Many people have taken years to develop a personally relationship with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As people often find themselves at odds with the world and the struggles it presents, it's such a blessing to have the knowledge that there is one concrete thing in this world that all people, regardless of who they may be, can draw strength and peace from. All of us are loved so much and cared for so deeply as to remove any doubt or concern so long as we keep Jesus’ message with us in our minds and in their hearts.
Some are led to ask, "What can a personal relationship with Jesus do to actually help me?" which once answered and understood inevitably leads to the next question, "What can I do to strengthen that relationship?"
A relationship with Jesus Christ brings about the blessings of his gospel. Knowing him brings about thoughts and ideas that are uplifting, a peace of mind, courage to face opposition and struggles, and an assurance that there is one who is always there who knows you as an individual of great worth. Indeed, through our earnest effort in coming unto him whose arms are always outstretched, we can be numbered as his sheep and through him find exaltation and ever lasting life.
In the short term, we can find answers to life’s greatest questions and find personal guidance for everyday living as we build ourselves up and give unto him our time and diligence in doing those things that show a humble willingness to be perfected in him.
As all of us are different, we may not all necessarily come by our personal relationship with the Master in the same way, but there are several things that be done to increase faith and the blessings that come from our relationship. The best way to truly know of his gospel is to first of all know it. Through scripture study of the Bible and The Book of Mormon, testimony of prophets of old concerning the Redeemer of the world can add a witness that so many today have of the divinity and truthfulness of Christ and his gospel. The individual passages in which we read the direct words from Christ himself allow us gain a direct knowledge of the principles or actions that he admonishes all of us to live and strive for. As we live these principles, we can gain a personal testimony of the light that enters into our lives and as we do so come to know of him through his teachings.
Another way we gain a personal relationship is through prayer. In your own earthly family, those we love and build relationships with need and adore those times where all you do is talk. God and Jesus both are the same way. There is no better way to come unto Christ then through prayer, just as talking with your family is an important and enjoyable activity that brings you closer together. We are commanded to pray and pray often for our welfare, but also because of the great love that our Father and his Son have for us. I would encourage anyone looking to build their relationship with the Savior to pray earnestly for half an hour each night for the next week. It is amazing how after the initial five minutes where you run out of personal thoughts, the influence of the Holy Spirit can lead and guide your prayer as you ponder and talk on a one on one level with your Savior. As you do this, allow yourself to think of him and his loving concern for you and know that he hears you.
Though it’s never easy, it’s always well worth it. I have seen and felt that in my own life as I know each and every one of us can.
Links: What It Means to Know Christ - Ensign, September 7th, 1974