President, High Prairie Branch,
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In Luke 2:52 we read, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
This is the only verse of Scripture that speaks of Jesus Christ between the time He taught in the temple [age 12] and the beginning of his mortal ministry [age 30]. At first read it may appear to be a simple verse stating that Christ grew up, but on closer inspection this single verse contains a pattern of learning and growth each of us can incorporate into our own lives.
As we break down the verse, we learn that Christ grew in four main areas: wisdom [intellectual], stature [physical], favour with God [spiritual] and favour with man [social]. Self awareness in these four domains is used in many cultures and disciplines from Indigenous medicine wheels to mental health and well-being counselling. It would appear Christ also advanced Himself in these four areas.
At this time of year, it is common for many to create goals for being a little better in the new year. Many of these goals fall by the wayside because they are often only wishes with little substance.
May I suggest a lifelong process of growth using these same four domains to improve ourselves a little a time, thereby becoming “perfect, even as [Christ is].” [Matthew 5:38]
We can start now, today. Simply write the four areas on a piece of paper and ask yourself what you might like to improve or learn in each of them. It could be taking a class, drinking more water, trying to be more patient with your spouse, or praying intentionally every day. Work on these things. When you feel you have improved, create a new small goal in that area.
Following this pattern you will one day find that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass”. [Alma 37:6]
Even Christ improved Himself. We can too!