Disciple of Christ

(Adapted from an April 1985 general conference address. See Ensign, May 1985, pages 30–32.)

In World War II, I was in a military hospital in Africa for a few days with a respiratory infection. The hospital was staffed with native orderlies who were to keep the hospital clean, change the beds, and generally be of help to the patients. Because of the prevalence of malaria and its carrier, the mosquito, we slept under large mosquito nets that hung from the ceiling and covered the whole bed. One night as I went to bed, I slipped my wallet under my pillow and drifted off to sleep.

Some time later in the night I was awakened and startled to feel some hands slipping under my bedclothes. I suspected that a thief was after my wallet. I instinctively grabbed one of the hands and switched on the light. My wallet slipped out from under the pillow. To my surprise, I held the arm of the native boy who was the orderly assigned to clean my room. All he said in defense of his action was, “Don’t worry. I am a disciple.” He could tell from the look on my face that I did not understand. In further explanation, he said simply, “I am a disciple. I am a Christian. I do not want your purse. I was only tucking the mosquito netting around your bed to protect you from the mosquitoes while you slept.” I came to know that this young man was not only a Christian, he was a disciple.

True disciples are those who go beyond simply believing. They act out their belief and follow the Divine Master. Their actions are in harmony with their beliefs. They know who they are. They know what God expects of them. They mirror inner peace and certainty concerning the mission and resurrection of Christ. They hunger and thirst after righteousness. They know that they are here on this earth for a purpose. They understand life after death.

To all I say, “May Christ life thee up, and may … the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever” (Moro. 9:25).

[illustration] Illustrated by Dick Brown