A New Year of More

New Year’s Resolutions

New year’s resolutions aren’t really my thing. I don’t believe in using one day a year to mark a new start to my life; I prefer to make a new start whenever I need one, which is basically every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. Oh sure, I mark the passing of one year and the birth of a new one. I appreciate idea of an annual, grand new start to something, not unlike celebrating my birthday each year.

Change is inevitable, and change is good. I like to make evaluate my life frequently and regularly to see what course corrections need to be made. I just don’t limit myself to starting afresh on each January first.

Having said all that, I am giddy with the start of 2019! There are wonderful things happening in the church, and I’m excited and hopeful for widespread growth throughout its membership. I dutifully (and with excitement!) started the “Come Follow Me For Individuals and Families” study program on Monday, December 31. So far, it is living up to my expectations. There is wisdom and truth on every page, and I see how inspired this program is. Each person who approaches this will receive light and knowledge as they take their own spiritual growth and scriptural knowledge to the next level.

Active, Deliberate Change

Just as with resolutions, or goals, or changes we deliberately and intentionally make, our gospel development only grows when we take initiative.  Elder Bednar reminds us it is not a passive activity “Are you and I agents who act and seek learning by faith, or are we waiting to be taught and acted upon? … A learner exercising agency by acting in accordance with correct principles opens his or her heart to the Holy Ghost and invites His teaching, testifying power, and confirming witness. Learning by faith requires spiritual, mental, and physical exertion and not just passive reception” (“Seek Learning by Faith,” Ensign, Sept. 2007, 64).

2019 marks the start of a new year for a worldwide church where we can collectively as individuals draw closer to the Savior, Jesus Christ. Are you ready?

Chase the Darkness Away

Matthew’s introduction of Jesus’ ministry quotes Isaiah to tell us why Jesus came into the world: “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up (Matthew 4:16). 

Jesus is the sole person who can replace darkness with light. Just as the winter holidays also mark the start of a new year, we also celebrate increase of light each day. It is no accident that the time of the winter solstice is also used to commemorate the bringer of all light.  

I Will Make You…

Just after that verse in Matthew is when Jesus sees and calls Simon Peter and Andrew to be apostles. He found them doing what they likely did just about every day: living their life and making a living. In their case, they were professional fishermen. Jesus saw what they were and who they were in the place where they were, and extended an invitation to them to be something greater in more places. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Jesus comes into our life (as we allow Him) to chase the darkness away.  He comes to us where we are, sees us for who we are, and He extends an invitation to us to follow Him. And it’s not just about changing the direction of our path or footsteps, it’s about making us more of who we already are. We may not be fishers, but He takes who we are and offers to make us MORE of who we are, in a better form. “Follow me, and I will make you…” He says. More. Better. He will add to us and increase who we are when we follow Him.

What will He make of you? Who are you now? What do you desire to be? Who do you desire to be? That version of yourself that you dream of being can only be made complete when you accept His offer to follow Him. “I will make you…” what you want, and who you want to be, beyond your wildest imagination. 

What’s Your Word?

A lot of people start a new year with a theme word. Is this something you do? Do you have a word?

Kind. Create. Discover. Fulfill. Build.

Whatever your word is, Jesus will help you fulfill it and make it more. Kind-ER. Creat-OR. Relying on the atonement of Jesus does not make us the same as everyone else. “I will make you…” Immortal. Full of spiritual gifts. “I will enhance your faith,” He says to us, hand outstretched. 

I am looking forward to this journey in 2019.

“Come, Follow Me”

It is only as we tread in his footsteps (Hymns 116) that we can be one with Him, “God’s own loved, begotten Son.” And as we become one with Him, our mind is lightened and enlightened to receive “truth’s sublime, effulgent rays.”
When the going gets tough — and it will, because we are humans having a mortal experience — we must continue to choose to follow Him. It may seem that wider views cloud our perspective, but by keeping Him in sight and continuing to follow Him, we will be led to eternal bliss and glory.
We must the onward path pursue
As wider fields expand to view,
And follow him unceasingly,
Whate’er our lot or sphere may be.
For thrones, dominions, kingdoms, pow’rs,
And glory great and bliss are ours,
If we, throughout eternity,
Obey his words, “Come, follow me.”

A New Year

Whatever your resolutions are, or goals, or word, are for 2019, I hope you see the outstretched hand of Jesus Christ in everything you do. “Follow me, and I will make you…”

Happy New Year!


About the Author:

Laura will be the first to tell you she’s not perfect. That’s why she loves the restored gospel, and loves the atonement.