I tried to take only a small quote from Dieter F. Uchtdorf's sermon, but it is jam packed with encouragement. When I contemplate God's goodness, one of the things that makes me happy is the words of His messengers. Each morning I listen to a sermon during my meal prep or clean up time. Usually, I pick one sermon from the most recent conference to concentrate my learning for the week. Doing so energizes my spirit even when my body doesn't cooperate.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
"...all who strive earnestly to follow the Christ are called His disciples. Although we recognize that none of us are perfect, we do not use that fact as an excuse to lower our expectations, to live beneath our privileges, to delay the day of our repentance, or to refuse to grow into better, more perfect, more refined followers of our Master and King.
Remember that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is built not for men and women who are perfect or unaffected by mortal temptations, but rather it is built for people exactly like you and me. And it is built upon the rock of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, through whose Atonement we can be cleansed and become “fellowcitizens … of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)
Without the Atonement of Jesus Christ, life would be a dead-end road without hope or future. With the Atonement, life is an ennobling, inspiring journey of growth and development that leads to eternal life in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
But while the Atonement is meant to help us all become more like Christ, it is not meant to make us all the same. Sometimes we confuse differences in personality with sin. We can even make the mistake of thinking that because someone is different from us, it must mean they are not pleasing to God. This line of thinking leads some to believe that the Church wants to create every member from a single mold—that each one should look, feel, think, and behave like every other. This would contradict the genius of God, who created every man different from his brother, every son different from his father. Even identical twins are not identical in their personalities and spiritual identities.
It also contradicts the intent and purpose of the Church of Jesus Christ, which acknowledges and protects the moral agency—with all its far-reaching consequences—of each and every one of God’s children. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are united in our testimony of the restored gospel and our commitment to keep God’s commandments. But we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences.
The Church thrives when we take advantage of this diversity and encourage each other to develop and use our talents to lift and strengthen our fellow disciples...At times it will seem that the path requires more than we had wished for. But as men of the priesthood, we must have the courage to follow our Redeemer, even when our cross seems too heavy to bear.
With every step we take following the Son of God, we may be reminded that we are not perfect yet. But let us be steadfast and constant disciples. Let us not give up. Let us be true to our covenants. Let us never lose sight of our Advocate and Redeemer as we walk toward Him, one imperfect step after another." Dieter F. Uchtdorf