“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” —Matthew 16:25
Jesus Christ had a heavy cross to bear. His divine mission on earth was to provide eternal salvation for the souls of all mankind. In Matthew 16, we learn that Christ has asked us to take up our crosses and follow him. What kind of cross does Christ want us to bear?
In his talk “Take Up Our Cross,” Elder Ulisses Soares expounds upon Christ’s request. He suggests that taking up our cross is “to cast off all that is contrary to God’s will and to sacrifice all we are asked to give and to strive to follow His teachings,” which will help us endure this life despite its challenges. Although this seems like a tall order, Christ has asked all of us to answer this call to action.
We can take up our cross by “denying and despising the appetites of the natural man, and waiting on the Lord.” For those of us who feel continually defeated by sin, bittered by sorrow, or broken by self-doubt, taking up our cross means that we cast such feelings aside and seek humility and grace in the Savior.
Additionally, the Lord asks that we sacrifice certain temporal things—for example, coffee, ten percent of our income, and a few meals a month to help those in need. Elder Soares assures us that such sacrifices strengthen our devotion to Christ and his cause, whether “in the face of tribulation, the weakness of our souls, or the social pressure and worldly philosophies that oppose His teachings.”
Although it sounds intimidating, the command to take up our cross and follow the Lord is intimate. It is an invitation of introspection. Christ wants us to look at our lives, find something that weakens us, and leave it behind. As we do so, we will find the strength to endure the challenges of our lives.
—Tori Hamilton, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY TIM BOGDANOV
Find more insights
Find out “The Meaning of the Cross for Latter-day Saints” in a talk by Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer.
Read about what bearing our cross does for us in D. Todd Christofferson’s talk “Finding Your Life”