This past week, on January 12, 2010, we held an expanded ward council meeting wherein we decided upon an exciting way of advancing the 2010 ward theme of Come Unto Christ. We would like to present it to you here below. The purpose of the theme is to direct our efforts in becoming a Christlike, temple-going covenant people by praying for and seeking 12 Christlike attributes throughout the year.
Special attention has been given to correlate our ward efforts with those of our stake. The 2010 stake theme is The Worth of Souls is Great in the Sight of God (D&C 18:10), with monthly sub-themes as shown below. These sub-themes provide direction for personal and joint gospel study. The ward theme agreed upon this week provides monthly Christlike attributes to be prayed for and sought after while studying the monthly sub-theme.
Month - Sub-Theme - Christlike Attribute
- January - Our Duty to Our Eternal Family - Love for God, Others, and Self
- February - Discipleship and the Divine Law of Witnesses - Obedience
- March - The Purpose of Mortality - Faith
- April - Engaging in Personal Revelation - Patience
- May - Gospel Scholarship - Knowledge
- June - “Love One Another as I Have Loved You” - Hope
- July - The Power of Priesthood Keys - Humility
- August - Sanctification Through Sacred Covenants - Holiness
- September - The Blessings of the Restoration - Confidence
- October - The Atonement of Jesus Christ - Penitence (Alma 42:22-24)
- November - The Significance of Saving Ordinances - Diligence
- December - My Brother's Keeper (sharing spiritual gifts) - Virtue
We invite you to personally commit to pursuing these attributes by following this course and continual forthcoming direction from stake and ward leaders. Nothing will be more beneficial to your accomplishing the goal of developing these attributes than your own personal gospel study and prayer. The suggested resources for this study effort are:
- Multiple daily prayers specifically including a plea related to the attribute being sought after
- The Scriptures
- General Conference talks (April and November issues of the Ensign magazine)
- Direction given and inspiration received at Stake and Ward Conferences, and weekly ward Sacrament Meetings
- Second and Third Sunday Priesthood and Relief Society lessons from Gospel Principles
- Preach My Gospel, Chapter 6: “How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes?”
To supplement your personal study efforts, the ward council will correlate multiple other efforts and activities to support your development of the related monthly Christlike attribute, including but not limited to:
- Regular ward temple nights
- Encouragement and support from at least monthly home and visiting teaching messages
- Monthly activities designed to encourage/develop the corresponding Christlike attribute
President Eyring taught in this past General Conference that “the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is that we can and must expect to become better as long as we live.” (Henry B. Eyring, “Our Perfect Example,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 70-73) The restored gospel includes the restored priesthood, the ordinances of which make manifest “the power of godliness.” (D&C 84:19) That is, through the Lord's restored Church men and women can become like Christ! That is the amazing miracle of all of this. We can become like Christ. This is confirmed in Preach My Gospel:
“The restored gospel enables you to become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The Savior has shown the way. He has set the perfect example, and He commands us to become as he is (see 3 Nephi 27:27). Learn of Him and seek to incorporate His attributes into your life. Through the power of His Atonement, you can achieve this goal and lead others to achieve it also.” (emphasis added)
Preach My Gospel, Chapter 6: “How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes?”, pg. 115As your humble leaders in the bishopric and as your fellow pursuers of this wonderful goal, we invite you to join the expanded ward council in accepting the 2010 theme of Come Unto Christ and pursuing His attributes this year. We pledge to you all of our ability and support in this effort. We are confident that the Lord will bless us with success. We know this is a development he desires for us. If we then will also desire it more than those things that would keep us from achieving it, we know we will be a more Christlike group of disciples one year from now than we are today.
Finally, we express to you our love and appreciation. We have the best ward – made up of the most wonderful people. Thank you for supporting us. We love you. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity of knowing you and serving you in this new year.
Mark I. Macdonald, Bishop; Joseph B. Brockbank, First Counselor; Christopher A. Rusch, Second Counselor