Becoming Like Christ-- Record and Sustain
Welcome back to the 4th and final post in this series! If you haven't had a chance to read the other posts in this series, you can find them here:
Now that I've resolved to change and committed to doing so, and identified the one attribute I want to work towards and begun to act, it's time to record and sustain.
If you've been around a while, you probably already know what a HUGE fan I am of journaling--in particular, scripture journaling. I believe it can make scripture study a whole new experience and change everything. And I don't say that lightly, but from experience.
Learning to Study like a Missionary
When my daughter came home from her mission, I saw some of the journals she had kept as a missionary and I was impressed. I never went on a mission, and up to that point, my ability to study the scriptures and get anything really meaningful from my study had been lackluster at best. So I asked her to teach me.
There wasn't really much to it because it's such an individual and personal thing, there are no rules to follow--you just have to begin.
Why I Journal...
I think that journaling creates focus because what you spend a significant amount of time thinking about and noticing and giving your time and attention to is creating your current experience of the world. I think it’s why my focus on reading the Book of Mormon and journaling as I go has helped me have hope—I’m focusing more on good things to come and less on what is terrible in the world around me.
I also love that a journal helps by keeping a record of my progress. I can look back and see where I’ve been, and that helps me continue to move forward. When we hiked up the Queen’s Garden switchback and I got to the top, I remember looking back down to the bottom of the canyon floor and I was pretty amazed to see where I had started. Without a record, I think it can be hard to remember how far we’ve actually come.
When I’m journaling, I find that I will have the things I’m learning in my mind, and as I study the scriptures or teachings of living prophets, I will start to see examples that sustain the things I’ve already learned. Because my focus is on a particular topic, I see further evidence that it is true, and that's because I'm looking for further evidence. This is going to be the same as I focus on the Savior’s attributes. I might recognize something in a story I read about Him in the scriptures, or I might recognize it in people around me. Either way, these examples are going to help me discover them in myself, or discover things that I can do to emulate them.
Sustaining... because it's all about the momentum
When it comes to becoming like the Savior, this is monumental, and it truly is a lifelong pursuit, so I feel especially strong about the idea that we need a plan going forward. Especially so that we don’t fall into the place of discouragement that can sometimes come when we look around us and feel like we’re so far away and we’ll never get there.
Because I love journals, and because I know we all need a plan, I have created a special journal that I am making available to anyone that would like one. It's a PDF printable, so you can download it and print it from home. (Be sure to read the instruction sheet before printing!) That journal is available for free, and you can also grab the quiz too, in the Resource Library.
On the first page inside the journal is a QR code that links to the video called "Christlike Attributes" so you can watch it and begin from there. I hope you'll grab a copy and use it and love it as much as I loved creating it!
We are Good Enough but not Complete
In a world where we are constantly being told "You are already good enough", I love this last piece of advice from Elder Whiting:
I am working hard to try and remind myself of this often--rather than feeling down and discouraged, to remember that I'm trying and I'm not yet complete seems so much more positive and hopeful. I won't be complete in this lifetime at all, that is something waiting for me in the next life, but it's all about the momentum.
And as I finish this post, I want to leave you with these final words from Elder Uchtdorf, who says it perfectly, and of course, uses airplanes to do it: