Sunday, January 4, 2015

That Ye Might Believe

Every now and again, I get called on to teach a class at Church as a substitute for the person who is usually assigned this task.  Today I taught the Gospel Doctrine class as Bro. Moss is out of town on business.  And since the topic, gaining a personal testimony that Jesus is the Christ, ties in so well with my own individual scripture study theme I wanted to share a good portion of the material and points of discussion with you here.

Questions to Ponder:
  • How has the Savior given you light and life?
  • What accounts or teachings from the New Testament have particularly inspired or helped you?
  • What was John’s purpose in writing his testimony?
  • How might studying the New Testament this year help strengthen your testimony of Jesus Christ?
  • How does John 1:10-14 apply to us, even though we were not on the earth during the Savior’s mortal ministry?
Scripture Chain:  Jesus Christ's Foreordained Mission

John 1: 1-5
John 1:9-17
John 1: 1-3, 14 JST
Abraham 3:22-27
Mosiah 3:5-10
Isaiah 61:1-3
Luke 4:16-21

Discussion Highlights:

These scriptures guide us to the foundational knowledge of who Jesus Christ is and His mission in bringing us to eternal life.

The book of John in the New Testament is titled The Gospel According to John.  Sometimes it's called The Testimony of John.  I'm sure I've heard that a few thousand times in my life but this time it struck a chord that if we read it from the perspective of him telling us what he knows to be true of Christ much the same way that folks will get up during our first Sunday of each month Sacrament Meeting and bear their testimony to us.  Often it's inspiring.  We feel the Spirit so strongly as it confirms the truth of their words to us and builds up our own, sometimes faltering, testimonies.  Another testimony that Jesus is the Christ comes from this beautiful and reverently awing hymn text written by Bruce R. McConkie.
I believe in Christ; he is my King!
With all my heart to him I'll sing;
I'll raise my voice in praise and joy,
In grand amens my tongue employ.
I believe in Christ; he is God's Son.
On earth to dwell his soul did come.
He healed the sick; the dead he raised.
Good works were his; his name be praised.
I believe in Christ; oh blessed name!
As Mary's Son he came to reign
'Mid mortal men, his earthly kin,
To save them from the woes of sin.
I believe in Christ, who marked the path,
Who did gain all his Father hath,
Who said to men: "Come, follow me,
That ye, my friends, with God may be."
I believe in Christ--my Lord, my God!
My feet he plants on gospel sod.
I'll worship him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.
I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
From Satan's grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love
In his eternal courts above.
I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I'll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain."
I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I'll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men
I can't read or hear these words without a picture coming to mind of Elder McConkie answering how he would react to meeting the Savior.  He said he would fall on his knees and bathe the Savior's feet with his tears as he begged for mercy.  I've always viewed his understanding of the gospel as vastly superior to my own... and it gives me pause to reflect and consider what my own greeting might be.  And how it might change over the coming year as I study more about Him and come to a fuller healthier relationship with Him and strengthen my own testimony that Jesus is the Christ.

“We need not visit the Holy Land to feel him close to us. We need not walk by the shores of Galilee or among the Judean hills to walk where Jesus walked.
“In a very real sense, all can walk where Jesus walked when, with his words on our lips, his spirit in our hearts, and his teachings in our lives, we journey through mortality.”   Thomas S. Monson, April 1974 Conference Report

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