Arise and Come Forth Unto Me 3 Nephi 8-11
As I was studying these chapters this week, I tried to put myself in that place and understand what it must have felt like when the Savior said
Arise and come forth unto me that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
I've read these chapters many times before, but there was something there for me this time that I haven't felt before. I think it all goes back to the messages that we've been hearing from our prophet about how we need to learn to Hear Him.
I am learning to Hear Him
As this year progresses, and throughout last year as we studied the New Testament, I have really come to LOVE the Come Follow Me program. It has changed everything about the way I study the scriptures, the effort I put in, and the areas where I put my focus.
I love the example of learning to hear the voice of the Lord in these chapters.
It took the Nephites three times before they were able to open their ears and understand the words they were hearing. It's hard sometimes to imagine that they could hear but not understand.
I realize that I am like that in many ways, having to read and re-read things, listen to conference talks over and over again, and really work to study the words in order to hear the message for me.
If there is anything that I have learned over the last year and a half of Come Follow Me is that there are so many words and messages meant for me personally that I could spend a lifetime and still not see them all. And as my circumstances change, the message changes right along with them. Proof that the Lord knows me, He knows my circumstances, and He is guiding me.
Amidst the Destruction the Savior invites us all to arise and come forth
As I was reading through the destruction that was happening in the earlier chapters of this lesson, I started to compare the situation of the world we are living in with the one the Nephites were experiencing. Certainly, what was happening to them was much more extreme, but it has been prophesied that similar things will happen as the Second Coming approaches.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around it, considering the uncertainty that I feel already. But then I stumbled upon a Church News article. It was an interview with the First Presidency, and if you haven't read it, you can find it here:
(There are also links in the article to interviews with the Quorum of the 12 as well, so if you haven't read any of them, you can find them there.)
Once again, I find the answers to all my worries in faith in the Savior. I realized as I read this article that over the past couple of weeks these lessons have really done a lot to help me feel less stress or anxiety about current circumstances, and for that I am very grateful.
Christ invites me to gain a personal testimony of Him
When you consider that there were about 2500 people present when Jesus Christ appeared, and He invited each of them personally to come forth unto Him and feel the nail prints in His hands and feet, and they did it, one by one, can you imagine how long that took?
They must have been lined up for hours!
Yet the Savior took His time with each one. I'm sure He didn't rush them along trying to get through the crowd, and I know He wasn't impatient with them. He loved each of them, and was willing to give each of them a personal experience that they would be able to draw on long after He was no longer in their physical presence.
I may not get to be in His physical presence, but I know that He is patient with me, and loves me, and is willing to give me the personal experience I need to know Him. And this personal experience is the most important thing I can have if I want to build my faith in Him.
On of my favorite quotes that I found as I studied this week comes from Jeffrey R. Holland in the talk "He Hath Filled the Hungry With Good things":
Whoever we are and whatever we reply, [Christ's] response is always the same, 'Come,' He says lovingly. 'Come, follow me.' Wherever you are going, first come and see what I do, see where and how I spend my time. Learn of me, walk with me, talk with me, believe. Listen to me pray. In turn you will find answers to your own prayers. God will bring rest to your souls. Come, follow me.'
I love what I have learned in this lesson this week! I hope that you will find the messages you need to have to strengthen your own personal experience with the Savior as well.
Come Follow Me Challenge Cards
This week I had a bit of a struggle because there are so many talks, articles and videos that really enhance this lesson and the scriptures! I have been reading a lot and watching a lot, and I decided to include (nearly) everything I read in the list of links. My favorites are all on the Challenge Cards, but if you need or want more, visit this list!
If you need challenge cards for any of the past lessons, you can find them over in my FREE STUFF!