Discipleship Demands Patience

patienceContinuing a deeper study of President Uchtdorf’s talk called It Works Wonderfully!, he spent a considerable amount of time speaking first about patience.

drgoogleHe used a humorous anecdote about his personal impatience regarding his health and what he felt to be the misguided diagnosis and recovery plan outlined by his doctor. After launching out on his own solution, with the aid of Dr. Google, President Uchtdorf quickly realized that the advice of those with experience yields better results than our own impatience.

In our discipleship with Christ, sometimes our impatience is expressed with the need to perfectly understand whatever doctrinal concept piques our interest. While yearning to comprehend the truth is a noble quest, forcing that understanding on our time frame can gradually put our discipleship at risk. The events of this past week is a good case in point.

Late Thursday evening, I received an e-mail from my son regarding the recent announcement from the Church regarding new restrictions on children of same-gender parents. Now, I have been a member of the Church for many, many years and have witnessed how the Brethren have guided us through very tumultuous times. So, my own personal experience has taught me to be patient when issues, I think to be ill-advised, come out as policy.

shoutingI will admit that, my initial response was one of disbelief. Like many in our social media world, I faced the temptation, against my own personal experience, to call into question what I read and post it to the world. Had I done so, I would have violated the concept President Uchtdorf was teaching. I would have been that person who saw the Wet Paint placard and reached out to touch the item, ignoring the warning signs.

I resisted my impulse to require the Church to comply to my will and took the time to think things through. I had to remind myself of the many turbulent times this Church has endured as it set itself apart from the current culture.

Instead of reacting, I reflected.

Instead of posturing, I prayed.

Instead of lecturing, I learned through discussion.

In time, I and found myself aligned with the Brethren.

One of Satan’s insidious tools in our times is the culture of impatience. Satan is fully aware that discipleship demands patience.When we try to force God down our path on our timeline, even when our motives are pure, we run the risk of complicating our discipleship with unrealistic demands.

anchoredGod’s tried and perfected method of discipleship is line upon line, precept upon precept. Here a little, there a little. (2 Nephi 28:30) Yes, this runs counter to our current Information Age. But I am convinced that if we apply President Uchtdorf’s gentle call to practice patience we will deepen our discipleship and keep ourselves firmly anchored against those cultural storms that to seek to dislodge us from the security and hope found in the gospel and advocated by the Church.


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