So I've been studying the New Testament recently (since mid-September probably) because I want to gain a greater understanding of what is in there. I started the book of John today, which is probably my favorite of the four gospels (I don't really know why--I just like it a lot!), and already, 3 chapters in, I've gained some really cool insights. I wanted to share one thing today that really stuck out to me. Before I begin though, I want to explain something about studying the scriptures.
We Mormons know that the best way to learn is to "learn by the Spirit"--you may have heard some of your Mormon friends talk about that before. What that means is that the Holy Ghost (or "Holy Spirit" or "Spirit of God", etc.) teaches us the things Heavenly Father wants us to understand. Jesus said of this, "But the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26, emphasis added). We learn in the book of Galatians, chapter 5 verses 22&23, what feelings accompany us when the Holy Ghost is teaching us: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance..." So basically, when you study the scriptures and feel those feelings, you can be sure that you are being taught by the Holy Ghost. I know that Heavenly Father wants us to feel and seek after those feelings so we can know that what we are learning is true, even if it doesn't make sense to our brains all the way at first. (*Side Note* If you meet with us missionaries, we will invite you to read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon, which we know to be the word of God along with the Bible. When you follow that course and ask in faith, sincerely wanting to act upon the answer you receive, you will feel the feelings of the Holy Ghost telling you it is true.) SO, that having been said, let me tell you about a few of the things the Holy Ghost taught me this morning.
I really liked John 1:46, "And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see." Philip was a follower of the Savior from the beginning. When telling his friend Nathanael about Jesus who came out of Nazareth, which was thought poorly of by the surrounding communities of the day, Nathanael questioned whether anything good could even come from Nazareth! Philip's reply is the reply we missionaries (and members of the LDS Church) give to all--Come and see! Come and see the gospel of Jesus Christ in action; come and see what light the teachings of God's prophets, ancient and modern, can bring into your life and the life of your family; come and learn more of Jesus and follow His example by exercising faith and being baptized (for more on Jesus' teachings about baptism, check out John 3:3-8. This invitation to be born again, to be renewed is a wonderful, loving invitation to "come and see" the blessings of the path Jesus laid before us!). This is the invitation I personally give to all of you. I loved the peace the Spirit brought to me as I read that. I am thankful for the chance I have to follow Him and to share His teachings with everybody I meet.
I hope this has been helpful. The best thing you can do is to pray about the messages we share. We may not be eloquent, but we know the message is true--we know by the power of the Holy Ghost. Come and see. You can know too.
The Three Hermits – Leo Tolstoy (1886)
2 weeks ago