Monday, June 28, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson #63: I CAN FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST'S EXAMPLE

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "Come, Follow Me" Hymns pg. 116

3. Read Luke 18:22  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

4. Read and discuss the following from Joseph B. Wirthlin in the May, 2002 Ensign:

They were fishermen before they heard the call. Casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee, Peter and Andrew stopped as Jesus of Nazareth approached, looked into their eyes, and spoke the simple words, “Follow me.” Matthew writes that the two fishermen “straightway left their nets, and followed him.”

Then the Son of Man approached two other fishermen who were in a ship with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called to them, “and [James and John] immediately left the ship and their father, and followed [the Lord].” 1

Have you ever wondered what it must have been like to have lived in the days of the Savior? If you had been there, would you have heeded His call “Follow me”?

Perhaps a more realistic question might be, “If the Savior were to call you today, would you be just as willing to leave your nets and follow Him?” I am confident that many would.

As the clatter and clamor of life bustle about us, we hear shouting to “come here” and to “go there.” In the midst of the noise and seductive voices that compete for our time and interest, a solitary figure stands on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, calling quietly to us, “Follow me.”

We can easily get our lives out of balance. I remember a few years that were particularly challenging for me. Our family had grown to seven children. I had served as a counselor in the bishopric and was then given the sacred call as bishop of our ward. I was striving to manage our business that required long hours each day. I pay tribute to my wonderful wife, who always made it possible for me to serve the Lord.

There was simply too much to do in the time available. Instead of sacrificing things of significance, I decided I’d get up earlier, take care of my business, then spend the time required to be a good father and husband and a faithful member of the Church. It wasn’t easy. There were mornings when the alarm clock went off that I cracked open an eyelid and glared at it, daring it to keep ringing.

Nevertheless, the Lord was merciful and helped me to find the energy and time to do all I had committed to do. Although it was difficult, I have never regretted making the choice to heed the Savior’s call and follow Him.

Think of the debt we owe to Him . . . because of the Savior, we will live forever. No amount of money can purchase this exalted state. Eternal life is a gift from a loving Heavenly Father, offered freely and liberally to all who heed the call of the Man of Galilee.

How do we follow the Savior? By exercising faith. By believing in Him. By believing in our Heavenly Father. By believing that God speaks to man on earth today.

We follow the Savior by repenting of our sins—by experiencing sorrow because of them and forsaking them.

We follow the Savior by entering the waters of baptism and receiving a remission of our sins, by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and allowing that influence to inspire, instruct, guide, and comfort us.

How do we follow the Savior? By obeying Him. He and our Heavenly Father have given us commandments—not to punish or torment us, but to help us come to a fulness of joy, both in this life and for the eternities to come, worlds without end.

In contrast, when we cling to our sins, our pleasures, and sometimes even our perceived obligations; resist the influence of the Holy Ghost; and put aside the words of the prophets; we then stand at the shore of our own Galilee, nets tightly entangling us. We find ourselves unable to leave them behind and follow the living Christ.

But the Shepherd calls to each of us today. Will we recognize the voice of the Son of God? Will we follow Him?

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: I Can Follow Jesus Christ's Example (Friend, July 2010)
What Does Jesus Christ Want Me to Do? (Friend, Sept. 1997)
Jesus is My Example (FHE Resource Book, Lesson 12)
Calling of the Fishermen (Gospel Art Picture Kit)

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