As a child, I sang songs in Primary about trying to be like Jesus and listened to lessons about serving and being kind. I remember using the phrase, “What Would Jesus Do?” as a guide as I contemplated telling my grandma that I had just broken her window while playing basketball in her driveway. Being like Christ was a guiding principle in my youth.
Throughout junior high and high school, I continued to try to be like Jesus. Though I often felt like I was failing miserably, I did at least have the desire to come to know Him better and become more like Him. My meager efforts to read the scriptures and pray each day surely did not seem sufficient though.
While attending university, my desire to become like Christ continued. The bishop of our church congregation gave a talk one Sunday where he challenged us to do service. But not just normal service. He wanted us to serve someone by doing something for them that they could not do themselves. By doing this, we could become more like Christ and help people on a deeper level. A sign-up sheet was passed around with a list of service opportunities and I put my name down to volunteer at an elementary school to help children who were struggling to read. I was paired with a little boy named Erik and met with him each week in the school library to read together. He was a cutie, but I’m not sure I really helped him much for the couple months I volunteered. That small sacrifice though, did help me realize that I could make a difference. Maybe I could be like Jesus…sometimes.
After getting married and having children, my desire to be like Christ and know Him continued.
A few years ago, I signed up for PathwayConnect — an educational program to help people gain some post-secondary education for minimal cost. One of the religion classes I took was all about Jesus Christ. For one of the assignments, we were asked to imagine what it would be like to see Christ again. Would we recognize Him? What would we do when we saw Him? As I initially read over the assignment, I was unsure what to write about, but as I imagined it, and tried to visualize Him and what it would feel like to see Him, I was overcome with emotion. I knew in that moment that Christ had been with me all along and that He had seen my efforts. He had been there to strengthen and comfort me through times when no one else could. I felt His presence and I felt His love.
The lessons I learned about Christ in my youth have been anchors throughout my life. These little glimpses of truth are what have carried me through some of the hardest times. I know that Christ is real. I know that He sees my struggles. He sees me trying. He sees me failing. And He will always be there. And through His presence and His atonement, I have hope, and I have peace. I’m trying to be like Jesus. And that is enough.
Featured image by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash