To truly learn from the Savior, we must accept His invitation, “Come, follow me.”
‘There came to Jesus, on a certain occasion, a rich young man who asked: “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
Our Lord’s answer was the obvious one, the one given by all the prophets of all the ages. It was: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
The next question was: “Which commandments?”
Jesus listed them: “Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Then came this response and query—for the young man was a good man, a faithful man, one who sought righteousness: “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”
We might well ask, “Isn’t it enough to keep the commandments? What more is expected of us than to be true and faithful to every trust? Is there more than the law of obedience?”
In the case of our rich young friend there was more. He was expected to live the law of consecration, to sacrifice his earthly possessions, for the answer of Jesus was: “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”
As you know, the young man went away sorrowful, “for he had great possessions.” (Matt. 19:16–22) And we are left to wonder what intimacies he might have shared with the Son of God, what fellowship he might have enjoyed with the apostles, what revelations and visions he might have received, if he had been able to live the law of a celestial kingdom. As it is he remains nameless; as it might have been, his name could have been had in honorable remembrance among the saints forever.’ (Bruce R McConkie, General Conference, April 1975)
What revelations and visions might we receive if we are willing to follow the Saviour?
Learning requires acting in faith.
Many years ago the US government placed agents throughout the country to help farmers learn to be more productive. One agent in the South went to visit an old farmer in his area, but he found that convincing the farmer to change proved rather difficult.
He asked the farmer, “Wouldn’t you like to know how to get your cows to give more milk?”
“Nope,” the farmer replied.
“Well, wouldn’t you like your pigs to have larger litters of baby pigs?”
Again the farmer answered, “Nope.”
“Well, wouldn’t you like to learn how to get more corn per acre?”
The same answer was given as before: “Nope.”
Exasperated, the county agent asked, “Well, why not?”
The farmer replied simply, “I already knows more than I does.”
In what ways does learning require faith to act? Can you think of any examples?
We need to know the truth for ourselves.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures
‘A study of the scriptures will help our testimonies and the testimonies of our family members. Our children today are growing up surrounded by voices urging them to abandon that which is right and to pursue, instead, the pleasures of the world. Unless they have a firm foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ, a testimony of the truth, and a determination to live righteously, they are susceptible to these influences. It is our responsibility to fortify and protect them.’ (Thomas S Monson, General Conference, October 2007)
How can scripture study fortify and protect?
Alma 1:26 Impart the word of God
‘The spiritual understanding you and I have been blessed to receive, and which has been confirmed as true in our hearts, simply cannot be given to our children. The tuition of diligence and of learning by study and also by faith must be paid to obtain and personally “own” such knowledge. Only in this way can what is known in the mind also be felt in the heart. Only in this way can a child move beyond relying upon the spiritual knowledge and experiences of parents and adults and claim those blessings for himself or herself. Only in this way can our children be prepared spiritually for the challenges of mortality.’ (David A Bednar, General Conference, April 2010)
What must children, and adults, do in order to obtain spiritual knowledge? How can we help each other?
How can we make our scripture study more meaningful?
(See examples in “Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study” in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families).
At General Conference in October, President Nelson and Elder Cook announced some adjustments to our Sunday schedule. What were the purposes of these adjustments?
‘For many years, Church leaders have been working on an integrated curriculum to strengthen families and individuals through a home-centered and Church-supported plan to learn doctrine, strengthen faith, and foster greater personal worship. Our efforts over these recent years to hallow the Sabbath—to make it a delight and a personal sign to God of our love for Him—will be augmented by the adjustments we will now introduce.’ (President Nelson, Opening Remarks)
Have you experienced some of the obstacles to consistent personal or family scripture study? How have you overcome them?
At General Conference, in his closing remarks President Nelson said
‘The new home-centered, Church-supported integrated curriculum has the potential to unleash the power of families, as each family follows through conscientiouslyand carefully to transform their home into a sanctuary of faith. I promise that as you diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning, over time your Sabbath days will truly be a delight. Your children will be excited to learn and to live the Savior’s teachings, and the influence of the adversary in your life and in your home will decrease. Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining.’
What did he urge us to do and what blessings did he promise?
Surely those promises are worth working for!