We read in the 9th chapter of Acts the remarkable experience of Saul on the road to Damascus.
As Saul traveled toward that famous city to persecute the saints, Luke, the writer, relates the events as follows:"And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
"And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
"And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
"And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:3-6.)
Even as Saul, who became Paul the Apostle, asked that question of the Lord, so ought we to ask the same question.
Perhaps we need to find a place where we can be by ourselves, and in prayerful meditation seek the inspiration of the Lord regarding what we ought to be doing.
As we listen to the still, small voice, we might begin to jot down the things we should be doing that we are not doing. We might ponder the things we are doing that perhaps we should not be doing, or that we could do more effectively. We could contemplate our attitude toward others and how we are helping to build their lives. We might also evaluate our callings to see if we are involved more with policies, procedures and programs than we are concerned with people and their needs.
But most of all, we need to assess how Christ-like we are becoming in our lives.
After Jesus had ministered among the Nephites here on this continent following His crucifixion and resurrection, he called and prepared a Nephite Quorum of the Twelve to take over the ministry. Included among the instructions He gave to them was the question, "What manner of men ought ye to be?"
And what was the answer to that question? The Lord did not wait for the brethren to respond, but answered His own quesiton in these powerful words: "Verily, I say unto you, even as I am." (3 Ne. 27:27.)
Of this statement, the late Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Council of the Twelve has said:
"Even as He is. Think of it! Even as He is. Jesus the Christ is our pattern. We are to be even as He is.
"And when did He expect those brethren to adopt His pattern of life? It was not for any tomorrow and any future year. It was immediate. As His ministers, they must then and there begin to reflect His image to all mankind.
"That image had many vital characteristics, one of the most striking being His oneness with God. He desired earnestly that His disciples also should come into that circle of unity. It was essential to their mission.
"Prior to His passion, He prayed that His disciples might be one, even as He and His Father were one. What a vital principle. `Except ye are one, ye are not mine,' He said.
"This became a basic standard for His disciples everywhere. It is the foundation of all our successes. With it we may enjoy divine approbation on our labors, but without it, we surrender to the opposition." (Regional Representatives Seminar, March 30, 1979.)
This, then, is the answer to our question: In all we do we are to become as Jesus is.
All our effort must be expended to grow and develop toward a Christ-like life. We shall not be fully perfected in this life, but seeds of perfection are planted within each of us, and Jesus would have us tend and cultivate and nurture these seeds, growing day by day with this eternal goal in mind: "I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." (3 Ne. 12:48.)