There are some great free printables from the blog, Let's Get Together, that tie in with this lesson. The author links to talks and activities that help supplement teaching about Christ's attributes and would make a great resource for a course of extended study or for family home evenings.


President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “Two thousand years ago a perfect man walked the earth: Jesus the Christ. he was the son of a heavenly father and an earthly mother. He is the God of this world, under the Father. He taught men truth, that they might be free. His example and precepts provide the great standard, the only sure way, for all mankind.

No other single influence has had so great an impact on this earth as the life of Jesus the Christ. We cannot conceive of our lives without his teachings. Without him we would be lost in a mirage of beliefs and worships, born in fear and darkness where the sensual and materialistic hold sway. We are far short of the goal he set for us, but we must never lost sight of it; nor must we forget that our great climb toward the light, toward perfection, would not be possible except for his teachings, his life, his death, and his resurrection.

In the 14th chapter of John, Jesus is tenderly saying his farewell to his disciples after the last supper. He tells them that he goes to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house; that where he is, they also may be. And Thomas says to him: “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

The road lies before us, it is clearly marked.”

We must become like Christ.

Ezra Taft Benson continued, "‘What would Jesus do?’ or ‘What would He have me do?’ are the paramount personal questions of this life. Walking in His way is the greatest achievement of life. That man or woman is most truly successful whose life most closely parallels that of the Master.”

In order to become like the Savior, we obviously need to know what he was like. Thankfully scripture is filled with accounts of his doings and his teachings. So let’s looks at just some of the many wonderful attributes of Jesus Christ. I've selected a quote or quotes for each attribute that help strengthen our understanding of that attribute. As we work to apply these Christlike traits more fully in our lives, we become closer to Him and to being like Him.

ATTRIBUTES OF CHRIST

Faith

Quote 1: “[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him.”

Quote 2: “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and get off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” - Corrie Ten Boom

Hope

Quote 3: “Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” - C.S. Lewis
Charity

Quote 4: “Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.” - Marvin J. Ashton

Diligence

Quote 5: “Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer.
If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

Knowledge

Quotes 6: “Of all treasures of knowledge, the most vital is the knowledge of God.” - Spencer W. Kimball

Quotes 7: “He cannot help us remember things we have not labored to learn.” - David A. Bednar

Patience

Quote 8: “Noah waited 120 years before the predicted rains arrived. Abraham waited 25 years for a promised son. Joseph waited 14 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Job waited perhaps a lifetime, 60-70 years for God’s justice. God prepares leaders in a slow cooker, not in a microwave oven. More important than the awaited goal is the work God does in us while we wait.” - John C. Maxwell

Humility

Quote 9: “Humility is selfless, not selfish. It doesn’t demand its own way or speak with moral superiority. Instead, humility answers softly and listens kindly for understanding, not vindication. Humility recognizes that no one can change someone else, but with faith, effort, and the help of God, we can undergo our own mighty change of heart.” L. Whitney Clayton

Quote 10: “We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all of their hearts to know the source of it.” - Madeleine L’Engle

Virtue

Quote 11: “If thoughts make us what we are, and we are to be like Christ, then we must think Christlike thoughts. Let me repeat that: If thoughts make us what we are, and we are to be like Christ, we must think Christlike thoughts.” - Ezra Taft Benson

Obedience

Quote 12: “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.”

PERFECTION IS A PROCESS

Elder James E. Talmage gave a parable of the Owl Express. He wrote:

"During my college days, I was one of a class of students appointed to fieldwork as a part of our prescribed courses in geology...A certain assignment had kept us in the field many days...As the time allotted to the investigation drew near its close, we were overtaken by a violent windstorm, followed by a heavy snow - unseasonable and unexpected, but which, nevertheless, increased in intensity so that we were in danger of being snowbound in the hills. The storm reached its height while we were descending a long and steep mountainside several miles from the little railway station at which we hoped to take a train that night for home. With great effort we reached the station late at night while the storm was yet raging...
...The train for which we so expectantly and hopefully waited was the Owl Express - a fast night train connecting large cities...
Long after midnight the train arrived in a terrific whirl of wind and snow. I lingered behind my companions as they hurriedly clambered aboard, for I was attracted by the engineer, who during the brief stop, while his assistant was attending to water replenishment, bustled about the engine, oiling some parts, adjusting others, and generally overhauling the panting locomotive. I ventured to speak to him, busy though he was. I asked how he felt on such a night - wild, weird, and furious, when the powers of destruction seemed to be let loose, abroad and uncontrolled, when the storm was howling and when danger threatened from every side...
His answer was a lesson not yet forgotten. In effect he said...."Look at the engine headlight. Doesn't that light up the track for a hundred yards or more? Well, all I try to do is to cover that hundred yards of lighted track. That I can see, and for that distance I know the road bend is open and safe...The light of the engine is always ahead of me!"

That engineer moved his train along the track, one lit up segment  at a time and that is all we are expected to do as well. We must remember that progress is often slow, and that slow is just fine. Ants build their mounds one grain of sand at a time. Birds build their nests a few twigs at a time, some taking weeks to fully construct. God doesn’t care as much about where you have been as he does about where you are and where you are willing to go.

However, sometimes what we see most when we look to Jesus or other good people we admire, are all the ways in which we fall short of them. This may result in giving up on ourselves or in frenzied attempts to better ourselves faster than we are able.

President Lorenzo Snow said: “Do not expect to become perfect at once. If you do, you will be disappointed. Be better today than you were yesterday, and be better tomorrow than you are today.”

And Mosiah 4:27 reads,  “And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.”

We don't need to be perfect in every aspect all at once. We only need to be trying each day to be a little better. Every choice we make for good is progress. Every unwise choice we make and try to remedy, we are making slow, beautiful, important progress. It is because of Christ that we can try again, that our slates are wiped clean. His example, His love and His kindness are the greatest of gifts all year through and with his help we really can become like Him. He does wipe away all tears, He does make all things right and He truly does love you.


Do you know how loved you are?

Yes, you.

You, staring at the screen this very moment. You, who are wondering if every breath is still worth it. You, who can't fathom that somebody might still love you because you no longer love yourself. You, who are thinking of taking that awful leap into oblivion.

I've stood on that precipice and looked into the gaping abyss below. It is a beguiling choice when you loathe yourself and believe that the lives of those you love would be better without you. Indeed, what some call the most selfish of acts is one you feel would be the most selfless.

However, you must know the truth.

In your absence you will leave chaos. Shock, grief, anger and guilt will all battle with one another in the minds of those you've left behind. They will hold themselves accountable for kind words unspoken and good deeds undone. They will know guilt in the anger they feel towards you. For they will be so very, very angry with you at times because they love you so very, very much.

Those you were around most often may struggle with feeling that you must have disliked them to want to leave them. Confusion will hound them with one question continually.

Why?

It's the one question that even a carefully written note of explanation can't satisfy. There is no acceptable answer and there never will be because it is not acceptable that you are dead and that you chose it.

The ripples of your decision will reach people you never even knew. For those who know people who love you, will mourn with them. There will be those who never knew you or anyone who cared about you who will mourn for you and yours when they hear your story, simply because they know the pain of suicide in their own lives. The scars of your decision may never fully heal.

If there is any part of your mind still open to reason then I ask you to realize two things.

First, you have a choice.

Turn away from the abyss. There is nothing there for you. Choose to keep living life, one breath at a time if needed. Choose pain, choose emotion, choose to believe you just might be wrong about leaving.

Second, you are so loved.

You may not feel it or recognize it but it is unequivocally true. For besides countless others who value association and friendship with you, I love you. I love you and I empathize with you because I know your struggle. My heart breaks for it. But I promise you that it is not insurmountable.

Choose to live.