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.

Prayer

03/05/2011

A few days ago I posted about the need for us to be more grateful in our lives, mentioning that everything we have to be grateful for is derived from God. How do we show our gratitude to God? We pray!

God is literally our father in heaven, as He is the father of our spirits. Just like we have our father here on earth, we have a heavenly father, our God. He loves us, just like our parents love us. He wants us to grow and become the very best we can be.

He wants to hear from us! He wants us to seak him out in prayer, to tell him our thoughts and feelings… what we are concerned about in our life. If we pray for the strength to overcome the problems we face in our lives, then we will be blessed with strength. “Ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” is recorded in many places throughout the scriptures, and when I see repetition in the scriptures, I associate it with importance.

If we have faith that we will receive the blessing, and so long as it is the will of our Heavenly Father, we will receive it. Jesus Christ demonstrated this concept in the Garden of Gethsemane before commencing the Atonement. He understood the severity of the pain he would feel as he would suffer the pains and the sins of all mankind. He understood this and became a little weary; he asked to not go through with the intense suffering that was before him. However, he understood the importance of what was going to take place, and he qualified his request, asking for the burden to be lifted from his back only if it be according to the Father’s will.

We also learn of this concept in 3 Nephi 18:19-21. Our request must be aligned with the will of our Father who is in heaven. This scripture also emphasizes the blessings that will come to our families as we pray together as a body united. Our children will learn to whom they can turn for support and love in their lives when trials befall them. Their foundation in Christ’s doctrine and love will be a source of happiness for them throughout their lives.

I really enjoyed the story told by Sister Ugando regarding her experience with prayer, and think you might as well.

I testify of the power that we all have available to us at every moment of every day – the power to ask our Heavenly Father to bless us with whatever it is that we need that is good. I testify that this power is holy, is sacred, is necessary for our happiness and eternal salvation, and I challenge you to use it.

Gratitude

03/02/2011

How often do we consider the beauty of the world around us, or the blessings we’ve received in our lives? How often do we show our appreciation for such things? I just watched an inspiring message on youtube, reminding me to be grateful for all the wonderful things in my life.

Here on earth, we’ve been blessed with loving families who support us daily in our lives. Brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, nieces, nephews, sons, daughters… all of whom build us up and support us in our daily life. I have been blessed with a wonderful family that I love with all of my heart. My parents have raised me seeking to instill in me all values of righteous living – for which I feel eternally endebted. I’ve been born in a time of great technological advances and much modern convenience. I’ve been born into a country with the freedom necessary for worshiping the way one desires to – a country full of opportunity for growth.

I love my family and all the other magnificent things I have been so abundantly blessed with in my life. I think that acknowledging our blessings and showing our gratitude will help us to be happier, more pleasant people to be around. Multiple scriptures support this idea, as there are many records of people giving thanks for their blessings and singing praises. The savior himself thanked His Heavenly Father before partaking of the sacrament.

I’d like to challenge you to think of things that you are grateful today. If that something involves someone in your life, let them know of your appreciation for them and what they’ve done for you. No matter what the thing is that you are grateful for, I can promise that God is in someway responsible, so expressing your thankfulness through prayer is always good. I promise that expressing your appreciation for others will brighten their day, as well as your own. You’ll be a happier person because of your increase of gratitude. It is my hope and prayer that we can all learn to be a little more grateful for our blessings.