Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making the standards our own

In a recent sacrament meeting someone mentioned the idea of making the standards our own. The context was the 13th article of faith, the new Mutual theme for the year. By making standards our own, the speaker was not suggesting that we each develop our own set, but that we adopt the Lord's standards as ours.

As I thought about making the standards our own, I thought about something Sister Allred mentioned in a Relief Society leadership meeting my wife attended a few months ago. She suggested a better title for For The Strength of Youth (the standards pamphlet) would be For The Strength of You because it has value for all church members, not just the youth. (Our local RS president must have taken this to heart. This month's mid-week RS meeting is one in which our ward's young men and young women presented For The Strength of Youth to the Relief Society.)

In John, 17:7 we read, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." I think this is all about making the standards our own, taking those qualities outlined in the 13th article of faith, in the Strength of Youth pamphlet, and throughout the scriptures and living them, internalizing them, feeling their blessings in our lives. In this way, I think we follow Alma's admonition to take the countenance of Christ upon ourselves (see Alma 5:14).

This presupposes, of course, that one accepts "the standards" as what the Savior would have us do. When I have taught standards to the youth, I've suggested they are like the sign at the amusement park that says "you must be 'this' tall to ride." They tell us we where we are striving to go in our behavior to be like the Savior, and to enhance our spiritual lives.

And my own John 17:7 experience has been a positive one.

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