..When I wake up each morning, I workout, shower, get dressed, and put on my name tag. ..Then, I recite my missionary purpose in Korean. ..Our purpose is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." Then, when the day comes to an end, I take off my tag, look myself in the mirror (take a few minutes to soak in all the handsomeness..) and recite our mission scripture, 3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life.”
If we think deeply, or long enough, we realize that the first principle- faith in the Lord Jesus Christ- underlies all else; it takes faith in Christ to repent, be baptized, or perform any other ordinances of the gospel. He made saving repentance possible, baptism more meaningful, and so with faith in Him and fear tossed aside, our lives become focused on doing things of eternal value, rather than focusing on our temporal hindrances. A disciple of Jesus Christ is one who is learning to be like Christ - learning to think, feel, and act as He does and did. To fulfill that task is probably the most demanding regimen ever.. it involves the total transformation of a person from the state of the natural man to that of a saint; one who loves the Lord and serves with all of his heart, might, mind, and strength. ..And, as we all know, it truly is a daunting task. We often let the adversary do indirectly now what we refused to let him do directly in the pre-existence. We struggle every single day in keeping the commandments of the Lord; the battle for our souls is incredibly fierce. However, we all have in us the powerful spirit of a son or daughter of God. If we pay more attention to our spiritual selves, which are eternal, than to our mortal selves, which are temporary, we can always resist the temptations of Satan and conquer his efforts.
But, what about those we see ... those individuals who go through life consistently doing the right things..? When difficult choices need to be made, they seem to somehow invariably make the right ones, even though there were enticing alternatives available to them. We know that they are subject to temptation, but they seem oblivious to it. ..Then, we also see others who are not so valiant in the decisions they make. In a powerfully spiritual environment, they resolve to do better.. yet they are soon back to doing the same things they resolved to abandon…
The difference is true conversion, and being a real disciple of Jesus Christ. Being 'converted' isn't just when a sincere individual decides to be baptized, but is also a mental acceptance of Jesus and His teachings, paired with a motivating faith in Him and His gospel. True conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience, folks. Through these few powerful things, we can grow, and develop a love for God in place of things which seek to be contrary to His word. Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve once said, "Certainly one of our God-given privileges is the right to choose what our attitude will be in any given set of circumstances. We can let the events that surround us determine our actions- or we can personally take charge and rule our lives." My mom sent me a quote that relates well too. It says, "People are often unreasonable, irrational and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend your years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” - Mother Teresa..It's between you and God. You are a disciple of Jesus Christ, in every thought, word, and deed. Do your best to make valiant choices, and you will feel the endless blessings start to flow into your life. The Lord doesn't expect immediate perfection, but He does expect immediate progression. "Dare to be a Mormon; Dare to stand alone; Dare to have a purpose firm; Dare to make it known." Let this be your unquenchable quest! You are who you choose to be. Choose to be great.