The Example We Set

|Aine M., 17, Texas|

I am the third of eight children. Something that motivates me to follow the gospel is the idea that the example I set for my little brothers has the potential to change their lives forever.

In March, my sister got her mission call and she starts the online MTC this week.

I am so proud of her dedication to our Heavenly Father and her willingness to serve. She has shaped my whole life and has inspired me in so many ways!

I know that my life would be so different without her example.

Jesus taught that we “are the light of the world. … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16).

Even if your family situation prevents you from feeling a need to set an example for younger siblings; we, as disciples of Christ, know that it is our responsibility to emulate Him in every action.

John T. Kesler wrote an amazing article in the October 1977 Ensign called “Being an Example” that highlights this topic perfectly. It touches on how our example is important and can be a force for good when representing the Church as missionaries in our everyday lives.

Fortunately for me, my life has been full of excellent examples that have taught me how to better represent the Church.

A list of things I’ve learned from parents and leaders about how to be a better example:

1. STAY CONSISTENT: People, especially young children, learn through habit. When you were younger, your parents most likely made you brush your teeth every night. Everyday practice is very important for making sure your life is headed in the right direction. Teaching other people by example only works if you are living what you preach, every single day!! Even if you are not perfect, as long as an effort to maintain small important habits is evident, this is the most simple way to be a good example.

2. LEARN WHAT PEOPLE NEED AS INDIVIDUALS: Not everyone you are going to set an example for is going to be the same. Learn what THEY need and how you can show THEM a good example.

3. SERVICE: I’ve found the best way to set an example is to willingly serve those around you. A lot of missionary work is being able to lend a hand when there are people in need!! If you are still in middle school or high school and want to serve a mission someday, service opportunities are a great way to practice people skills and set an example while you’re at it!

I hope these few things can help facilitate more proactive ways to set a good example for those you are trying to teach.

Always remember to look for opportunities to be a brighter light for Christ.

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