Attributes of Discipleship

In “Legacy of Encouragement“, President Henry B. Eyring discusses the attributes of the two most important women in his life. His mother and his wife. Through those attributes of discipleship, both women created a legacy that encourages disciples of Christ to walk on the covenant path.

In like manner, my mother left me a legacy of encouragement. Her favorite saying and she had pencils made with it, was “Patience is a virtue”. Through all of her trials and medical struggles, she was as perfect an example as you could find.

Another attribute of my mother was to make sure she didn’t cause offense. About three months before she passed, she called me on the phone and asked an odd question. “Do you remember that time when I lost my temper and hit you?” I had to answer her honestly that I did not. She still asked for my forgiveness, and I gave it without reservation. I had already forgiven her because I could not remember the incident. However, she wanted to be sure. Looking back, I think those last three months she was preparing for her journey into the next life. She wanted to make sure she left nothing undone. Her example has stuck with me since that conversation and I have tried to follow in her footsteps.

President Eyring’s address contained five attributes that I feel define a disciple of Jesus Christ. They are faith, meekness, hope, lowliness of heart, and charity. Each one in and of itself is a divine attribute our Savior possessed, altogether they lead one to a solid foundation built on Him.


“For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name;” (Moroni 7:38). What is faith? For me, faith is knowing that I cannot do everything, but Christ can. It is believing that He is the Redeemer of the world and completed the Atonement in order to save all those who would believe in His name. It is also the belief that He knows me and understands every bit of me. He knows my weaknesses, my disabilities, my strengths, and my talents.

Without faith in Christ, a testimony of truth is not possible. Faith allows the Holy Ghost to testify of every truth. Faith allows us to receive inspiration and revelation.


Meekness is being “godfearing, righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering. The meek are willing to follow gospel teachings” (Gospel Study – Meekness). The meek are not weak. In fact, I would say that the meek might be the bravest of us all. “Mormon saw meekness as evidence of the strength of [the Nephites’] faith” stated President Eyring. Meekness does require dependence on someone else. We should all be dependent on Christ in order to gain exaltation.

President Eyring presented the formula where:

Faith + Meekness -> Assurance + Confidence = Success

What success does it lead to? That we can overcome our struggles. If we have faith and meekness, we can be assured and confident that we will pass through trials and tribulations and emerge more firmly on the covenant path. And once we’ve tasted success, our faith is strengthened, our meekness grows, and our assurance and confidence rise.

I have found that in my life I do better in bad times when I exercise my faith and replace my arrogance with meekness. The semester before I went on my mission was not a good one academically. In fact, when I returned I knew it was going to take a lot of work to be accepted into my chosen major. I had faith that I could be better. I signed up for three challenging Computer Science courses (two I would be taking for the second time). However, I had to show my meekness. I don’t remember how the meeting occurred, but I met with the Dean of the Computer Science department to discuss my application to the major. He looked at my previous record and asked how I could show my commitment and dedication to learning and being a good candidate for the department. I suggested a plan where I would be required to get a B+ or better in each of the courses I signed up for. If I achieved that act in one semester, then he would grant me entrance. It wasn’t easy, but I was able to walk into the Dean’s office at the beginning of the next semester and was admitted to the college.


“How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope? And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal” (Moroni 7:40-41). All of us have hope in something. As a parent, I have always hoped my children would progress to be the best they can be. As a husband, I hope to be the best partner to my wife. As a disciple, I hope to be the best example of Christ that I can be.

Shortly after Cheryl and I were married we decided to try and have children. Due to history, we understood that this might be a long process and might also not bear fruit. We did have hope that God would help us to have children and that they would come in His timeframe. We went through infertility and all the treatments, but it was for naught. Toward the end of our infertility journey, we also began the process of adoption. We did not limit our hope to only having biological children. After the failure of trying biologically to have children, we were blessed with children through adoption. This led us to another set of hopes which also tested our faith and meekness.

Lowly of Heart

The phrase “lowly of heart” is a puzzling one. Lowly means “humble; low; meek; poor“. The attributes humble and meek are usually seen as positive to have. Being humble of heart would mean listening to God. Meek of heart would, as we have seen, mean being submissive to God’s will. The other two, low and poor, would usually be seen as negative attributes. However, “low of heart” could mean looking to elevate oneself in spirit. “Poor of heart” could mean trying to increase in spirit and understanding.

Mormon states in Moroni 7:43, “And again, behold I say unto you that [you] cannot have faith and hope, save [you] shall be meek, and lowly of heart.” Faith and hope rely on us being open to hearing the voice of God and doing His will.


Finally, charity. “For none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity” (Moroni 7:44). What is charity? The dictionary definition is “the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.” However, Mormon tells us that “charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him” (Moroni 7:47).

My mother was also an example of charity. She gave freely of her talents. She sewed several wedding dresses for friends and family. Our house was always open to those who needed a place to stay. She and my dad set that example early on in their marriage and we children learned its importance. Each of us has had opportunities to be charitable and we have always responded.

Tips For Teaching

When discussing this talk, you might want to consider the following:

  1. Discuss what a legacy is. What makes a good legacy? What makes a memorable legacy?
  2. Ask how Faith and Meekness can build assurance and confidence of success in one’s struggles
  3. Find someone who is willing to share an experience where they were meek and lowly in heart. Discuss how being meek and lowly in heart are positives and how they can benefit us on the covenant path
  4. Ready Moroni 7:45 and discuss the attributes of charity


Just as President Eyring’s mother and my mother left a legacy of encouragement through the attributes of discipleship. So we too can leave a legacy if we have faith, hope, charity, and are meek and lowly in heart.

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