Friday, March 6, 2009

The Pathway of Discipleship

Some of the time while I run, I listen to talks I download from the podcast LDS Voices. While I was in California, I listened to a beautiful and rich talk by Elder Maxwell that he gave at BYU about 10 years ago, The Pathway of Discipleship. Here are the opening paragraphs:

"When striving disciples reflect deeply upon this mortal experience, it becomes clear that we are all immortal individuals whose ever-present challenge is to apply immortal principles to life’s constantly changing situations. With this perspective, we can improve our daily performances because we fix our gaze on eternity and its great realities.

Though we share immortality, our individual traits, talents, trials, opportunities, and circumstances vary widely. Even so, whatever the particular, passing mortal situation, all of the individuals involved are immortals with immense possibilities. C. S. Lewis put this so well when he said: “It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit” (The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses [1980], 19).

It is a profound thought."

I have loved that CS Lewis quote ever since I first ran across it a few years ago. It resonates with me and reminds me of the worth of each of the people I know, and those I don't.

Another beautiful quote:

"Mercifully, when we make mistakes we can recover and learn from them by “faith unto repentance.” We cannot, of course, relive a particular moment in our lives, but we can use it as a spiritual spur to remake ourselves. We need not let yesterday hold tomorrow hostage.

It is for each of us as immortals to make of these moments in daily life that which eternal principles would have us do. We as Church members have a tremendous challenge in being equal to our theology and our opportunity. We fall short. If we stumble, let us arise and continue the climb. The Lord will bless us because we are possessed of truths about “things as they really are, and … things as they really will be” (Jacob 4:13). These truths beckon us, even in our imperfections, to be better. "

I miss Elder Maxwell. His words have inspired me many times.

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