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.

Charity

02/17/2011

One of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon is Ether 12:33-34.

“And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast aloved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men.

And now I know that this alove which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father.”

God loves us so much that He layed down His life on our behalf. He layed down His life and “took it again” or arose from the dead through resurrection, “to prepare a place for the children of men.” In verse 34 we learn that unless we have charity like Christ’s we can’t return to our Heavenly Father’s presence in heaven. Multiple scriptures support this daunting notion.

Paul tells us in Corinthians that unless he has charity, he is nothing. Nephi spoke the same, saying that unless men have charity they are nothing. What I feel sheds a little light on the subject of the importance of charity comes from the words of King Benjamin as he addresses his people from a tower. He teaches them that to serve your fellow men is to serve God. We are charitable just by seeking to show our love for others through service, and through this service, we serve God.

While teaching in Jerusalem, Jesus Christ is asked which of all the commandments is greatest. In response, he tells them to love God. He says the great commandment is to love God, and the second greatest commandment is to love each other. I imagine that the lawyer sought to entangle Christ in His words, provoking Him to name a specific and/or situational commandment as greatest, to which the lawyer could offer up the question of another commandment equally as important in another situation. However, the apostle Peter teaches that charity will prevent one from sinning. This declaration is verified by Jesus Christ himself in the records of John the Beloved, where He says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Which states plainly the desire of our Savior for us to do as He has asked us to do. Simple.

I know that if we truly have love for each other, we won’t have the desire to commit any since because we will know that our choosing to make wrong decisions will hurt our relationships with each other, as well as with God. As we have love for God and each other and follow Him faithfully, I know that we will always abound in good works. Let us show our love for Him by keeping His commandments and loving each other.