Here are some personal thoughts and writing on how to become more like the Lord, Jesus Christ. As you read, side by side, the scriptures that teach the characteristics of Christ, and align them with the promised blessings for gospel faithfulness, you realize that consistent personal change becomes exhilarating, because it leads us to the greatest blessing of all -- eternal life.

Consider many of the characteristics of Christ: He is charitable,[1] cheerful,[2] comforting,[3] compassionate,[4] consistent,[5] content,[6] courageous,[7] courteous,[8] diligent,[9] faithful,[10] forbearing,[11] forgiving,[12] gentle,[13] glad,[14] godly,[15] good,[16] gracious,[17] happy,[18] harmless,[19] holy,[20] honest,[21] hopeful,[22] hospitable,[23] humble,[24] joyous,[25] just,[26] kind,[27] knowledgeable,[28] long-suffering,[29] loving,[30] lowly in heart,[31] lowly in mind,[32] meek,[33] merciful,[34] modest,[35] obedient,[36] patient,[37] peaceful,[38] prayerful,[39] prudent,[40] pure,[41] reverent,[42] righteous,[43] sincere,[44] sober,[45] steadfast,[46] temperate,[47] tender-hearted,[48] truthful,[49] virtuous,[50] wise,[51]

Developing the characteristics of Christ enables us, in part, to come unto Christ by becoming more like Him.
 
Now consider where this diligence, along with ordinances obtained and covenants kept, can and will take us:

  • “And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”[52]
  • "To them who by patient comtinuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, [and] eternal life:. . .”[53]
  • That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through rigtheousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”[54]
  • “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end [is] everlasting life.”[55]
  • “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believer on him to life everlasting.”[56]
  • “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; . . .”[57]

Elder Dallin H. Oaks confirms that our quest to be more Christ-like is a journey of becoming: “. . . the Final Judgement is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts-what we have done. It is an acknowledgment if the final effect of our acts and thoughts-what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.”[58]

It is and will be then just as John said “. . . now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”[59]

Can we fully comprehend the glory of the blessing that are promised? Paul sensed mortal man’s inability to fully realize them when he said, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”[60]

Likewise, as you read many of the doctrinal scriptures side by side, you begin to see an interesting connection of association with the word holy, and may begin to ask yourself this question; “What are the things if God?” Many of the things of God-things our Heavenly Father has told us about himself, his son, and his gospel plan of salvation for his children-can be articulated in one word. What has he told us? And what is that one word? Consider the following:

  • The Holy One [61]
  • The Holy One of Israel [62]
  • The Holy Messiah [63]
  • His Holy Name [64]
  • The Holy Ghost [65]
  • The Holy Spirit [66]
  • The Holy Spirit of Promise [67]
  • The Holy Scriptures [68]
  • The Holy Commandments [69]
  • His Holy Laws [70]
  • The Holy Priesthood [71]
  • The Holy Prophets [72]
  • The Holy Apostles [73]
  • His Holy Work [74]
  • His Holy Day [75]
  • His Holy House [76]

What has he told us and what is that word? That word is, of course, holy. And I believe that he has told us through the scriptures that we are to become progressively more holy by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are the sons and daughters of God, and we are trying to be like him and his son.

Said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland about the savior: “Jesus’ entire being, His complete purpose and delight, were centered in pleasing His Father and obeying His will. Of Him He seemed always to be thinking; to Him He seemed always to be praying. Unlike us, He needed no crisis, no discouraging shift in events to direct His hopes heavenward. He was already instinctively, longingly looking that way . . . In the early days of His ministry He said humbly, ‘I can of mine own self do nothing: . . . I seek not mine own will, bit the will of the Father which hath sent me.’”[77]

Like Jesus, we can try to please our Heavenly Father and obey his will. One way to please the Father and the Son is by becoming more holy, for they are holy.

And finally, a thought about the contributions the Prophet Joseph Smith has made to our knowledge of Christ and His gospel plan.

The revelations received by Joseph Smith and his subsequent accomplishments durning his 38 ½ years on earth are truly extraordinary and amazing:

  • The first vision.[78]
  • The visit of other heavenly messengers.[79]
  • The translation of the golden plates into the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God.[80]
  • The restoration of the Aaronic priesthood.[81]
  • The restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood.[82]
  • The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.[83]
  • The reorganization of the Church of Jesus Christ in the latter days.[84]
  • The restoration of the keys of the gospel of Abraham.[85]
  • The restoration of the keys of the gathering of Israel.[86]
  • The restoration of the keys of sealing.[87]
  • The restoration of the keys of the restoration of all things.[88]
  • The reception of the revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants.[89]
  • The reception of revelations on the writings of Moses and the translation of the writings of Abraham into the Pearl of Great Price by the gift and power of God.[90]
  • The restoration of temple ordinances.[91]

The list goes on. No wonder President John Taylor (then Eder John Taylor of the Council of the Twelve Apostles) said, “Joseph Smith, the prophet and seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.”[92]

And President James E. Faust has said, “May our testimony ring forth with power and authority and conviction concerning Joseph Smith, the greatest prophet who has ever lived.”[93] Joseph Smith is the prophet responsible for the last dispensation - the dispensation of the fullness of times[94] - the dispensation that has the charge to prepare for and receive the Lord Jesus Christ at his second coming. Our best preparation for Christ and His second coming is our first and continual coming to Him.

NOTES

1. Matthew 25: 35-36; 1st Corinthians 8: 1; 1st Corinthians 13: 1-8; 1st Peter 4: 8.
2. Matthew 14: 27; John 16: 33; 2nd Corinthians 9: 7.
3. Matthew 9: 22; Luke 8: 48.
4. Matthew 9: 36; Matthew 14: 14; Mark 1: 41; Mark 5: 19.
5. Acts 10: 34.
6. Philippians 4: 11
7. Matthew 17: 7; Matthew 26: 39, 42; Matthew 27: 35.
8. 1st Peter 3: 8.
9. Hebrews 6: 11; 2nd Peter 1: 5.
10. Matthew 24: 45; 1st Corinthians 10: 13; 1st Corinthians 4: 17;
      1st Thessalonians 5: 24; 2nd Thessalonians 3: 3.
11. Romans 2: 4; Ephesians 4: 2.
12. Ephesians 4: 32.
13. 2nd Corinthians 10: 1; 1st Thessalonians 2: 7: 2nd Timothy 2: 24.
14. Luke 1: 14; Luke 15: 32.
15. 1st Timothy 2: 2.
16. Luke 8: 15; Romans 2: 4, 7.
17. John 1: 16; 1st Peter 2: 3.
18. John 13: 17; James 5: 11; 1st Peter 4: 14.
19. Matthew 10: 15; Hebrews 7: 26.
20. Mark 1: 24; Luke 1: 49; Romans 6: 19, 22; 1st Thessalonians 3: 13; 1st Peter 1: 16.
21. Luke 8:15; 1st Thessalonians 4: 12: 1st Timothy 2: 2.
22. Romans 4: 18; Romans 5: 4.
23. Romans 12: 13; 1st Peter 4: 9.
24. Matthew 18: 4; Matthew 19: 14; Matthew 23: 12; Acts 20: 19.
25. Luke 1: 14; Luke 15: 10; John 16: 22; Romans 5: 11; Colossians 1: 11.
26. Romans 3: 26.
27. Luke 6: 36; Romans 12: 10; 2nd Corinthians 6: 6; Ephesians 4: 32; 2nd Peter 2: 7.
28. Acts 2: 23; Romans 11: 33; 2nd Corinthians 6:6; Colossians 2: 3.
29. Romans 2: 4; Romans 9: 22; 2nd Corinthians 6: 6.
30. Luke 6: 35; John 13: 34; John 14: 21, 23.
31. Matthew 11: 29.
32. Romans 11: 20; Romans 12: 3; Philippians 2: 3.
33. Matthew 5: 5; 2nd Corinthians 10: 1.
34. Matthew 5: 7; Matthew 23: 23; Luke 1: 50; 78; Luke 6: 36.
35. 1st Timothy 2: 9.
36. Hebrews 5: 8; 1st Peter 1: 14.
37. Luke 21: 19; Romans 12: 12.
38. Matthew 5: 9; Mark 9: 50; John 14: 27.
39. Matthew 6: 8-13; 2nd Thessalonians 1: 11.
40. Ephesians 1: 8.
41. Matthew 5: 8; 2nd Corinthians 6: 6; 1st Timothy 4: 12.
42. Hebrews 12: 9.
43. Matthew 5: 6; Acts 10: 35; Romans 1: 17; Romans 5: 21; Romans 6: 19;
      Romans 14: 17; Revelation 16: 5.
44. 1st Corinthians 5: 8; Philippians 1: 10.
45. Romans 12: 3; 1st Thessalonians 5: 8.
46. 1st Corinthians 15: 58.
47. Titus 1: 8; Titus 2: 2; 2nd Peter 1: 6.
48. Ephesians 4: 32.
49. John 1: 17; 1st Corinthians 5: 8.
50. Philippians 4: 8; 2nd Peter 1: 5.
51. Matthew 10: 16; Matthew 13: 54; Matthew 24: 45; Luke 2: 40, 52; Romans 11: 33;
      1st Corinthians 1: 30; 1st Corinthians 2: 7; Ephesians 1: 8; Colossians 2: 3.
52. John 4: 36.
53. Romans 2: 7.
54. Romans 5: 21.
55. Romans 6: 22.
56. 1st Timothy 1:16
57. Titus 1:1-2
58. Dallin H. Oaks, “The Challenge to Become, Ensign, November 2000, p. 32
59. 1st John 3:2
60. 1st Corinthians 2:9
61. See 2 Nephi 2:10; 2 Nephi 9:41.
62. See 1 Nephi 22:21; 2 Nephi 1:10; 2 Nephi 9:18.
63. See 2 Nephi 2:6, 8.
64. See D&C 20:25; D&C 65:4; D&C 124:39.
65. See D&C 121:46; D&C 130:22.
66. See D&C 76:52; D&C 121:26.
67. See D&C 76:53; D&C 132:7.
68. See D&C 20:11.
69. See D&C 49:13; Alma 36:13.
70. See D&C 124:50.
71. See D&C 131:5.
72. See D&C 27:6.
73. See D&C 133:55.
74. See D&C 20:11.
75. See D&C 59:9; D&C 68:29.
76. See D&C 110:8; D&C 124:39.
77. Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Hands of the Fathers,” Ensign, May 1999, pp. 14-15.
78. See Joseph Smith–History 1:16-20.
79. See D&C 27:5-14; D&C 110:11-16; D&C 128:20.
80. See the Book of Mormon title page; D&C 27:5; D&C 128:20.
81. See D&C 13:1; D&C 27:8; Joseph Smith–History 1:68-72.
82. See D&C 27:12-13; D&C 128:20; Joseph Smith History 1:72.
83. See the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.
      See also 3 Nephi 27:13-21.
84. See D&C 20:1.
85. See D&C 110:12.
86. See D&C 110:11.
87. See D&C 27:9; D&C 110:13-16; D&C 132:45-46.
88. See D&C 27:6; D&C 86:10; D&C 132:45.
89. See the Doctrine and Covenants.
90. See the Pearl of Great Price.
91. See D&C 124:29-42, D&C 127:4-10, D&C 128:15-18, D&C 131:1-2,
      D&C 132:4-7, 19-24, 28-32, 45-48.
92. See D&C 135:3.
93. James E. Faust, “Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, January 1996, p. 7.
94. See D&C 27:13; D&C 128:20.