Selected Teachings on
What Does it Mean to
"Take Up Your Cross"?

JST Matthew 16:25-26 (Jesus Christ)

25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.

26 And now for a man to take up his cross, is to deny himself of all ungodliness, and every worldly lust, and keep my commandments.

3 Nephi 12:27-30 (Jesus Christ)

27 Behold, it is written by them of old time, that thou shalt not commit adultery;

28 But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart.

29 Behold, I give unto you a commandment, that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart;

30 For it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell.

Neal A. Maxwell (Quorum of the Twelve)

The Church would grow much faster now, numerically and spiritually, if it were not for the wickedness of the world (see 1 Ne. 14:12). It would also grow much faster if you and I were better by taking up the Christian cross daily (see Luke 9:23). Part of taking up the cross is denying ourselves the lusts and appetites of the flesh. “For it is better,” the resurrected Jesus said, “that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross” (3 Ne. 12:30). Thus, the daily taking up of the cross means daily denying ourselves the appetites of the flesh. (‘‘Overcome … Even As I Also Overcame’’,” Ensign, May 1987, pp. 70-71)

Losing our lust is part of losing ourselves for the Savior's sake. Losing the burden of our lust makes possible the taking up of the cross. (A Wonderful Flood of Light [1990], pp.96-97)

Bruce R. McConkie (Quorum of the Twelve)

Similarly the gospel cause commands every man to take up his cross and follow him who carried his own cross to Golgotha. That is, the saints are to carry the cross of service and consecration, the cross of devotion and obedience. (Mormon Doctrine, [1966, 2d ed.], p.173) 

James E. Faust (First Presidency)

The disciples of Christ receive a call not only to forsake the pursuit of worldly things, but also to carry the cross. To carry the cross means to follow his commandments and to build up his church upon the earth. It also means self-mastery. (“Discipleship,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, p. 20)