you’re swimming in the right direction. Your destination is upstream.
Keep seeking Christ on your own. Keep bringing your family to Christ. Keep bringing Christ home. Though the season may be long, it is not fruitless. Elder Sitati said, “What we do at home is the true crucible of enduring and joyful discipleship.”
Let the pattern of your life be diligence and endurance. Do not break the pattern of discipleship. You will find the peaceful rest in Christ you long for, if you only keep reaching for Him.
I am practicing patterns of discipleship that align with God's plan for me and the season I am in. I strive for persistence over perfection. I offer compassion and set aside comparison.
Written by Tess Frame