A disciple is a student. Not a half-hearted student, but a devoted student who strives not only to follow the teacher’s words but also to emulate the teacher’s actions. Jesus said to His followers in Jerusalem, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). And on the American continent, He said, “What manner of men [and women] ought ye to be?… Even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27).
The twelve apostles whom the Savior chose during His mortal ministry are usually referred to in the Gospels as “the disciples.” And the twelve whom He chose to represent Him on the American continent are known by the same title. Thus, their primary title refers to their followership of Him—their desire to learn from Him and emulate Him.
So it is no small thing for Mormon to declare, “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” In so doing, he was declaring his lifelong commitment to follow the teachings and the example of the Savior. He was also placing himself in the company of those who had represented the Savior in the past: “I have been called of him to declare his word among his people,” he wrote, “that they might have everlasting life” (3 Nephi 5:13).
Elder Robert D. Hales said:
Many people hear the word disciple and think it means only “follower.” But genuine discipleship is a state of being. This suggests more than studying and applying a list of individual attributes. Disciples live so that the characteristics of Christ are woven into the fiber of their beings, as into a spiritual tapestry.“Becoming a Disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” General Conference, April 2017
Today, I will strive to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I will strive to do as He taught and to be more like Him. I will also share with others what I have learned from Him and how His teachings have blessed me.