“February 25–March 3. Matthew 6–7: ‘He Taught Them as One Having Authority’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“February 25–March 3. Matthew 6–7,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019
Record Your Impressions
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the best-known discourses in Christianity. The Savior taught with rich images, such as a city set on a hill, lilies of the field, and wolves disguised as sheep. But the Sermon on the Mount is far more than a beautiful speech. The power of the Savior’s teachings to His disciples can change our lives, especially when we live by them. Then His words become more than words; they become a sure foundation for life that, like the wise man’s house, can withstand the world’s winds and floods (see Matthew 7:24–25).
It’s not always easy to prioritize the things of God over the things of the world. Which of the Savior’s teachings in Matthew 6–7 help you focus on heavenly things? What thoughts or impressions do you have as you study His words? What are you inspired to do? Consider recording your impressions. For example:
I should care more about what God thinks of me than what others think.
The Sermon on the Mount contains many themes, and the themes you notice will depend, to a degree, on the current circumstances of your life and what the Lord wants to communicate to you.
One theme of Matthew 6–7 is prayer. Take a moment to evaluate your prayers. How do you feel you are doing in your efforts to draw closer to God through prayer? What teachings in Matthew 6–7 inspire you to improve how you pray? Record the impressions you receive through the Spirit. For example:
When I pray, I should treat Heavenly Father’s name with reverence.
When I pray, I should express my desire that the Lord’s will be done.
You might consider reading the Sermon on the Mount once more, this time looking for another recurring theme or message that is especially applicable to you. Record what you find in a study journal, along with your thoughts and impressions.
People often understand “vain repetitions” to mean repeating the same words over and over again. However, the word vain can describe something that has no value. Using “vain repetitions” in prayer can mean praying without sincere, heartfelt feeling (see Alma 31:12–23).
President Russell M. Nelson taught: “The Lord prefaced His prayer by first asking His followers to avoid ‘vain repetitions’ [Matthew 6:7] and to pray ‘after this manner’ [Matthew 6:9]. Thus, the Lord’s Prayer serves as a pattern to follow and not as a piece to memorize and recite repetitively. The Master simply wants us to pray for God’s help while we strive constantly to resist evil and live righteously” (“Lessons from the Lord’s Prayers,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 46–47).
In Matthew 7:1, the Savior may seem to be saying we should not judge, but in other scriptures (including other verses in this chapter), He gives us instructions about how to judge. If that seems puzzling, the Joseph Smith Translation of this verse might help: “Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged; but judge righteous judgment” (in Matthew 7:1, footnote a). What do you find in Matthew 7:1–5, along with the rest of the chapter, that helps you know how to “judge righteous judgment”?
The phrase “I never knew you” in Matthew 7:23 was changed in the Joseph Smith Translation to “Ye never knew me” (Matthew 7:23, footnote a). How does this change help you better understand what the Lord taught in verses 21–22 about doing His will? How well do you feel you know the Lord? What can you do to know Him better?
See also David A. Bednar, “If Ye Had Known Me,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 102–5.
As you study the Sermon on the Mount 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 way to learn from Matthew 6–7 as a family is to watch the videos “Sermon on the Mount: The Lord’s Prayer” and “Sermon on the Mount: Treasures in Heaven” (LDS.org). Family members could follow along in their scriptures and pause the videos whenever they hear something they want to discuss. This activity could span several days, if needed.
What can we learn about prayer from the way the Savior prayed? How can we use His prayer as a model to improve our personal and family prayers? (See also Luke 11:1–13.) If you have younger children, you might practice praying together.
What does it mean to “seek … first the kingdom of God”? How are we doing this as a family?
You could use a tiny wood fragment and a large piece of wood to represent a mote and a beam as you discuss the Savior’s teachings about judging others. Consider reading the entry “Judging Others” in True to the Faith, 90–91, as part of this discussion.
To help your family better understand the Savior’s parable of the wise man and the foolish man, you could let them pour water on sand and then on a rock. How can we build our spiritual foundations on a rock?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.