Raise your hand if, in your finest moment of parenting, words have flow out of your mouth toward your children that you have heard previously on another occasion—that occasion being out of the mouth of one of your own parents….Yes, all hands raised? I thought so!
When the resurrected Christ visited the Americas, he taught, “That which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do.” Now I’m not exactly certain that the Lord’s remarks were aimed at generations of parenting, but generations of parenting exemplify what the scripture means. We do what we know, and what we know is based on example. This does not mean that we are forever stuck spinning our wheels. To the contrary, we can look to examples of people in our lives and mold and change our behavior to reflect those examples. The primary example in our lives should be the Savior.
There are many wonderful qualities exemplified by the Savior that we can focus on in our own lives. At baptism we commit to take upon us his name. Are you proud to carry the name of Jesus Christ? Do you cringe when you hear the Lord’s name in vain? Do you shy away when you hear criticism of Christ? Do you carry yourself in such a way that others intuitively know and understand you believe in Christ?
I recently started a new job. At my former job I worked with a number of LDS individuals and never really had to explain my beliefs or stand as a witness. In my new job I am the only Mormon. I work with brilliant folks whose lives, beliefs and religions are very, very different from mine. I am sure that many of my new co-workers have had interactions with LDS individuals prior to me. I do not know what those interactions were. I do not know if those interactions were positive or negative. What I do know is that I have the ability through my interactions to be a positive example of a person who models her life after the Savior. I can do this through simple things like being friendly; not judging my co-workers for their lives, beliefs, or religions; showing compassion when a co-worker is struggling; and not shying away from questions about my beliefs when asked.
For today I would encourage each of you to focus on a Christlike quality you want to improve upon, and make a special effort to exemplify that quality for today. Alternatively, you can identify someone in your life who demonstrates to you an example of following the Savior. Whether by letter or by Snapchat, tell that person how much you appreciate the example he or she sets for you or your children. Pretend to walk in the Savior’s shoes for one day. With every individual you encounter treat, that individual as how you believe Christ would treat them if he were standing beside you. Be the example. Be the light.