RS/MP Chapter 2: Our Savior, Jesus Christ (Joseph Fielding Smith Manual)
Posted by kirkcaudle on January 16, 2014
Find the link to the entire lesson here.
For my notes this month I will be dealing with section #4, “We All Should Pattern our Lives after the Life of Jesus Christ.” Following each block quote I will provide some brief commentary.
The greatest example ever set for men was that of the Son of God himself. His life was perfect. He did all things well and was able to say to all men, “Follow thou me,” [2 Nephi 31:10] and we all should pattern our lives after his.
How can we follow Jesus Christ in our lives? I believe that the answer to this question comes from reading 2 Nephi 31:10 in full, “And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me, Wherefore, my beloved breather, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?” We cannot truly follow Christ without patterning our lives after his life. The commandments of the Father include: repentance, baptism, and the reception of the Holy Ghost (v11-12). This are essential steps in our lives if we truly hope to walk in the footsteps of Christ.
I shall give you an illustration from his life. He taught the people how to pray and then said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil, and ye be led away captive by him. And as I have prayed among you even so shall ye pray in my church, among my people who do repent and are baptized in my name. Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you. … Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. …” [3 Nephi 18:15–16, 24.]
This council comes during the first day of Christ’s teachings to the Nephites. It also comes right on the heels of the people receiving the sacrament. I think that there is an important connection here. Once we covenant with Christ we should not cease speaking with Christ. Prayer is more than just a means to getting what we want, it is itself an act of faith and righteousness that puts us into the right relationship with God.
Perhaps his most perfect counsel in this respect was given to the Nephite disciples. “What manner of men ought ye to be?” he asked, and then gave this answer: “Verily I say unto you, even as I am.” [3 Nephi 27:27.]
This verse is talking about our judgments of other people, “ye shall be judges of this people, according to the judgment which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.” It is easy to judge unrighteously, while it can be extremely difficult to judge righteously. Try judge others as Jesus did. He always did so with love, compassion, and charity. When you see others who you disagree with, try speaking to them with their best interests in mind rather than your own. It is only when we forget about ourselves that we can truly love others. This is important because righteous judgment can only be done with love and understanding.
May I say that those who follow his example will become like him and be glorified with him in his Father’s kingdom; to gain honor, power, and authority. To certain Nephite disciples who had followed him with full purpose of heart he said: “… ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one.” [3 Nephi 28:10.]
The beginning of this verse states, “for this cause ye shall have fullness of joy.” I believe that the cause he is talking about is the cause of sharing of the gospel. If you are truly sharing the gospel then you are in the process of serving your fellow human beings. If you desire to serve others forever then you will find eternal joy. This is what God has. This allows us to be one with the Godhead because we end up having the same goals and purposes has they do.
If we seek to be like Christ and do the things that we know that he did then we will know him when he comes again because we will be like him.