May 24, 2009

Becoming One With Christ: Introduction


As followers of Christ we are commanded to become one with Christ. He is to be the very center of our lives. He is to be our all, our greatest Friend, our Companion in times of weakness and triumph, our Advocate and our Comrade. To Him we owe our all. Our very lives are dependent upon Him, both spiritually and physically. He alone has done more for us than any other mortal to walk the face of the earth. As Joseph Smith so eloquently stated “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” (1) By becoming one with the Savior, His infinite atonement becomes the most important part of our life. It becomes our life.

Yet, this challenge of becoming one with Christ is by far the greatest difficulty we will face in this life. This single goal is far more difficult than climbing to the heights of the Himalayas, or descending to the depths of the greatest abyss in the deepest ocean. Many have battled and conquered nations, even more have battled sicknesses and disease. Millions have overcome almost impossible feats. Yet the struggle to become one with the Lord is far more difficult and challenging than any other feat known to man. For to accomplish such a lofty goal we must look to the very deepest part of our soul and climb to the highest point of heaven, peering through the clouds, gaining a greater and greater view of the eternities until with time we can look upon our Savior and Friend. With this pursuit comes many perils; yet also with this same pursuit comes the greatest of all gifts that we can gain, that of knowing the very Creator of the Universe, the Great I AM, the Savior, Lord and Redeemer. For “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).

To become one with Him is to come unto Him and partake of His goodness. It is to become like unto Him. When He becomes one with us we begin to reflect the illuminating light of His persona by the lives we live. As we more fully make Christ the center of our lives, the focus no longer is upon us but is centered upon Him. All that we do, all that we are, all that we say is what He would do, be and say. We become reflectors of His light so that others may glorify and praise His name forever more.

Christ as the Master Teacher uses all things to teach of Himself. Thus, as we study the scriptures we will find on every page attributes and characteristics of our Savior. As we examine each story, each chapter and each verse, we will find that we better know the Lord. In seeing how men and women of old overcame, we are taught how Christ overcame all things. When we read of great prophets and their wives, we learn of who the Savior is. Each of these faithful men and women are a type of Christ. Each in their own way is a blueprint for how we can become one with the Lord. Thus, within the sections of this blog, the scriptures will be used as a foundation in showing how we may become one with Christ. In doing so, I hope to teach lessons learned from the scriptures that point to the attributes and character of Christ. Each chapter has been chosen because of its importance in each of our lives. With each of these principles comes power. With the development of each of these attributes will come a greater unity with the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are taught in the scriptures that “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:20-21). Thus when we first learn of the law and then obey, we are enabled or empowered by that same law. We are empowered to progress as the Savior did while in mortality, from grace to grace. John the Baptist said “And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness” (D&C 93:13).

While teaching his disciples just before he was to be crucified Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). If we desire to become one with our Redeemer we must walk the path He walked, we must live the life He lived, we must do the works that He performed. This is the hope of this section of this blog, to help solidify the attributes and works of Christ in each of us, so that we can better follow the path that He set out before us. To better become like the Savior, to walk the path of perfection that we may once again return to live with Him. “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

(1) Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (1938), 121.

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