Elder Christofferson: Losing your life for the Savior

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Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks at the Afternoon Session of the 184th Annual General Conference April 6, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Mormon Newsroom).
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks about losing one’s self for the Savior at the CES fireside on Sept.14. (Mormon Newsroom).

Elder D. Todd Christofferson spoke about losing one’s life for the Savior in his CES Devotional at the Marriott Center on Sunday, Sept. 14.

Elder Christofferson opened his address with a Bible video produced by the Church titled “Whosoever Will Lose His Life for My Sake Shall Find It.” The Lord’s declaration, “he that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it,” formed the foundation for his remarks.

Elder Christofferson described the Savior’s perfect submission to the Father, an attitude opposite from the model widely adopted by today’s self-centered world.

“Christ’s commandment to follow Him is a commandment to reject once again the Satanic model and to lose our life, in favor of the real life, the authentic life, the celestial kingdom-enabled life that God envisions for each of us,” Elder Christofferson said.

Elder Christofferson addressed three contextual comments he said “can provide valuable guidance” in learning how to live one’s life according to the Savior’s will.

His first point was taking up Christ’s cross daily.

“Losing our life for the sake of the Lord is choosing to live a life wherein we daily avoid all that is unclean and keep the two great commandments — love of God and love of fellow man,” Elder Christofferson said.

He then said members should be willing to make their discipleship open and public. He said losing one’s life for the Lord can be literal, referencing Christians who are currently being killed by Islamic extremists for not denying their faith. What members often view as a historical possibility is moving into the present.

Sometimes the more difficult application is for members to lose their life for the Lord in how they live day by day. “Our lives should be a confession of Christ and, together with our words, testify of our faith in and devotion to Him,” Elder Christofferson said.

With faith comes opposition. “The inevitable result of Christ’s coming is conflict,” Elder Christofferson said.

This conflict can even exist between members of the same family. Elder Christofferson told the story of three Amish families who, upon their conversion, were shunned by their Amish community and families. They loved the Lord more than all else, despite their heartache.

Elder Christofferson taught that although familial love continues, at times those relationships may be interrupted or suspended for the sake of a higher love of Christ. “In reality, the best way to help those we love — the best way to love them — is to put the Savior first,” Elder Christofferson said.

The third and final context is provided by the Savior’s admonition to forsake the world in favor of receiving “Him whom God hath ordained.” “To say (this) is countercultural in today’s world is certainly an understatement,” Elder Christofferson said.

It is easy to focus on selfish desires and successes and to lose sight of the Lord’s will. Temporal achievements are good, but Elder Christofferson asked listeners to remember that they are not ends in themselves but means to a higher end, making possible service to God and fellow man.

“The theme of the Savior’s life was, ‘I do always those things that please (the Father). I pray that you will make it your theme of your life. If you do, you will save your life,” Elder Christofferson said.

The full broadcast can be viewed here.

The next CES Devotional will be held Nov 2. Elder Donald L. Hallstrom is scheduled to speak.

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