Ambition and Humility

Elder Yamashita’s talk on being ambitious for Christ was intriguing because it was teaming with seeming contradictions.

First, the word ambition is not often associated with Christlike service. Instead, it is a term often associated with pride, egotism and selfishness. Second, the term ambition is rarely if ever associated with concepts such as humility or dependence. Yet, Elder Yamashita links these concepts together in a novel fashion.

“My dear brothers and sisters, we are ambitious for Christ when we serve faithfully, accept humbly, endure nobly, pray fervently, and partake worthily.”

Ultimately, ambition in His talk seems linked to Spencer W Kimball’s famous call to lengthen our stride. We are ambitious when we lift our sights up to heaven and see with an eternal perspective. But the way to do so is through humility, prayers, and temperance.

Even though it isn’t often used in Gospel settings, I love Elder Yamashita’s use of the word ambitious. Because ultimately the message of the restored gospel is an incredibly ambitious one. It isn’t enough for us to merely be saved, instead the goal of the Gospel is to lead to our eternal life and exaltation. The the gospel concerns not only our own salvation, but the salvation of all mankind from the time of Adam and down to the present day. This is an incredibly far reaching and yes ambitious plan.

We too must lift our sights. While there are worldly limitations on the spreading of God’s plan, we must have the faith to see greater miracles. We must believe in God’s power to knock down iron curtains and topple barriers. We must have faith that we can be an instrument in his hand. We must be ambitious because we are yoked to the master of the universe. 

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