Brett Greathouse Beachside Ward 1/23/2022
Updated: Feb 15, 2022
In the Middle Ages, Parents would arrange an apprenticeship for their children beginning as young as 7 years old. The child would leave home and live with a master craftsman and the master would provide room and board for the child and train him. In exchange, the child would work at the master’s direction - an indentured servant of sorts. Apprenticeships lasted as long as 7 years with the expectation that the child would learn the trade, join the guild and be on his way to becoming a master himself.
In the Gospel we all go through a similar process to become disciples of Christ. But there are no limits on the # of children admitted.
The Savior said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden.” (Matt 11:28)
The Path of Discipleship
We can break down the process of becoming a disciple of Christ into 3 steps:
Learning what a disciple is
Doing what a disciple does
Becoming a disciple
We spend most of our life learning and relearning the why and how of discipleship.
And it begins by learning the "vocabulary of Christ". In Gospel terms, we can only think as deeply as our vocabulary allows. This means that, in order to be a disciple, we need to understand the vocabulary.
In studying the gospel at home and in church we learn terms like preexistence, the fall, natural man, atonement, Holy Ghost, redemption, and eternal life. These words provide the context of discipleship. We learn the why and the how of discipleship from the scriptures.
The prophet Alma taught:
"... all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made." (Alma 34:9)
Without Christ, the end of this life would be the end of our existence. The Savior said:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:16)
What a Disciple is
The Savior taught what discipleship looks like in parables. From some we learn:
From the Good Samaritan, we learn how disciples are neighbors and love and care for others
From the 10 Virgins, we learn how disciples are be prepared
From the Lost Sheep, we learn how disciples leave the 99 and search for the 1
From the Prodigal Son, we learn how disciples love and forgive others AND that we are never too far removed to return to the Lord
And we learn about required ordinances like baptism and the sacrament are essential
When we Know the Why and What a Disciple is, Next we Do:
The Lord said to Peter, "When thou art converted, strengthen they brethren.” (Luke 22:32)
This starts with those closest to us. Our home and family provide a training ground for discipleship. We practice being disciples of Christ in the home, where it’s the easiest to take people for granted and teach our children to also.
President McKay taught the importance of being disciples at home when he said:
“No other success can compensate for failure in the home. The poorest shack over which love prevails is a far greater value to God and the future of humanity than any earthly riches. In such a home, God can work miracles and will work miracles."
There's nothing better than when children are laughing together, encouraging each other or loving a brother or sister.
I'm convinced this is how Heavenly Father feels when we love and serve each other.
We can appreciate imperfections in ourselves and each other.
President Hinckley taught to: "go into marriage with your eyes 90% open and then go through marriage with your eyes 90% shut.”
The happiest disciples know they’re not perfect and don’t expect it from others.
President Nelson has taught us to focus on daily improvement:
"Experience the strengthening power of daily repentance—of doing and being a little better each day.
When we choose to repent, we choose to change! We allow the Savior to transform us into the best version of ourselves. We choose to grow spiritually and receive joy—the joy of redemption in Him. When we choose to repent, we choose to become more like Jesus Christ!” (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2019/04/36nelson?lang=eng)
The Church - Opportunities to serve
We are fortunate to have the church and the opportunities to grow and develop through different callings and working with different people.
Like our family, we don’t choose our ward. We move into an area and worship and serve with others in the geographical area. We learn that differences are good and that we can learn from everyone.
My wife says that people are like a book. It might take a few chapters to begin appreciating some but, if you put in the time, everyone is worth the read. We learn this through working with, serving, teaching and being taught by one another.