“Book of Mormon Principles: Come unto Christ,” Ensign, Dec. 2004, 12–14
In a wonderfully fitting conclusion to the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni exhorts us to “come unto Christ” (Moro. 10:30, 32). As I have pondered the meaning of this urgent plea, several questions have come to my mind: Why come unto Christ? How can we find the way? And how can we know we are on the right path?
The world offers us many choices of whom or what to “come unto.” Diverse religions, philosophies, social systems, political ideologies, and business or personal interests clamor for our allegiance. Many people believe there are many roads to heaven and it simply does not matter which one you are traveling on.
During Jesus’ mortal ministry there was a time when thousands of people followed after Him. Perhaps they were simply curious or wanted something. He fed them from five loaves and two fishes and taught them, “I am [the] bread of life” (John 6:48). Learning of the obedience that would be required, many then chose no longer to come unto Him. Jesus asked His Twelve Apostles, “Will ye also go away?” (John 6:67).
Peter replied: “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68–69).
Why come unto Christ? Simply stated, because all other ways do not lead to eternal life. Jesus made this bold declaration: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
The scriptures declare that “no unclean thing can enter” the holy presence of God. To become clean—to “stand spotless … at the last day”—we must be cleansed through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ (see 3 Ne. 27:19–20; see also Moro. 10:33). Christ is the only name, way, or means to come unto the Father (see Mosiah 3:17; Hel. 5:9).
At times we may look in the wrong places—to other people and other things—for answers to life’s crucial questions when we should be looking to the Savior and seeking guidance from the Holy Ghost. When we make the decision to look to Christ and follow the noble thoughts and feelings from within, our character begins to gain substance. As President David O. McKay (1873–1970) said, “What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are [and] will largely determine what your acts will be.”1
By divine plan we are constantly faced with important decisions. We may ask ourselves questions such as: Why is there so much suffering and hatred? Does God exist? What does He think of me? We eventually come to the conclusion that we do not know all the answers and that surely there must be someone who can see more clearly. If we realize that someone is Jesus Christ, we are likely to become more humble and teachable and to desire, like Abraham, “to be a greater follower of righteousness” (Abr. 1:2).
In our quiet moments of reflection, we can search our thoughts for the way to Christ. President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “Hold your soul very still, and listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Follow the noble, intuitive feelings planted deep within your souls by Deity.”2 The Holy Spirit is a revelator whose responsibility it is to lead us to Christ (see Moro. 10:5–7; D&C 11:12–14). As we begin to yield “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit” (Mosiah 3:19), we will admit to ourselves our faults and truly repent.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can now humbly obey the laws of obedience and sacrifice, enduring the adversity that comes to us. We then begin to develop personal worthiness and a soft and understanding heart. If we can avoid murmuring, our works become “meet for repentance” (Alma 9:30), giving us the required broken heart and contrite spirit. Thus, in coming to Christ, our way becomes His way.
As we enter this narrow and straight way (see 2 Ne. 9:41), we may ask at times, Why so straight? Yet somehow we know that all other paths waste our common gift—time. The straight path is still the shortest distance between the natural man and the disciple of Christ.
We can know we are on the right path by the blessings and manifestations of the Holy Ghost in our lives. He will graciously give us knowledge, instruction, and correction so that we can return to the Father’s presence. As we honor the priesthood and participate in sacred ordinances, “the power of godliness [will be] manifest” in our personal lives (see D&C 84:20). “The words of Christ will tell [us] all things what [we] should do” (2 Ne. 32:3), leading us to a joy that none save the humble and penitent know (see Alma 27:18).
As we search the scriptures, we will be able to say we have heard the Savior’s voice (see D&C 18:34–36). In our afflictions, we will be able to feel and identify with His pain and suffering. As we repent, His Atonement will draw us even closer to Him.
If we follow the path, we allow Him to work on and through us. We find He is able to do more with us than we could do; we serve with more capability than we thought we could.
We are truly blessed as we choose to come unto Christ. To taste of His atoning love is a joy beyond measure. To be His disciple and follow His way is the best decision we will ever make. He is the very Christ.