The apostle Paul declared to the Ephesians a remarkable scripture how we become perfected in Christ. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4: 11-13 in the Bible)
The Savior Organized His Church for Our Benefit
The Savior organized His church “for the perfecting of the saints” (members of the Savior’s church), There are significant doctrines in this scripture we could discuss but the phrase I would like to concentrate on in this article is “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”.
Jeffrey R. Holland speaking to some students at Stanford University said, “We are here together in the ongoing task of embracing the life and teachings of the Holy One of Israel, of having the image of Christ permanently stamped upon our countenance and His gospel fixed firmly in our hearts. We are here in the ongoing task of making His love, His godliness, His mercy, and His manner ours, and to have those characterize the way we live, the way we talk, the way we think, and the way we act. We are here tonight seeking to be true disciples of Him who is ‘the bright and morning star.’
What Destination in Life are We Moving Toward
“I think the question is an important one for young adults to ask, because you are all going somewhere, and unless you or life or the forces of nature alter that path, you are going to arrive at the destination toward which you are now moving. For some of you, you are not in a particularly good place, and the destination toward which you are moving is not an attractive one, not a safe or faithful one, not one you can be proud of nor one that is worthy of you. In short, you may not be moving toward ‘the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.’ Peter Drucker once said. ‘Strategic planning does not deal with future decisions,’ he said. ‘Strategic planning deals with the [future] of present decisions.’ (Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1973; reprint, New York: First Harper Colophon, 1993, 125.)
“The gospel word for that kind of strategic planning is called repentance. That is not an ominous or oppressive word. It simply means making present adjustments that will bring the desired future results—it is ‘strategic planning.’ Henry David Thoreau said of this kind of mature—perhaps I should say ‘strategic’—adjustment of our lives: ‘I know of no more encouraging fact,’ he said, ‘than the unquestionable ability of man [or woman] to elevate [one’s] life by … conscious endeavor.’ (Henry David Thoreau, Walden (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1910), 117). Continuing that thought, Mr. Thoreau writes: ‘It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To [affect] the quality of [our life], that is the highest of arts.’ And you are invited every day of your life, and certainly every week at the sacrament table of the Lord’s Supper, to do just that to affect the quality of your life by drawing nearer to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. But wherever you are going and however you work through your challenges in getting there, I ask you to ‘come unto Him’. (2 Nephi 26: 33 in the Book of Mormon)
We All Can Be Faithful
“And the wonderful thing about this invitation to receive Him, to come to Him and pursue the fulness of His stature, is that anybody can do it; everybody can do it. Reverend Billy Graham’s daughter and daughter-in-law wrote a delightful little Christian book in which they said, among other things: ‘Not everyone possesses boundless energy or a conspicuous talent. We are not equally blessed with great intellect or physical beauty or emotional strength. But we have all been given the same ability to be faithful.’ (Ruth Bell Graham and Gigi Graham Tchividjian, Coffee and Conversation with Ruth Bell Graham and Gigi Graham Tchividjian(Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1997), 106,)”
The Savior said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25: 21 in the Bible) We enter the joy of the Lord by coming to the fulness of Jesus Christ by keeping His commandments and becoming His disciples.
Dallas Jones is a local leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Parts of the article quoted the remarks of Jeffrey R. Holland to Students at Stanford University in California Feb. 9, 2020. For further discussion call (231) 383-8359 or send an email to [email protected].