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Total commitment to Christ

Friday 25 March 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in On the Street, Opinion


Total commitment to Christ
The writer refers to a daily or continuing spirit of devotion and dedication “which comes from keeping all the commandments of God every day”.

A person’s attitude is perhaps the hardest of all personal attributes to change.

If your attitude is right, then your life is made right, writes Angaroakau Williams -- First District Counselor of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Communication Director.

It is true that we each have imperfections to overcome. Life is a constant series of challenges and trials. Notwithstanding, we should never fail to strive for that perfection of life which can bring us closer into harmony with God. As the apostle Paul said in writing to the Philippians:

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as (would) be (come) perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” (Philip. 3:14–15.)

Thus we should seek to overcome any discovered fault in our characters which tends to take us away from a total commitment to God.

I would like to speak about that principle of dedication or total commitment. It appears to me that when we join the Church of Jesus Christ and especially when we receive the oath and covenant of the priesthood, we should commit ourselves wholly and completely to the cause of God. By this I do not mean we need to give up our daily occupations or our interests in the daily affairs of mankind unless we are called by authority from God to do so. I do mean that a true change must occur in our thinking so complete and so total that our very lives are changed for the better as far as our attitudes and our actions are concerned.

A person’s attitude is perhaps the hardest of all personal attributes to change. If your attitude is right, then your life is made right. If your heart is touched, your mind and way of thinking will change and your life will change for the better accordingly. I believe we must become so immersed in the gospel of Jesus Christ that we become physically as well as mentally more and more like the Lord himself. We must yield our whole hearts to him. What we then do is done not because we are asked to, nor because we are forced to, but because we want to. Neither pressure nor force can be exerted upon us from outside, when what we do is done because it is our own choice and desire. It then makes no difference to us what other men may think, or say, or do. Our hearts being committed wholly to God, what we do is done out of our love for and our trust in him. We then serve God in every way we can because we have been converted, our attitude has been changed and we now desire to become like him both spiritually and physically.

When I speak then of total commitment, it reminds me of a story that I heard a long time ago. A story about the bacon and egg. You see for you to get the egg the chicken will only need to be partially committed but to get the bacon the poor pig he had to die.

Well, the moral of the story is that when it comes to being converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ we don’t chicken out when the going gets tough but to give our whole effort even our whole life to God who will take good care of us.

I refer to a daily or continuing spirit of devotion and dedication which comes from keeping all the commandments of God every day. We must not pick and choose which commandment of God we will or will not obey. When we accept Jesus Christ, we accept his apostles and prophets and his total concept of Christian living. We then gladly accept the admonition of God’s servants and willingly have family prayer, hold family home evening, keep a year’s supply of food on hand for emergencies, send our sons and daughters on missions, keep the fast, pay an honest tithe, care for the poor and the needy, and are kind and thoughtful and considerate of others.

From the following scripture, it is clear that the admonition to become totally committed to the cause of Jesus Christ is important to all, especially to those who regard themselves as members of the Church of Jesus Christ in good standing:

“And we know also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with all their might’s, minds and strength.

“But there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God;

“Therefore, let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptation; Yea, and even let those who are sanctified take heed also.” (D&C 20:31–34.)

As I understand this scripture, it means that Jesus Christ is kind and merciful to us when we serve him with our whole hearts, but not any of us can take refuge in past righteousness or service. It also means that there is a possibility that any one of us can fall out of good standing, even those who have already achieved a certain degree of righteousness. Therefore, we need to be on our constant guard, each of us, that we not allow ourselves to fall into habits of carelessness in our faith, in our prayers, or in our various Church activities or responsibilities. It is for this reason that I am resolving again to live closer to God each day and to follow his chosen prophets and apostles more diligently than I have ever done in the past.

As the coming of the Lord approaches, Satan’s pressure on us will increase. We will thus have to live closer to the Lord than we have ever done before. I resolve to do this for I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ is his Only Begotten Son. I so pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.