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Attributes of Academic Success: Learning From the Savior

Developing Christlike attributes can help us in all aspects of our lives


How can spiritual improvements help in our academic and professional lives? As you learn about Jesus Christ and attributes of His character, you might look for ways you can follow His example and develop those attributes yourself to help you in your academic and professional life.

Here are a few attributes you could start with:

Diligence: Success is possible through persistence

To be diligent means to continually press forward, regardless of the challenge.

Before being crucified, the Savior was spit on, mocked, and adorned with a crown of thorns. Despite these agonies, Jesus Christ diligently finished what His Father asked Him to do.

Jesus in the Garden
Christ prayed diligently as He performed the Atonement.

Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated to do simple things like completing coursework, but if we are diligent in our studies, we will undoubtedly accomplish more. Having habits of diligence will provide opportunities for employers to recognize and reward dedication and hard work.

When we are diligent, we receive strength beyond our own to support to provide for our families and serve God.

Humility: Strength in recognizing where our success comes from

"[The] Savior is our supreme example of the power of humility and submissiveness," said Richard C. Edgley, a former First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric. "After all, His submitting His will to the Father brought about the greatest, and even the most powerful, event in all of history. Perhaps some of the most sacred words in all the scriptures are simply, 'Not my will, but thine, be done.'" 1
Bishop Richard C. Edgley, “The Empowerment of Humility”, Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2003
Jesus Enters into Jerusalem
Humility comes from recognizing where our strengths and blessings come from.

To be humble doesn't mean we should deny our strengths, talents, or gifts — being humble can simply mean that we recognize where those strengths and blessings come from. When we recognize God as our provider and express gratitude for our blessings, we can also receive the peace and strength that comes when we rely on Him.

Bishop Edgley continued, "He will take care of you and make more of you than you can make of yourself.... Humility and gratitude are truly the twin characteristics of happiness."

Asking for help from classmates, instructors, or friends takes humility, but God often supports us through the people around us.

Integrity: Honesty and trust no matter the circumstance

President James E. Faust explained, "An honorable man or woman ... [is] honorable in their inner core. Integrity is the light that shines from a disciplined conscience. It is the strength of duty within us." 2
James E. Faust, “We Believe in You!,” (BYU devotional, Nov. 1, 1998),
Jesus Being Questioned
Christ always remained true to who He was and what He taught.

A person with integrity makes the same choices in private as he or she would in public. The Savior never acted contrary to what He taught. His teachings and demeanor were the same, no matter who He was with or what His circumstances were.

What we do when no one's watching shows the real intent of our heart and helps people to trust us. Trust is vital to be successful in relationships, in jobs, in school — always!

The blessings of having integrity include the trust of employers and family members, the opportunity to progress in our careers and in life, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are aligned with God and worthy of His Spirit.

Patience: With enduring patience, anything is possible

"Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature," said President Thomas S. Monson. "There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required. If the only perfect man who ever lived — even Jesus of Nazareth — was called upon to endure great suffering, how can we, who are less than perfect, expect to be free of such challenges?" 3
Thomas S. Monson, “Patience — A Heavenly Virtue,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 1995
Jesus Holding a Child
Christ was patient with all those He taught and served.

Patience is an essential quality in all aspects of life, and especially when it comes to pursuing higher education. The pursuit of knowledge is an eternal endeavor! Specifically, earning a degree takes years to complete and includes sacrificing time, effort, and money, which we may not naturally be inclined to give up. However, as we continue to pray for help and wait patiently on the Lord, our capacity to learn will increase and He will bless us for every effort.

As we strive to further develop these Christlike attributes and become more like the Savior, we're promised divine assistance in our academic and professional endeavors — for "all things unto [God] are spiritual." 4
Thomas S. Monson, “Patience — A Heavenly Virtue,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 1995