True Disciples of the Savior by Terence M. Vinson
Content by Heidi Christensen
Can you believe it? Right after Elder Holland taught us that everything the Church points us to Christ, Elder Terence M. Vinson instructed us to not only center our lives on Christ, but to do it whole-heartedly. Be all in. Commit. No fence-sitting. Take on Peter’s attitude: “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head” (John 13:9). In other words, be valiant in your testimony of Jesus! Be fair dinkum!
"Valiant" is my all-time favorite descriptor of true disciples of Christ. To be valiant is to be strong, mighty, ready to unleash. Strong’s Concordance describes a valiant disciple as someone who has “the strength of soul to sustain the assaults of Satan.” Doesn’t this sound like something you want to be? Quite a ways back, Elder Bruce R. McConkie shared a similar idea in his talk, Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith. When I encountered his message, my whole paradigm of how to live the gospel changed. The questions he posed helped me to “consider my ways.”
Now we have another General Authority asking us do it again.
"To consider" is to think carefully about something, typically before making a decision. It is to think about and then be drawn toward a course of action. As we consider our ways, what actions are we willing to take? Where are we willing to go? As a committed and valiant disciple of Jesus Christ, the paths on which He will lead each of us vary and are amazing in their individuality. Being fully committed to Christ opens us to so many avenues and adventures!
But what happens when our efforts don’t look like we’re all in or like we are fair dinkum? This world wants everything to be flashy, entertaining, amazing, and successful. But I was encouraged by Elder Vinson’s reference to Oliver Granger’s experience and how his and our sacrifices and efforts matter to the Lord. That is what counts.
My kids run cross country, which is a grueling sport. “Champions are born in the off season” was a phrase I read on a hoodie at today’s meet. Champions must be all in and fully committed throughout the training season as they run mile after mile, hill after hill. In the Midwest training also involves high temps with high humidity, a horrible combination. And the crazy thing is when you finally reach racing season, you just never know who the champions will be. They can finish first. Sometimes they finish last. But whenever and however the runners finish, each one can walk away joyfully if they went all out, holding nothing back—if they were fair dinkum.
We, too, should recognize that our efforts and sacrifices are held sacred by the Lord as we go for it, unbothered by worldly measurements of success. Remember that the Lord uses small and simple things to bring about His miracles. He accepts our offerings and then rewards us with joy through the Atonement of Jesus Christ as we remain faithful and committed, as we are fair dinkum. Now, how will you be fair dinkum today?
I AM STATEMENT
I am a true disciple of Christ whose efforts and sacrifices matter to the Lord, even if they are small or insignificant in the world's eyes. I am a true disciple of Christ whose purpose is to become fully converted and committed to Christ, which leads to joy. I can consider my ways each day as I repent and strengthen my commitment to the Savior and to living His gospel.
FAITH IN ACTION
Can ye feel so now? (Alma 5:26) Think back on a time when the gospel of Jesus Christ had your soul on fire. What experiences brought you to that point? What can you do this week to reignite those flames of testimony, conversion and commitment? Write down these thoughts and then share them with a friend. Choose one thing to act on!
Elder Vinson shared, "I learned that when I played my hardest, when I gave my all, my enjoyment of the game was greatest." This week, commit to pray earnestly for each person you minister to. Commit to follow any and all impressions you receive this week as soon as you receive them. Don't hold back! See how the Lord can bless others through you!
2 Thessalonians 3:13 instructs us: "Be not weary in doing well-doing." In the adrenaline of going all out, being all in, and being fair dinkum, remember this is an endurance race and not a sprint. Let's not become weary in well-doing. Remember that it's our small efforts the Lord uses to produces His miracles. If we access the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can do things beyond our natural capacity. Discuss with your family how we can be fair dinkum without becoming weary. As a family you can prioritize eternal things above temporal ones and see how the Holy Ghost invigorates you!
Search out people in the scriptures, Church history, or your own family history who were fair dinkum. Discuss the obstacles they had to overcome and how their commitment to the Savior helped them do this. Write down obstacles you want to overcome in your own life. Ponder how your commitment to the Savior can help you in this endeavor.
"Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith" by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, October 1974
If you are looking for ideas on how to consider your ways, study the newly edited temple recommend questions. They are a fantastic tool in helping us see what our commitment to the Savior really is.