Sunday, June 5, 2011

What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?

As we go throughout life there are many things that we do and a few things that we become. Often our actions dictate who we become, as illustrated in the line by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character." In the most recent General Conference, Elder Lynn G. Robbins gave a talk entitled, "What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?," that highlighted the differences of "to be" and "to do" and the dependence each has on the other.

I really enjoyed this talk and how well Elder Robbins illustrated the importance of both doing and becoming as we strive to become like Christ. The account of the Savior in the Americas following His resurrection records an important question the Savior asked, "what manner of men ought ye to be?" Answering His own question, the Savior taught, "Verily I say unto you, even as I am" (3 Nephi 27:27).

We are commanded to become as the Savior is, humble, meek, submissive, patient, loving, diligent, wise, perceptive, strong, obedient, gentle, even perfect (see Galatians 5:22; Matt 5:48). Indeed, in the same sermon to the ancient inhabitants of the Americas the Savior admonished, "for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do" (3 Nephi 27:21).

In my job I interact with a lot of different teachers. While each teacher has a degree and a job as a teacher, not all have become teachers. Some love the kids, understand the importance of patience and an education and take time and effort to do what is in the best interest of the students. Some, on the other hand, merely print worksheets, give thoughtless assignments, and do what is required that the kids are busy and not getting into trouble. In each instance, the teachers are doing their job, but not all have actually become teachers. Likewise with us, we may be baptized, we may attend church, we may even do acts of service. But until become converted, strive to fulfill our covenants made with the Lord, and love our neighbors as ourselves, we have not become disciples of Christ.

This analogy can be applied to many facets of our lives and Elder Robbins expounds on the most important applications. Read this talk and figure out how you can better do and become.