After baptizing Jesus, John the Baptist announced, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) John shared, by his teaching and example, an essential gospel principle.
John had been in the limelight for years. He had lots of admirers and followers. But now, John had fulfilled his mission. His ministry was winding down.
Christ’s mission was just starting. John “the Humble” recognized that he needed to exit the stage so that Jesus could be in the spotlight. “There is a time to every season,” and now was Christ’s time.
There are times in our lives when we too must “decrease” so that others can “increase.”
This principle applies to church leaders and callings. For example, when a new Bishop or Relief Society President is called, the former leader must “decrease,” and fade into the background, so that the new leader can “increase” and shine. In the church, we are sometimes called to be “show horses” onstage, and sometimes we are called to be “work horses” backstage.
This principle also applies to parents. The time comes when parents must “decrease” so that their children can “increase.” This is part of “cutting the apron strings.” This is part of “leaving the nest.”
For example, growing up, everyone asked me, “Are you George’s son?” When I reached my prime and my father had retired, everyone asked him, “Are you Brett’s father?” Now that I am older, people are asking me, “Are you Jessica’s dad?”
And so, it goes.