“December 31–January 6. We Are Responsible for Our Own Learning,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“December 31–January 6. We Are Responsible for Our Own Learning,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019
Record Your Impressions
“What seek ye?” Jesus asked the disciples of John the Baptist (John 1:38). You might ask yourself the same question—for what you find in the New Testament this year will greatly depend on what you seek. “Seek, and ye shall find” is the Savior’s promise (Matthew 7:7). So ask the questions that come to your mind as you study, and then seek diligently for answers. In the New Testament you will read about the powerful spiritual experiences of disciples of Jesus Christ. As a faithful disciple of the Savior, you can have your own powerful spiritual experiences as you accept the Savior’s invitation, found throughout this sacred volume, “Come, follow me” (Luke 18:22).
The Savior’s invitation, “Come, follow me,” applies to all—whether we are new on the path of discipleship or have walked it all our lives. This was His invitation to a rich young man who was striving to keep the commandments (see Matthew 19:16–22). What he learned—and what we all must learn—is that being a disciple means giving our whole souls to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We progress in our discipleship as we identify what we lack, change, and seek to more fully follow Them.
Learning from the Savior starts when we strive to understand what He taught. For example, how does your understanding of forgiveness deepen as you explore the following?
An example from His life (see Luke 23:33–34)
However, learning is not complete until we follow the Savior by living what He taught. How can you be more forgiving?
If you want to learn more, try this activity with another gospel principle, such as love or humility.
Elder David A. Bednar taught: “As learners, you and I are to act and be doers of the word and not simply hearers who are only acted upon. Are you and I agents who act and seek learning by faith, or are we waiting to be taught and acted upon? … A learner exercising agency by acting in accordance with correct principles opens his or her heart to the Holy Ghost and invites His teaching, testifying power, and confirming witness. Learning by faith requires spiritual, mental, and physical exertion and not just passive reception” (“Seek Learning by Faith,” Ensign, Sept. 2007, 64).
What does it mean to take responsibility for your own learning? Look for possible answers in Elder Bednar’s statement and in the following scriptures: John 7:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; James 1:5–6, 22; 2:17; 1 Nephi 10:17–19; 2 Nephi 4:15; Alma 32:27; and Doctrine and Covenants 18:18; 58:26–28; 88:118. What do you feel inspired to do to be more active in learning the gospel?
Perhaps you know people who never seem to lose their faith, no matter what happens in their lives. They may remind you of the five wise virgins in the Savior’s parable (see Matthew 25:1–13). What you may not see are their diligent efforts to strengthen their testimonies of the truth. We must all seek diligently to strengthen our testimonies because, as the foolish virgins learned, we cannot borrow conversion from anyone else.
How do we gain and nurture our own testimonies? Write down your thoughts as you ponder the following scriptures: Luke 11:9–13; John 5:39; John 7:14–17; Acts 17:10–12; 1 Corinthians 2:9–11; and Alma 5:45–46. (See also “Testimony,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.)
As you seek spiritual knowledge, questions will come to your mind. The following principles can help you address questions in ways that build faith and testimony:
Seek understanding through divinely appointed sources. God is the source of all truth, and He reveals truth through the Holy Ghost, the scriptures, and His prophets and apostles.
Act in faith. If answers don’t come right away, trust that the Lord will reveal answers when the time is right. In the meantime, keep living by the truth you already know.
Keep an eternal perspective. Try to see things as the Lord sees them, not as the world does. View your questions in the context of our Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation.
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some suggestions:
One great way to help your family prepare to learn from the New Testament this year is to review the parable of the sower. Your family might enjoy looking at different kinds of ground near your home to visualize the types of ground described in the parable. What can we do to cultivate “good ground” in our home? (Matthew 13:8).
“We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform” (“Letter from the First Presidency,” Liahona, Dec. 1999, 1).
The beginning of the new year is a good time to hold a family council about making your home more gospel centered. What ideas come to mind as you read the blessings and counsel in Galatians 5:22–23 and Philippians 4:8? Maybe you could make posters to put around the home to remind yourselves of your goals.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.