While teaching Gospel Doctrine on Sunday I had an ah-ha moment about the nature of God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ. When the Father and the son appear together, the Father speaks first introducing His Son - witnessing of Christ's divine nature and then commands that we listen to the words of our Savior - the teacher.
When Christ is baptized the Father speaks - witnessing of His Son's divinity:
"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." - Matthew 3:17
After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ he appears to the inhabitants of Bountiful after they hear the voice of God:
"Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name - hear ye him." - 3 Nephi 11:7
When Joseph Smith, knelt to pray at the age of 14 seeking guidance regarding which church to join he received a divine answer after God the Father & his son, Jesus Christ appears unto him in the Sacred Grove.
Once again Heavenly Father speaks:
"When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spoke unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other - This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him!" - Joseph Smith History 1:17
Another important relationship to recognize is ours with the Father and his son. As the Father directs us to listen to the Son - He instructions his son to teach, we have an obligation to listen to the Son recognizing that it is through Him that we can return to our Heavenly Father's presence. It is like a link between us and the Father. Jesus Christ is the mediator between us and the Father.
Lastly, the Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead, plays significant roles when God the Father & Jesus Christ are present.
The Holy Ghost bares witness to each of us truth. He was present at Christ's baptism in the form of a dove. He is ever present when we seek the guidance and direction of our Father. He is there when we need peace and comfort.
Jesus Christ often reminds us of the nature and purpose of the Holy Ghost. He also testifies that the Holy Ghost is an individual personage.
"We believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost."
It is also important to know that we can have one-on-one experiences with our Heavenly Father and with his son, Jesus Christ. We can know them intimately and be taught at their feet. These opportunities come through constant prayer and scripture study. The Lord is merciful and will hear and answer sincere desires.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
"Yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands."
- Isaiah 49:15-16
The Savior's promise to us that we are never forgotten. The Savior has asked us to come unto him and to know him for a surety. We can have an intimate relationship with the Savior as did the Nephites in Bountiful:
"Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know... and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety..."
- 3 Nephi 11:14-15
There are several actions that occurred at this time:
1) one by one
1) one by one - this is significant. When we approach the Savior it is a personal experience. Our testimony of the Savior is individual and sacred.
2) see - As we study the life of the Savior and commit to becoming his disciple our eyes are opened and we see who he is.
3) feel - The life of Christ was filled with compassion and kindness towards all. When we emulate His life we begin to feel love towards Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and others.
4) know - Knowing of a surety the Savior is significant. Most people walk this earth without knowing Jesus Christ. Our testimony of the Savior is a blessing.
The one-on-one experience with the Lord need not be a future event. Every time we turn to the Savior seeking answers to prayers; seeking forgiveness and experiencing the blessings and miracles of the atonement we are experiencing a one-on-one experience with our Savior. These experiences bring us closer to Him. This is an opportunity to know Him in a very personal way.
The Third Nephi experience was not meant just for twenty five hundred people. The Lord's invitation is extended to each of us:
"Ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see."
3 Nephi 18:25
The Lord invites each of us to have our own one-on-one experience with Him, to feel Him with us, to see Him along the way.
Monday, January 7, 2013
One of the exciting things about teaching Gospel Doctrine again this year, is the opportunity to study the Doctrine & Covenants. One of the goals for this course of study is to become better disciples of Jesus Christ.
My New Year's Resolution this year is to become one of his Disciples.
"The fist step on the path of discipleship begins, luckily enough in the exact place where we stand!"
- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This blog is a continuation of the posts on Drawing Closer to Him. The purpose is to share with you my journey in becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.
After teaching the Book of Mormon last year and gaining a stronger testimony of my Savior, I now have a desire to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
The path to discipleship is a very individual process, a deeper journey than simply coming closer to the Lord.
Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is a lifelong process that will ultimately define who we are.
One of the best ways we can draw closer to the Lord is by turning to the scriptures. As Nephi and his posterity often referred to ancient scripture in their writing I will do the same.
I once heard that we not only need to consider our ancestors and ensuring their salvation, we need to consider our posterity; leaving them a legacy for them to read and ponder over.
The Lord invites:
"... and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."
- 3 Nephi 9:14
Accepting the invitation to come unto Christ leads us through a transformation. In reality, the process is one not just of coming but really of becoming. As we come unto Christ, we become something more. Something better. We become His.
"We do not really grasp who we are until we know whose we are."
- Truman G Madsen