Posted in Missionary Work, Ordinances, Priesthood | Posted on 09-11-2012
Tags: Commandments, Faith, God's Love, Jesus Christ, Obedience, Self Improvement
15 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
1. I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.
2. I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away,
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.
1. “Come, follow me,” the Savior said.
Then let us in his footsteps tread,
For thus alone can we be one
With God’s own loved, begotten Son.
2. “Come, follow me,” a simple phrase,
Yet truth’s sublime, effulgent rays
Are in these simple words combined
To urge, inspire the human mind.
3. Is it enough alone to know
That we must follow him below,
While trav’ling thru this vale of tears?
No, this extends to holier spheres.
4. Not only shall we emulate
His course while in this earthly state,
But when we’re freed from present cares,
If with our Lord we would be heirs.
5. We must the onward path pursue
As wider fields expand to view,
And follow him unceasingly,
Whate’er our lot or sphere may be.
6. For thrones, dominions, kingdoms, pow’rs,
And glory great and bliss are ours,
If we, throughout eternity,
Obey his words, “Come, follow me.”
*For All Family Members* Read or summarize the following article “Come Unto Christ” by President Henry B Eyring (taken from March 2008 Ensign). Testify of the importance of coming unto Christ and being baptized.
The words “come unto Christ” are an invitation. It is the most important invitation you could ever offer to another person. It is the most important invitation anyone could accept. From the beginning of the Restoration of the gospel in this dispensation, it has been the charge given by Jesus Christ to His representatives. Their charge has been “to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.” 1
Every member of the Church, upon accepting the baptismal covenant, becomes a disciple who has promised to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ at all times in any place he or she may be in. 2 The purpose of our witness is to invite people to come unto Him.
All of us should be intensely interested in learning how to issue that invitation effectively. We know from experience that some will not respond. Only a few responded when the Savior Himself offered this invitation during His mortal ministry. But great was His joy in those who recognized His voice. And great has been our joy when those we have invited have come unto Him.
Know That He Is the Way
It is worthwhile to ponder over those instances in our own lives when people have responded. Personally, I have seen a pattern when people have accepted that invitation. In each case the Holy Ghost has manifested at least three truths to them. The experiences have not always come in the sequence in which I will list them, but they all come to the hearts of those who truly come unto Christ.
First, they come to feel that the only way they can have the happiness they want most in this life and in the world to come is through Jesus Christ. They come to believe these words from the Book of Mormon: “Behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved.” 3
That assurance is not easy to feel in a world in which many voices say that there is no God, that there is no sin, and that happiness is found in pleasure. But our voices can be more powerful if we can get the gift of bearing a sure witness that Jesus is the Christ and the Savior of the world. That witness will come most powerfully out of your own experiences with the Atonement of Jesus Christ working in your life. If you reflect often on how His Atonement has changed you and if you give thanks often, you will find that your witness of Him gains power to touch the hearts of others. When those you invite out of your own testimony feel that witness, they will come to accept Him as their Lord and Savior. And that acceptance, when it comes, will warm their hearts and yours.
Covenant and Obey
Second, those I know who have truly come unto Him make covenants to obey and to follow Him. It may begin by keeping simple commitments, such as reading the Book of Mormon or going to a sacrament meeting. It must come out of their faith that Jesus is the Christ and the Savior. When they keep the commitment out of that faith, they feel something. They may not be able to identify the feeling in words, but they feel better. Obedience, even in small things, brings that blessing from God. And in time they begin to feel a repentant heart and with it a desire to make the covenant of baptism, to take the Savior’s name upon them, and to be cleansed from sin.
People come to make that crucial choice for many reasons. At first one man we taught could not see the need to be baptized. After all, he had tried to be good all his life. He had committed no serious sin. He had been baptized as a child in another church. But then two things came to his mind. One was that the Savior was baptized out of obedience, having never sinned. The other is that he wanted to make the commitment to the Savior through the authority of the true priesthood, just as the Savior went to John to be baptized.
Another young man we taught chose to be baptized out of a heart broken by the sorrow he felt for his sins. As he came up out of the waters ofbaptism, he threw his arms around my neck, tears streaming down his cheeks, and said in my ear, “I’m clean. I’m clean.”
Their choices to make the covenant of baptism sprang from a common faith. They knew that if they would keep a covenant to obey the Savior’s commandments, He would keep His covenant with them to lead them toward eternal life. They were ready to come unto Him that they might be changed and led by Him and, in time, become like Him.
Strive to Become like Him
That leads to the third thing I have seen in the lives of those who have truly come unto Him. They strive to become like Him. They begin to try to do unto others as they know He would do. You and I have seen that in faithful people soon after their baptism and receiving of the Holy Ghost. Once, I went with my missionary companion to visit a family we had taught and baptized just a few weeks previously. The parents took us down into their basement to show us a room. It had been the bedroom of one of their two daughters. But she had now moved in with her sister. The bedroom she vacated was filled with everything the family would need in an emergency.
We had not taught them anything about emergency preparedness. When we asked why they had done something so difficult so quickly, the reply was that they had read in a Church magazine that the Lord would like families to be prepared to take care of themselves and others. They said, “Isn’t that what Latter-day Saints do?”
That simple faith extended to everything they felt the Savior would have them do. And their desire to follow Him lasted. And it changed them. They had always been kind, trying to help others. But that ability to show charity grew. And that has been the pattern in all those I have known who continued to come unto Him over a lifetime.
We sometimes speak of retaining members as if we held them in. We can and we must be a friend to those who have made the choice to come unto Him. They can become discouraged when trials come, as trials always do. Yet we must remember that the best and surest friends they have are the Savior and His Father, who is also their Father. Heavenly Father and the Savior will send them the Holy Ghost to comfort them and confirm their faith if they are humbly obedient. So, for example, when going visiting teaching or home teaching with a new member, if you give him or her the chance to pray or to teach or to make the appointment, you may give him or her more strength than just your expressions of love. It will bring down the powers of heaven. And that will lift them through trials and protect them from pride when blessings begin to come to them, as blessings will.
A Change of Heart
Another wonderful thing will happen. When you give your heart to inviting people to come unto Christ, your heart will be changed. You will be doing His work for Him. You will find that He keeps His promise to be one with you in your service. You will come to know Him. And in time you will come to be like Him and “be perfected in him.” 4 By helping others come unto Him, you will find that you have come unto Him yourself. If you want to be near Him, to feel His peace, you can do it best in His service.
He is the one who said:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 5
I testify that He will keep that promise to those we invite for Him. And He keeps that promise to those who serve Him by doing the inviting.
Testify of the importance of coming unto Christ and being baptized.
I’ve gotten lots of great birthday presents in my life, but what I got from my dad on my eighth birthday takes the cake. And it all started when he asked me a single question in a room full of people.
That room was in our church building, and the people filling it were myfamily members. I had never seen so many of them in church at one time! We were all there to see my cousin Bre get baptized.
As I watched Bre’s parents take pictures of her in her white dress, I started feeling really excited about my own baptism.
I went over to look at the font, thinking about what my special day would be like. Would the water be warm? Would all my family be there? I hoped I would feel the peaceful, clean feeling that I had heard other people tell about. All of these thoughts were tumbling around in my mind when Dad walked over and asked the question that changed everything.
“Chris, who do you want to baptize you?”
Here’s the thing: my dad couldn’t baptize me because he wasn’t a member of the Church.
My mom is a convert, which means she got baptized later in life. But my dad never seemed to want to be baptized, and that made me sad sometimes. I didn’t talk about it very much because I didn’t want to make him feel bad. But this time, I decided to tell him.
“I want you to baptize me. You’re my dad!”
I still remember the look on his face. First he was surprised. Then he looked kind of sad. Then his expression turned thoughtful, as if he were thinking about something important.
“C’mon, buddy. We’ll talk about it later,” he said, wrapping his arm around me as we headed to our seats.
The next day, I stood with my dad again—this time in front of the bishop’s office. It was time for me to meet with the bishop for my baptismal interview. I was pretty nervous, and it seemed like Dad was too. He kept pacing back and forth in front of the office door. After I had my interview, Dad walked right up to the bishop.
“What do I have to do to be able to baptize my son?” he asked.
The bishop froze, right in the middle of his handshake. You should’ve seen the smile that came across his face! He told my dad that he needed to be baptized and receive the Aaronic Priesthood. My dad said that he was finally ready to make these special promises with Heavenly Father.
You can probably guess how this story ends. A month later, I stood in the baptismal font dressed in white. The water was warm. My family was there. Best of all, my dad was standing next to me, ready to baptize me.
I know that lots of kids are still waiting and praying for a family member to get baptized. It’s hard to wait, but we can keep being good examples and never give up hope. Knowing this makes me feel even more grateful for the decision my dad finally made—the decision that gave me the best birthday of my life.
“I will honor my parents and do my part to strengthen my family.”
Testify of the importance of being baptized.
It was 7:45 a.m. on a rainy August morning here in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa. We (the full-time missionaries in the Freetown District) had planned a baptismal service and were determined to hold it, rain or shine. It was then I received a call from Brother Allieu, a member from our branch, but I could not totally understand what he was saying, as he was speaking rapidly in Krio, the local language. I told him to take a deep breath and speak slowly. He did so and said, “Elder Naeata, there is no water for the baptismal font. I am sorry. There is no water.”
I thanked him for the call and then announced the bad news to the other elders. Immediately we began to think of how we could still perform this sacred ordinance. It was then that Elder Agamah reminded us of the waterfall and pond up the mountain nearby in a place called Mellow. The elders all agreed we should try and hold the baptism there, so we obtained permission to do so.
As everyone gathered later that morning at the bottom of the mountain, the group came to a stark realization of the formidable task looming ahead. However, the determined company had no sign of hesitation to press forward. Men and women and even children walked and talked happily up the wet and slippery trail. Gradually ascending, we took a short detour to cross the river.
As we hiked, the zeal of some in the party began to fade when the rain picked up, but we pressed forward with hope. Still, the rugged path seemed to have no end. Finally we arrived at our destination. Our hearts were happy, but the rain persisted to beat down upon us. As we prepared for the baptismal service, we took refuge from the rain under a large mango tree.
We opened by singing the hymn “The Spirit of God” (Hymns, no. 2). After the opening devotional we went to the baptismal site. The water was rushing off the falls and into the pond where we would perform the sacred ordinance.
A father entered the pond and helped his son into the water when, suddenly, the rain stopped. The rays of the sun broke through the clouds and illuminated the pond. We could feel the presence of the Spirit. After the father baptized his son, a husband baptized his wife, and then the elders baptized their investigators. The sun continued to shine, as did the smiles on our faces.
We closed the service by singing “Come, Follow Me” (Hymns, no. 116). Yes, indeed, we did follow Him. We followed our Savior up and down the mountain, across full, flowing creeks, up the steep and wet trails, and through the rain. And those who were baptized truly followed the Savior’s example as they entered the waters of baptism.
Testify of the importance of coming unto Christ & being baptized.
Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate or Apple Enchiladas
Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
Yields 3 Servings
1/3 cup hot cocoa mix (no marshmallows)
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
whipped cream or marshmallows optional
1. In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat whisk together your milk and hot cocoa mix.
2. Add your canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.
3. Heat until desired temperature is reached.
4. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and/or marshmallows and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. (Taken from Cookies & Cups)
1. Spoon about one heaping quarter cup of pie filling evenly down the center of each tortilla.
1- Play Mother May I? & work towards a picture of the Savior.
2- Memorize your baptism covenants.
3- Have each individual share things they remember from their baptism.