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The Journey of Discipleship: What Lack I Yet?

A course of steady improvement

How often do we compare our happiness to how happy the people around us seem to be? How often do we say, “I’ll be happy when … [insert thing that will make you happy here]”?

man reading a book
Peace comes when we take time to ponder and be still.

In the BYU-Pathway Worldwide special broadcast in November 2018, General Authority Seventy Elder Robert C. Gay said, “You are continuing to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, progressing to receive everything that God has. … The question is not, ‘Am I happy’ but rather ‘What lack I yet?’ 1 And what do I need to do to move my life ahead in the way that Heavenly Father would have me move it ahead."

As you think about ways you can improve and become a better disciple of Jesus Christ, it’s important to recognize the good that you’re already doing.

Consider reflecting on these questions by writing in your journal your own thoughts and goals.

Believe in your capacity to do great things — stand a little taller

  • What am I doing well?
  • What are some of my recent successes?
  • What are my strengths?
people laughing
Joy comes when we strive to see the good in everything.

There are a lot of responsibilities to balance while pursuing higher education. Even the smallest efforts to be a more capable person are a success!

President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great and good things. …You are a child of God, of infinite capacity. Stand a little taller, rise a little higher, be a little better.” 2
Chapter 3: Cultivating an Attitude of Happiness and a Spirit of Optimism, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley (2016)

As you recognize the ways you’re succeeding, you will see that you are enough and with the Lord’s help you can do and become even more!

The Lord can help us see the next step on our path of discipleship

  • What weaknesses do I want to strengthen?
  • What steps will I follow to improve?
Do you often wonder if you can really do more? Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, His grace is enough to change your weaknesses into strengths. 3 You can pray to receive and recognize His help as you try to improve.General Authority Seventy Elder Larry R. Lawrence said, “A perfect time to ask, ‘What lack I yet?’ is when we take the sacrament. … In this reverent atmosphere, as our thoughts are turned heavenward, the Lord can gently tell us what we need to work on next.” 4
Larry R. Lawrence, "What Lack I Yet?," Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 33
woman reading the book of mormon
Small things can make a big difference.

Changes can be small and simple and should be taken one day at a time. “The journey of discipleship is not an easy one. It has been called a ‘course of steady improvement,’” said Elder Lawrence.

A course of steady improvement

  • What is a bad habit or distraction I can give up?
  • What’s a good habit I can pray for and work to develop?

We all have things that distract us, but when we avoid distractions we can take back our time. Sacrificing some good things that distract us from better things or from having the Spirit can change our lives.
In the special broadcast, Relief Society General President Sister Jean B. Bingham said, “Sometimes we have to give up what’s at hand in order to have something better in the future. And I know that the Lord will bless those who are trying to develop their divine potential to their fullest.”

Our habits often reflect our priorities. One way to prioritize and invite the Spirit is to read scriptures before other demanding responsibilities, like homework.

christ teaching
The Lord knows us personally and helps us in personal ways.

Be persistent but never discouraged

  • What things am I too casual about?
  • How can I be more deliberate in my efforts?
  • How have I seen the Lord magnify my efforts already?

Even though it can be hard to balance everything in our lives and our efforts won’t be perfect each time, the Lord is still happy when we try.
True discipleship and happiness is a result of hard work to develop yourself, your skills, and your future to become more like the Savior.