The beginning of a new year is traditionally a time to set goals and resolve to make changes or live better lives. As we all know, making the list is pretty easy. What’s a bit more challenging is making the commitment to follow through. James M Paramore once said, “Commitment is doing what everyone can do, but usually doesn’t.” Commitment is possible; commitment is positive; and I realize I am the only person in my life who can commit myself to anything.
I’m already deeply committed to my family: to being equally yoked and progressing with my good husband; to being an accessible, interested and encouraging parent to my four married children and their spouses; to being a loving and good example to my thirteen beloved grandchildren and being a presence in their lives. I’m also committed to serving in the community, and I’ve learned that doing so brings me joy and fulfillment. I think I’d even dare say I am committed to cleaning my house and cooking dinner almost every night!
What I really want to work on this year is being a more committed disciple of Jesus Christ. I believe that doing so will have an impact on all the other commitments I have. As I have pondered this, I’ve learned that disciples of Christ live according to Christ’s teachings, or maybe I should say strive to live according to His teachings since none of us is perfect. As His disciple, I believe I need to be willing to honestly take His name upon me and to keep trying to follow his example. I need to let go of disappointments, face forward, and search for what my Heavenly Father wants me to do with the life He has given me.
A few months ago, a man I greatly admire, Dieter F Uchtdorf, provided a simple three-part formula for becoming a true disciple of Christ: Believe, Love and Do. Each of these action words builds on the other. As Elder Uchtdorf said, “Believing God leads to faith in Him and developing trust in His word. Faith causes our hearts to grow in our love for God and others. As that love grows, we are inspired to emulate the Savior [to do] as we continue our own great journey on the path of discipleship.”
It’s what I want to strive for this year. It’s what I want to practice and practice until I get it right. And now I’ve told you, so you can hold me to it!