President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency spoke of having the genuine desire to make good impressions.
“There is nothing wrong with shining our shoes, smelling our best, or even hiding the dirty dishes before the home teachers arrive,” President Uchtdorf said. “However, when taken to extremes, this desire to impress can shift from useful to deceitful.”
President Uchtdorf said some might have lost their focus on the essence of the gospel in their effort to impress others.
“This is especially dangerous when we direct our outward expressions of discipleship to impress others for personal gain or influence,” he said. “It is then that we are at risk of entering into Pharisee territory, and it is high time to examine our hearts to make immediate course corrections.”
President Uchtdorf said setting spiritual goals for worldly reasons can lead to failing to address the needs of others.
“[I]f Jesus Christ were to sit down with us and ask for an accounting of our stewardship, I am not sure he would focus much on programs and statistics,” he said. “What the Savior would want to know is the condition of our heart. He would want to know how we love and minister to those in our care, how we show love to our spouse and family, and how we lighten their daily load.”
President Uchtdorf suggested we search our hearts and ask ourselves why we attend our meetings and keep the commandments.
“I am here because I desire with all my heart to follow my Master, Jesus Christ,” he said. “I yearn to do all that He asks of me in this great cause.”
Presient Uchtdorf said testimonies can be strengthened in Christ, no matter how small they seem.
“With patience and persistence, even the smallest act of discipleship or the tiniest ember of belief can become a blazing bonfire of a consecrated life,” he said. “In fact, that’s how most bonfires begin – as a simple spark.”
President Uchtdorf said priesthood holders have a responsibility to “feed the flock of God. … Not by constraint, but willingly; not for [personal gain], but of ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.”
President Uchtdorf said he prays that the brethren of the Church will become humble, genuine disciples of Jesus Christ through serving others.