The Path of Discipleship


JST Luke 14

25 [T]here went great multitudes with him, and he turned and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, or husband, yea and his own life also; or in other words, is afraid to lay down his life for my sake, cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 Therefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.

29 For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have money to finish his work?

30 Lest, unhappily, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish his work, all who behold, begin to mock him,

31 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. And this he said, signifying there should not any man follow him, unless he was able to continue; saying,

32 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand, to meet him who cometh against him with twenty thousand.

33 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

34 So likewise, whosoever of you forsaketh not all that he hath he cannot be my disciple.

JesusTeachingWhat he is saying is, if you desire to be his disciple and to take him to be your Master, then commit to living his teachings in all things. If you fail in your discipleship, if you refuse the sacrifices commanded, then when you are in hell, the denizens thereof will hate you above others. If you know you cannot bear the loss of your career, your reputation, your home, your friends, your family, and even your life, then don’t start the path. Discipleship is not for you.

Religion, on the other hand, might seem to offer a way out. “If I follow the prophets, surely this would suffice, and I wouldn’t need to worry about losing all earthly things according to the teachings of Christ.”

35 Then certain of them came to him saying, Good Master, we have Moses and the prophets, and whosoever shall live by them, shall he not have life?

36 And Jesus answered, saying, Ye know not Moses, neither the prophets; for if ye had known them, ye would have believed on me; for to this intent they were written. For I am sent that ye might have life. Therefore I will liken it unto salt which is good;

37 But if the salt had lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

38 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dung hill; men cast it out. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear. These things he said, signifying that which was written, verily must all be fulfilled.

Matt712If you know these things and do not do them, you shall be cast out.

Hence, “ALL THINGS whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets.”

What is the reward for following the teachings of Christ with diligence and exactness?

JST Matthew 10: 21 Remember, the disciple is not above his master; nor the servant above his lord. It is enough that the disciple be as his master, and the servant as his lord.

JST Luke 6:40 A disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

You will be even as Jesus is. It is possible to be perfect.

Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Doctrine and Covenants 88:125
125 And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.

Charity is the bond of perfectness. And with it, you are even as God is while you are in this world.

JST 1 John 4
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

So how do we obtain charity? Is it developed over a lifetime of home teaching, temple work, and tithe-paying?

Moroni 7:48
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

Follow in his word and pray for charity until you receive.

JST John 8
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

This is the path of discipleship.

JST Luke 6
20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed are the poor; for theirs is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are they who hunger now; for they shall be filled. Blessed are they who weep now; for they shall laugh.

22 Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from among them, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for behold your reward shall be great in heaven; for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

24 But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation.

25 Woe unto you who are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you who laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep.

26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.

27 But I say unto you who hear my words, Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you.

28 Bless them who curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.

29 And unto him who smiteth thee on the cheek, offer also the other; or, in other words, it is better to offer the other, than to revile again. And him who taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also.

30 For it is better that thou suffer thine enemy to take these things, than to contend with him. Verily I say unto you, Your heavenly Father who seeth in secret, shall bring that wicked one into judgment.

31 Therefore give to every man who asketh of thee; and of him who taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.

32 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

33 For if ye love them only who love you, what reward have you? For sinners also do even the same.

34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what reward have you? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great; and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful, and to the evil.

36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.

39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40 A disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41 And why beholdest thou the mote which is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam which is in thine own eye?

42 Again, how canst thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam which is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote which is in thy brother’s eye.

43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit;

44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good. And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

46 And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.

48 He is like a man who built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock, and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock.

49 But he who heareth and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

17 Responses

  1. I enjoyed this. Thanks.

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  2. Log,
    You have delineated the strait and narrow path, the one laid down by the Lord Himself on at least two occasion. This is THE strait and narrow path wh. runs alongside the Iron Rod, leading to the Tree of Life. This is THE strait and narrow path spoken of by Nephi in the summary statement of his life’s work in 2 Nephi 31-32:6, wherein he told us in our day exactly HOW to come unto Christ in his masterful treatise on the Doctrine of Christ.
    This is very important stuff.
    Thank you brother Log.
    James Russell Uhl

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  3. Nice job, Log. Thanks.

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  4. These words are exciting, sobering and inspiring. They are the words of Christ. But how many of us marvel that — for most, if not all, of our lives — we have associated with an organization which claims to be the Lord’s “only true church”, yet we have neither been taught, nor have we learned, these things?

    Who among us has been reminded, repeatedly, that it is better to lose one’s possessions — either by theft, lawsuit, or request — than to contend over them? How many of us have seen this teaching put into practice by those who would be our teachers?

    Who among us has been taught that we can, and ought, to be perfect, even as our Lord and Savior is perfect, even in this life? How many of us have seen this teaching put into practice by those who would be our teachers?

    Who among us has been taught not to judge, not to condemn, but to forgive all men their trespasses? How many of us have seen this teaching put into practice by those who would be our teachers?

    Who among us has been taught to lend and expect nothing in return? No interest. Not even a return of the principle! How many of us have seen this teaching put into practice by those who would be our teachers?

    Who among us has been taught that if we are physically or personally attacked, we should not resist, but “turn the other cheek” and willingly receive more of the same, rather than revile again! How many of us have seen this teaching put into practice by those who would be our teachers?

    How often have we been reminded in our meetings that true prophets are not held in high esteem by those of their own country, kin and household? How many of those called “true prophets” among us are held in low esteem and are evil spoken of by their own household, kin and countrymen?

    Who among us has been taught that the rich among us “have their consolation” and thereby can hardly enter into heaven. How many of us have seen this teaching put into practice by those who would be our teachers?

    Who among us has been taught not to judge, but to give regardless, if we are capable and have wherewith to give, to all who ask? How many of us have seen this teaching put into practice by those who would be our teachers?

    Who among us has been taught of the essential requirement of praying for charity — and receiving it from heaven — even of loving even as Jesus loves? How many of us have seen this teaching put into practice by those who would be our teachers?

    Who has taught us the Golden Rule and invited us to follow it with all diligence and exactness? How many of us have seen this teaching put into practice by those who would be our teachers?

    How could all these teachings — the principle teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ — go untaught and seldom be regarded or referred to in His “only true church”?

    Well ought we to wail and mourn, to howl and repent! For many of us (like me) have wasted away our days and months and years contending over trivialities and inconsequential matters while the weightier matter of becoming even as He is, by following Him and doing even as He does, has been almost utterly neglected and rationalized away.

    Thank you, Log, for serving us in this way.

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    • I meant to say than you Log, but in light of the comments above all I can possibly say is Amen to Will’s. 200 people have read this post so far, and 5 have returned to say thank you. My hope is that many have read this, have understood and been provoked to increased self examination, but are not the type to comment. May God continue to bless Tim for the time, sacrifice, and expense required to keep this blog up and accessible, for such a post as this.

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      • +1

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  5. Amen

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  6. There is no need to thank me, for I but repeat the teachings of the Lord.

    Let us rather thank him by doing what he taught, praying always.

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  7. I love you guys.

    It goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway, that I’m expressing my view/understanding here. I speak without authority – unless it is truth and the Holy Ghost verifies it. But I have no idea how or to whom it might apply, at this point, except for me, and I’m not called to teach any of you or call you to repentance, so I’m just sharing what I’ve learned and how it has blessed me. Maybe it will bless you. I hope so, otherwise why share.

    I agree with Log that Charity is the Golden Rule, the law of perfect love – they are the same thing and they circumscribe the whole of the law and the commandments, etc. (IF ye love me, keep my commandments. First two Great commandments: love God and love everyone). And ultimately it is to do as God would do to others. “All things that we would have done unto us” changes/improves as we grow, learn, change/repent, and expand our view into the eternities, as we become more like Christ, as He teaches us directly and we apply it. Our views become more eternal, which is how the Lord sees things and accordingly acts (I think we call it an eternal perspective). Eternity past, present, and eternity future. His version of the Golden Rule and His Perfect Love span beyond time/mortality.

    Here’s an example: if you accept pre-mortality (part of eternity past) and foreordination, we are operating under some obligations, promises, and blessings which we can’t fully remember. Part of the act of faith we undertook to come down here was to forget nearly everything. We did bring something with us, our personality, intelligence/spirit/soul, but we lost our memories, and obviously a lot of our capacities and powers. What promises did we make? What blessings and promises were we given beforehand? Do we carry any of those with us? When and how do they “kick in”? My experience has been, yes, yes, and when the Lord sees fit (His timing is perfect after all).

    Anyway, let’s not forget what and how Charity/Christ is like. After all, we can’t truly follow the Lord without learning to Love and be Love like he does and is:

    Moroni 7
    44 … for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
    45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
    46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
    47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
    48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure.

    1 Corinthians 12
    3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    I tried an experiment, which I’ve repeated many times actually, to experience the power of the Holy Ghost. I cried to God and asked to have it manifest to me, to help me recognize truth from Him. He answered. Then I spoke aloud “Jesus is the Christ!” (I was by myself, btw, in my closet/wilderness so to speak) – I said it three times. What I would describe as waves of like spiritual electricity passed through me as I did so. This has helped me recognize the power of the Holy Ghost in my life.

    Since the promises in Moroni 10:3-5 seem to apply quite generally, “… and by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things,” I hope this will help some of you to try the spirits and discern/recognize the Spirit of Truth above any other. For me, if the power of the Holy Ghost is not present, regardless of the spiritual manifestation (vision, dream, voice, etc.), then I do not accept it. I usually ask several times to make sure I’m not missing something. After all, is it I, Lord?

    Peace.

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  8. Paternalism is not charity, neither is it the golden rule.

    “All things whatsoever ye would that men should to unto you, do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets.”

    Whatsoever is more or less than this – whence cometh it?

    The guy in the premortal existence who proposed we should follow the rule of paternalism lost the support of the Council. He thought he could improve upon the Golden Rule, too.

    Now, how would it be to be in a society of people who all thought they were justified in imposing themselves, their values, their views, and their solutions upon you just as soon as they thought you might be benefited from it?

    That is, what would it be like in a society where others interfered with or compelled you anytime they thought you were wrong?

    But wait – isn’t that essentially what we have now?

    Is that a society you’d really like to keep, eternally, worlds without end?

    Well, because God keeps the Golden Rule, he’s going to give you the society you say you want at the end. The one where everyone follows the same rule you do in relating to others.

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  9. Log

    Thank you for this post. Much to ponder. “My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak.”

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  10. Log, can you still send and receive private messages at LDSFF?

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    • Nope! I have no more access than a Google bot. And I’m ok with that. 😉 Besides I sent you an email you never responded to.

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      • Oh…my apologies. I have several email accounts, which I seldom to never use anymore nor am I certain of which I used to register on there. I’ll see if I can find it. But I do have something that is not off topic here, but relevant to our previous discussion, which was closed to comments by Tim.

        2 Nephi 31:14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye *are* willing to keep my commandments, *by* the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

        You previously stated that Alma’s plea to be baptized was to testify of [i]previously[/i] having entered into a covenant, or rather, having [i]previously[/i] witnessed to serve the Lord. I did see what you mean, in spite of my own understanding, that by being baptized by water, we [i]are[/i] witnessing that we will obey His commandments, as Nephi directly quotes the Lord saying so. In any event, it’s that an important issue to me to quibble over as I can still read it both ways, but I just wanted to point this out.

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        • Marc,

          I don’t see the problem, really. I prefer to read it consistently with that which I have aforetime cited.

          However, if you really, really want to make a contradiction appear, try this one.

          D&C 55
          1 Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant William, yea, even the Lord of the whole earth, thou art called and chosen; and after thou hast been baptized by water, which if you do with an eye single to my glory, you shall have a remission of your sins and a reception of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands….

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        • I really appreciate that you take the time to see both sides of a discussion. I see it both ways, too, and either works for me as well. Thank you.

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        • No need to thank me. There are very few rules one can lay out from the scriptures which don’t have scriptural counterexamples. That’s on purpose, I believe. I believe it is not the Lord’s will to facilitate the construction of creeds to be bound upon the hearts of the children of men, but rather to undermine them.

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