Exemplify the Way of Christ
Ben Smith of Toogarook, Victoria, Australia
And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost. And they had all things common among them, therefore they were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift. -4 Nephi 1:2, 4
The recent news of tragedy and trial in our society challenges me to think about the role we play in the world through our discipleship journey. Violence is perpetrated too often by those who claim to be servants of The Way. Yet it’s clear that those actions are a misinterpretation of Jesus’ teachings.
Our prayers are simply not enough in these times. If we are to be the hands and feet of Christ in our world, we must be at the forefront of bringing justice to victims of abuse. We are called to bring change to unjust systems which perpetuate violence. We are in the midst of a revolution, where our children find their voice and provide a rebuttal in a way that should make us proud.
Doctrine and Covenants 163:3c says, “There are subtle, yet powerful, influences in the world, some even claiming to represent Christ, that seek to divide people and nations to accomplish their destructive aims. That which seeks to harden one human heart against another by constructing walls of fear and prejudice is not of God. Be especially alert to these influences, lest they divide you or divert you from the mission to which you are called.”
We are called to exemplify the way of Jesus in the world. Through our principles and actions we can guide our communities to understand the Spirit of God in new ways. Imagine if perpetrators of child sexual abuse were fully aware of the love God has for them and were surrounded by a loving and supportive community prior to committing those crimes. Or if those who violently take the life of another were aware of the joy that comes from unity in diversity. Or those who continue to plunder the earth of resources had a deep conviction of the sacredness of creation.
Our call is to share with the world a new way of being-a way that will change the world and build a peaceable kingdom. I often get asked, “How do we grow the church?” I would love it if that question shifted to “How do we be the church?” If we truly become who we are called to be, we will experience an expanding presence of disciples in our community. Now is that time.
Peace, be still (Mark 4:39).
In the contemplative tradition, silent prayer is about cultivating a quality of inner stillness. You may visualize the story of Jesus calming the storm as a way of entering into this quality of prayer. Notice how churned up the waters of your soul are currently. As you breathe deeply, imagine a sacred stillness forming within you. What might it look like to engage all your relationships and daily tasks from this place of inner stillness? As you move through your day, notice when you feel stirred up and when you experience inner calm. Take note of patterns and themes. Invite all of your noticing into prayer as you continue to grow deeper in God as the source of your life and action.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.