What do you want to become this semester? This is the question that was posed to us by Brother Williams yesterday. He asked us to write down our response/desire. I didn't write anything down. I didn't have anything to write down. I thought about it, and came up blank with what I want to become specifically this semester. Today I have been thinking about it off and on, and still have not come up with what exactly I want to change or improve about myself over the next few months. Along with this I have thought about what is most important to me in my life? A quick answer is that the gospel and my personal testimony are very important to me, but do I act and think in a way that portrays that it is the most important? I guess all of this introspection has caused me to want to come up with a pure desire, and not just a cliche goal that others want to hear or expect. Elder Dallin H. Oaks in his talk The Challenge to Become he says that "it is not enough for anyone to just go through the motions" in reference to us as individuals living the gospel of Jesus Christ. If just going through the motions of living is not enough to 'become', writing down a hollow goal because one is asked to is hardly worthwhile. Perhaps I am wrong in this assertion though. Maybe just the act of writing down a thought is action enough to start us down a path of thought, doing, and becoming. I guess my ultimate point is that for me a goal of becoming needs to be something thought out, with deep meaning laced with commitment.
In order to remain steadfast in achieving our ultimate goals we have to be able to measure our progress. The finish line of becoming like the Savior can seem so distant that the more we learn of him the farther we stand behind the starting line. This is why my favorite part of Elder Oaks' talk was that of how we can measure our progress in becoming what our Heavenly Father would have us become. The first one he mentions is that if we are losing the desire to do evil, we are progressing to this heavenly goal. How do we lose the desire to do evil. Well it says that when Christ came to the earth that he "cast out devils, or the evils spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men." There were many times Christ literally cast devils out of the bodies of individuals, but the casting devils out of the hearts of the children of men would seem to imply that evil desires are expelled through the Savior. To change our desires we must have faith in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
The second way to measure progress in becoming is that we "have the mind of Christ." Elder Oaks expounds more on this saying that we will see the world the way our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ see it. We will hear His voice instead of the voice of the world, and we will do things His way and not in the ways of the world. It is interesting that the changes take place in both the mind and in the heart. We should be striving to have a pure and holy perspective in our minds and in our hearts, and if we do we know we are on the right track to becoming what our loving Heavenly Father wants us to become. I know He loves me, and I know His perspective is the best perspective. Far better than anything the world can conjure up.
So with all that being said the question still remains. What do I want to become this semester?