Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Challenge to Become

This week I was able to read a talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks entitled The Challenge to Become. What a fantastic message. It made me stop and think about what I have become, and what I am becoming, with my life. Am I doing good works? Yes. That's nice. But am I Becoming more like my Savior? That is more important. Elder Oaks said:
"The Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become." 

Elder Oaks relates a parable to help us understand this idea of Becoming.
 "A wealthy father knew that if he were to bestow his wealth upon a child who had not yet developed the needed wisdom and stature, the inheritance would probably be wasted. The father said to his child:
“All that I have I desire to give you—not only my wealth, but also my position and standing among men. That which I have I can easily give you, but that which I am you must obtain for yourself. You will qualify for your inheritance by learning what I have learned and by living as I have lived. I will give you the laws and principles by which I have acquired my wisdom and stature. Follow my example, mastering as I have mastered, and you will become as I am, and all that I have will be yours.”
This parable parallels the pattern of heaven. The gospel of Jesus Christ promises the incomparable inheritance of eternal life, the fulness of the Father, and reveals the laws and principles by which it can be obtained."

As I think of my journey that I am taking, yes, I would like it to be a hero's journey- a journey where I can do the most good.. But what I want most from my life is to Become like my Heavenly Father. All that He has is ours. It has been ours from the very beginning. We lose our birthright, our inheritance, because of the choices that we make.

I love the challenge that Elder Oaks lays before us. He says:
"Now is the time for each of us to work toward our personal conversion, toward becoming what our Heavenly Father desires us to become. As we do so, we should remember that our family relationships—even more than our Church callings—are the setting in which the most important part of that development can occur. The conversion we must achieve requires us to be a good husband and father or a good wife and mother. Being a successful Church leader is not enough. Exaltation is an eternal family experience, and it is our mortal family experiences that are best suited to prepare us for it."