Learning by example; practice what you preach is important

Aaron Toronto

Aaron Toronto

As a member of the Mormon Church, I am often asked whether or not I am Christian. Whenever this question is posed, I explain that the official name of the church is: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We believe in Jesus Christ. We talk of Christ, rejoice in Christ and preach of Christ.

What does it really mean to believe in Jesus Christ? I once knew a young man named Jack who wanted to be the best basketball player ever to walk the world’s wooden courts and playgrounds. He had desire, dedication and an enormous amount of raw potential. As he began to practice and work to improve, he swiftly made positive strides toward his goal. After a time, however, he felt as though he needed more guidance and inspiration to propel his progress. He wasn’t sure where to turn. Then one day his coach made a comment that changed his life: If you want to be a great player yourself, watch the best players, do what they do, and become like them. Jack was immediately transformed. He knew what he had to do.

Jack decided that Michael Jordan was the player to watch. He meticulously studied every game Michael played and read every book about him he could find. He thoroughly analyzed how Michael shot, ran, passed, dribbled and rebounded. He emulated everything Michael did. He even learned to play golf. Jack gave new meaning to the phrase, “Like Mike.” Eventually, his diligence paid off. Though he was no Michael Jordan, he achieved his fullest potential as a player and went on to play college basketball.

To truly believe in Jesus Christ means we earnestly endeavor to be like Him. We are all born with enormous amounts of raw potential to live great and purposeful lives, but we need a catalyst to help us put things together. As Christians, we find that inspired influence in the One who lived perfectly, Jesus Christ, our exemplar. He truly is the One to watch, the One to emulate. Further, unlike Jack, who never knew Michael Jordan, we have the opportunity to be personally coached by Jesus Christ everyday, through prayer, scripture study and reflection. Though none of us will achieve Christ’s perfect life, truly believing in Him will certainly lead us toward our best selves.

Aaron Toronto is the advisor for the Latter-Day Saint Student Association (LDSSA). You can e-mail him at [email protected] . The LDSSA holds a Bible study every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. in the Oakwood Room, 273, at the Student Union.