Feed My Sheep

03/25/2011

 

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

John 21:15-17

After His resurrection, Jesus Christ ate dinner with his disciples. They’ve passed around the bread and the fish – they’re dining together. Our redeemer speaks to Peter, telling him to feed his sheep three times. Three times the Savior told Peter to teach His people, to bring them unto His fold. What does this mean? Repetition signifies importance. In the scriptures, in life, in school, if something is repeated it is important to understand. Jesus Christ wants all of His brothers to know of the opportunity they have to rise above the filth of the world, the temptations of the devil, the crass nature of the “natural man,” and return to their initial state as creatures of light and of goodness through the redeeming power of His atonement. This is the message that Jesus Christ felt was important enough to repeat to His disciple Peter three times. This is the message that we, as His disciples, must bring to all of His children.

So… how?

We follow the example of Lehi in his vision in 1 Nephi 8:12. We learn of the message ourselves via the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and modern revelation through prophets and apostles called of God to direct us in these latter-days. It is vital that we ourselves understand His gospel if we are to teach others and provide means for God’s Spirit to convert them.

21 Seek not to adeclare my word, but first seek to bobtain my cword, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my dSpirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the econvincing of men.

Doctrine and Covenants 11:21

We invite the spirit into our lives. We do this by being baptized by water and by fire, or by being baptized by full-immersion by one holding the authority to baptize in the name of Jesus Christ and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then by seeking to keep ourselves worthy of The Spirit’s presence by seeking to be Christ-like and by keeping His commandments. If we wish to teach Christ’s gospel, we must have the presence of the spirit. If we study and learn the doctrine of Christ and seek out the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, then it is promised that we shall know what to say while teaching the very moment we need to say it, and “you shall not be confounded before men.

8 aOpen your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as bNephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.

9 Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with asheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.

10 Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, arepent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the bkingdom of heaven is at hand;

11 Yea, arepent and be baptized, every one of you, for a bremission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.

Doctrine and Covenants 33:8-11

I know of the importance of this great work. I know that it is because our Heavenly Father loves us that he sent His Only Begotten Son to take upon himself the sins of the world and be trodden under foot and crucified by His brothers in thanks. I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ, commenced in the Garden of Gethsemane and finished in His resurrection, provides for us the opportunity to repent of our transgressions, to forsake our faults, be forgiven, progress, and receive eternal salvation. I know that He wants us to take His word and spread it abroad. I invite you to follow the invitation he extended to Paul, and “feed [his] sheep.” These things I say in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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Companionship

02/24/2011

As a missionary, I often go 1 1/2 to 3 months living and working with the same person. I don’t know the person beforehand, but the assignment will come and from that time forward we’re attached at the hip. How do we survive being unable to leave sight or sound of a stranger for 2 years? It’s not easy, but it really comes down to our purpose. We’re both representatives of Christ, seeking to bring His light to others.

Of course, sometimes there are compatibility issues or personality conflicts. We often resolve these through coming closer to Christ. We study His doctrine, seeking to acquire for ourselves His attributes and through our diligent effort to draw nearer to Jesus Christ, we draw nearer to each other. Here’s a cheesy image I made in openoffice.org on a library computer rather hastily.

cheesy image made in openoffice.org on library computer
What also helps two inseparable strangers to get along is to focus on the things you like about them rather than their faults. Focusing on their good qualities will help you to love them, to serve them, and be charitable, while holding onto their faults is counter-productive. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus Christ warns His followers not to seek out others’ faults, simply because other than Christ Himself, all are imperfect. “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye.” Repent! Work to perfect yourself as Christ has done. He simplifies it, saying, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” (Matthew 7:1).

Whoever you are stuck with, whether it be your missionary companion, your spouse, your room mate, or a sibling, if you will seek to better yourself and draw closer to Christ, then your companion will be all the better. Let us love our neighbor, as we have been commanded.