In a Word: Duty


Every Church member has important responsibilities.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, each of us has been baptized and confirmed. With these ordinances come obligations, covenants, and blessings. While the blessings part usually sounds good to us, the obligations part may not always sound so appealing. But each of us has covenanted to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and to keep His commandments. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1917–2008) said this about our duty as disciples of Christ: “Every member of the Church—every man, woman, and child—is faced with an obligation to fulfill his duty. Every member of the Church is commanded to live the laws of God and keep his commandments. Each has the duty to pray daily, study the scriptures, draw close to the Savior, and serve others” (“Let Every Man Learn His Duty,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 70).

Fulfilling each of these four basic duties brings rich and rewarding blessings into our lives:

  • Pray daily. When we pray regularly, we are able to receive spiritual guidance. Our confidence grows when we know we are led by and follow the Spirit. “Pray always, that you may come off conqueror” (D&C 10:5).

  • Study the scriptures. A better understanding of the scriptures will increase our knowledge of and faith in God. It will also help us discern truth from error and make better decisions. Feasting on the scriptures “will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3).

  • Draw close to the Savior. This duty is a blessing in and of itself. As we grow closer to the Savior, we are better able to do His will, and gradually we become more like Him. “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you” (D&C 88:63).

  • Serve others. Serving others is a sure way to bring more love and happiness into our own lives and the lives of those around us. “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).

Doing Your Duty

Think about ways you can do your duty. Write down your feelings in your journal, or jot down goals on a notecard and put it somewhere to remind you to stick to your goals.