We talk so often about the sweet blessings of discipleship it sometimes seems easy to ignore the cost. In fact depending on how you look at it, the cost of not following the Savior is much higher than that of becoming a disciple. While this is true, it doesn’t mean discipleship is an easy path. It only means that the end result is definitely worth the cost. Often, this cost is more immediate and greater than many feel willing to pay. Even among His disciples, there will be many who try to “short-change” the Savior, never realizing that they’re only cheating themselves not Him.
What does the disciple pay for the Savior’s promised blessings? I think it’s different for each of us and some may actually think the price is negotiable. Different it may be, but the information on the price tag asks the same thing of everyone. He asks for our all. He asks us to turn over all that we are so that He can mold those things into something much more beautiful than any value we might have placed on the original price.
In the words of James E. Faust:
“Our true claim as disciples comes when we can say with certainty that His ways have become our ways.” James E. Faust, “Discipleship,” Ensign, Nov 2006, 20–23
Part of our purpose in life is to be tried and tested. Not just in a few things, but in all things that are necessary for our eternal salvation. He, and we, need to know the measure of our faith and patience for the things of the Lord. He tests not only our faith in the moment, but also over time. Can we still say, “Thy will be done” when that answer is not forthcoming on our own timetable?
The goal of the disciple is to become as close to Christ’s perfect example as our imperfect lives will allow. Following the Savior’s example requires us to embrace the mission of our own lives, overcome the world and finish the work we have been given to do. Even as Christ did, we need to learn to let our will be “swallowed up in the will of the Father”. We need to learn to embrace the process of change and refinement. While we have been granted the wonderful gift of agency, the best gift we can give back to the Lord in gratitude is the will of our hearts. We can offer that agency back to the Lord with humble sincerity in order to find out what choices He would have us make. That is the time we will truly find out about His love and our own divine potential. The more we are willing to “give up” of ourselves, the more room there is for the Savior in our lives.
“The more we know of Jesus, the more we will love Him. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will trust Him. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will want to be like Him and to be with Him by becoming the manner of men and women that He wishes us to be (see 3 Ne. 27:27), while living now “after the manner of happiness” (2 Ne. 5:27). Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Plow in Hope’,” Ensign, May 2001, 59
Walking as a disciple of Christ is a lifelong journey and because the journey can be rough there will be those who will chose to leave His path. Fortunately, whether we turn away completely, or simply stumble on the path, the Savior’s atonement is always there as a way back. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we can live for and with Him. Discipleship requires a full commitment to the Lord’s way, where ever it may take us, for the duration of our lives. This is the price we pay for His welcoming arms and words of comfort, love and pride at that end of life. That is the price we pay for His guiding and steadying hand every day until then. It’s definitely worth the price.