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How Can I Live My Religion Better?

With a new year come new resolutions. As part of these improvements, many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are seeking ways to strengthen their relationships with Jesus Christ and to more fully live His gospel. Being religious is more than just attending Sunday services. A fully engaged spiritual life involves daily actions that reflect the teachings of the Saviour.

There is more to being a true Christian than simply following rules or completing required checklists. There is a deeper, inner change that must occur. An ancient prophet of the Book of Mormon counselled: “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” (Moroni 10:32). Striving to live one’s religion better every day is the sure path to “come unto Christ.”

A simple resolution for increased spirituality is to spend time each day studying scriptures. In the words of Christ are found guidelines, instructions and peace. Study aids found on the Church’s website are available in the form of various apps and can make new habits easier to form.

Sister Julie B. Beck, a former general Relief Society president, said: “Whichever way a person starts studying the scriptures, the key to unlocking important knowledge is to keep studying. I never tire of discovering the rich treasures of truth in the scriptures because they teach with ‘plainness, even as plain as word can be’ (2 Nephi 32:7). The scriptures testify of Christ (see John 5:39). They tell us all things we should do (see 2 Nephi 32:3). They ‘make [us] wise unto salvation’ (2 Timothy 3:15)” (Julie B. Beck, “My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures,” Apr. 2004 general conference).

A further resolution is to converse daily with the Lord in prayer. Ask for understanding of the scriptures, guidance in decisions and comfort in trials. Express love, appreciation and gratitude.

Apart from these more formal practices, a deeper resolution is to love as Jesus loved. Show kindness to a stranger. Seek for opportunities to serve through a smile, a quick text or even a visit. Suspend judgment and allow room for others to learn through mistakes. Forgive quickly and love always.

Former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) advised: “Why do any of us have to be so mean and unkind to others? Why can’t all of us reach out in friendship to everyone about us? Why is there so much bitterness and animosity? It is not a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all stumble occasionally. We all make mistakes” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Need for Greater Kindness,” Apr. 2006 general conference).

Resolve this year to forgive like Christ, to love like Christ and to be like Christ.

Contributed by Janine Thompson

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