What is a disciple? A disciple is “a pupil or learner" (Bible Dictionary, Faith, 659) who follows someone or something. There are many individuals and causes that we can choose to follow. Twenty centuries ago, John the Baptist and the Pharisees had disciples or followers (Mark 2:18). Jesus Christ also had many followers or disciples. It’s important who we choose to follow. No one else could make this statement that Jesus made, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). It is only by being a disciple of Jesus Christ that we can return to our Heavenly Father.
Jesus also said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed… (John 8:31). To me, continuing means that discipleship is a journey not a destination. The journey may begin with no more than a desire to follow the Savior. Then every day, the disciple strives daily to strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ, to change their behavior through repentance, to keep sacred covenants, to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, and to do their best to endure to the end by following the promptings of the Spirit as they make choices critical to their eternal well being. Disciples love, worship, obey, and serve Savior. Becoming perfected in Christ, sanctified, and inheriting Eternal Life is the hoped for destination of the journey (Moroni 10:32-33).
The journey of discipleship is precise. Jesus said , “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14-15). To find the gate and stay on the path, Jesus said that we need to follow Him (Matthew 8:22). He also said that we should strive to become like Him (3 Nephi 27:27). He is our perfect example. I hope that every day I can become more like him in word and deed. There are many times on my journey when it feels like I take three steps forward and two back; I stray off of the narrow path into the broad way that can lead to destruction. Too often I make a wrong turn, leave the path, and need to find my way back. At these moments, I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the ability to repent, change course, get back on the path, and continue my journey.
The great Nephite prophet and general, Mormon, said of himself, “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (3 Nephi 5:13). Of all the ways he could have described himself—commanding general of the Nephite armies, prophet of God, or author of a sacred book of scripture—he just humbly declared that he was a disciple of Christ. Anything else he may have done or achieved was secondary to being a humble follower of Christ, a disciple. I join with Mormon and countless others and humble declare that I am a disciple of Christ. I know he lives and I accept Him as my Savior.