Every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is expected to try to grow and improve throughout their mortal lives, endeavoring to be the best they can be; as Christ-like as possible. Brother and Sister Stephen Clark, instructors for BYU-Idaho are the narrators in a short video about this, called “Be and Do to Become (2015).” The video begins with some of the scriptural basis for this idea. In 3 Nephi 27:27, Christ asks and answers the fundamental question: “What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am (The Book of Mormon).” The Clarks point out that in Nephi 3:21, the word “do” appears five times. They state, “…to become as He (Jesus Christ) is, we must do the things that (the scriptures say) He did (while he was here on earth).”
This idea of “doing to become” is refreshing, for me. Perhaps it’s obvious for many early on, especially my classmates who have been working on the same “becoming like Christ” projects that I have. But I still struggle with basic self-care routines and obvious decisions (where ‘good idea’ and ‘bad idea’ are very clear). I still choose the things that offer “instant gratification,” though I know I should be looking at them from an ‘eternal perspective.’ Making this simple connection, that I must “do to become,” might help me to include that eternal view in my moment-to-moment thinking with more frequency and with greater persistence.
After a few hours of trying this, I’m feeling less disconnected from the world. Before I started work on this assignment, I purchased a second set (couldn’t find the first from a couple of years ago) of hymnal CDs to listen to whenever I’m driving. This is a stark contrast to listening to National Public Radio. While NPR is generally educational and informative, it often stimulates my mind in different directions from where I need to focus: work, school, spiritual pursuits. I finally gave in to listening to NPR on my way home, this evening, but I think my day had a more positive feel to it because I avoided NPR and filled that time with hymns.
Yes, that kind of makes me “the crazy church lady.” But now I understand why that stereotype exists. It really does matter what we allow to influence our lives. While I cannot help overhearing profanity being spoken in a room near the hallway down which I am traveling, I am more protected and distanced from the damage those words do. But whenever I have the option, choosing to include spiritual influences in my experience invites the Holy Spirit. The harmony and peace the indwelling Spirit brings to me help me to maintain a more eternal perspective. I know that having that goal in mind: eternal life in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, strengthens my resolve to do the right thing more often, and to do the wrong thing less often. The Clarks point out, “Jesus Christ asks us to follow him and do what he did because those are the absolute steps that will take us back to God.”
Clark, Stephen, Brother and Sister. (2015). Be and Do to Become. [BYUI Instructor Videos]. Retrieved from https://content.byui.edu/file/bed1a9a0-2ca1-49ae-a967-246d1efea7ab/1/_mypages/001eeff9-bdf1-41fc-8aa1-10403ea82558/page.html