For the Strength of Youth
Discipleship: The What and the How
January 2024

“Discipleship: The What and the How,” For the Strength of Youth, Jan. 2024.

Discipleship: The What and the How

To know who you truly are and what you can become, embrace both the what and the how of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

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“Who am I?”

It’s a question a lot of young people search for answers to. As you grow and learn and develop in your own unique way, you naturally wonder about what defines you, what gives you your identity. President Russell M. Nelson gave some valuable guidance on this question:

“Who are you? First and foremost, you are a child of God, a child of the covenant, and a disciple of Jesus Christ. As you embrace these truths, our Heavenly Father will help you reach your ultimate goal of living eternally in His holy presence” (“Choices for Eternity” [worldwide devotional for young adults, May 15, 2022],

President Nelson taught that no other labels should be more important to you than these three identifying titles: (1) child of God, (2) child of the covenant, and (3) disciple of Jesus Christ.

The Identity of a Disciple

Let’s talk a little more about that third one, disciple of Jesus Christ. How do you truly embrace this identity and become a disciple?

To follow the Savior and be His disciple, you need to focus on both what you do and how you do it.

For example, the Savior wants us to give to others and serve them, but He invites us to do it willingly and cheerfully rather than grudgingly. When we want to give and serve, we receive the greatest rewards of being a true disciple. (See 2 Corinthians 9:7; Moroni 7:8.)

So, let’s look at what disciples do and how they do it.

What a Disciple Does

Here are a few of the many things that a disciple of Christ can do to follow the Savior.

  • Exercise faith the way disciples exercise faith.

  • Serve the way disciples serve.

  • Pray the way disciples pray.

  • Study the way disciples study.

  • Repent the way disciples repent.

  • Think the way disciples think.

  • Love God the way disciples love God.

  • Love others the way disciples love others.

  • Teach the way disciples teach.

  • Endure the way disciples endure.

How a Disciple Does It

Here are some descriptions of how a disciple might do these things. Many of these descriptions may apply to several of these things. Some of them may apply to all.

  • With hearts and minds centered on Jesus Christ

  • Willingly

  • Humbly

  • Lovingly

  • Diligently

  • Regularly

  • Wholeheartedly

  • Earnestly

  • Sincerely

  • Without prejudice or bigotry

  • Patiently

  • Boldly

  • Bravely

  • Focused on the needs of others

  • Centered in the scriptures

  • Unwaveringly

  • Virtuously

  • Full of hope

  • With a desire to be like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ

  • Without distractions

You may benefit from thinking about both what you are doing to follow the Savior and how you are doing it. If you feel like you ought to make some specific changes in either category, that’s great. It’s likely the Spirit prompting you to become an even better disciple.

An Identity to Embrace and Treasure

As President Nelson said, being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a vital part of your identity. As you embrace and treasure this identity, your Heavenly Father will help you to become the person He knows you can become—the person that you, deep down, really want to become.