I am loving the Come, Follow Me curriculum! It is the study guide that my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is using to study the Bible, specifically the New Testament. For Week #6, we studied Matthew 4, and Luke 4-5.
I had a bunch of insights on the doctrine for those scriptures, but I’ll just share a bit of those here. The stories in those scriptures were Jesus fasting in the wilderness with the temptations from the devil, Jesus announcing in the temple that he had fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2, publicly announcing that He is the Messiah, and then Jesus calling Peter to be one of his apostles. Here are five questions I asked my family relating to these stories:
1. “What do you do to commune with God, like Jesus did when He went into the wilderness?” This actually brought up the comment from one of the kids that he doesn’t want to commune with God. So that is feedback for me to pray that he will want to commune with God, that he will want to feel God’s love.
2. “What did Jesus do to resist the powers of the devil? What do you do to resist the temptations of the devil?”
3. “When did you feel that Jesus is truly the Messiah, the one that had been prophesied about in scripture?” This question is to apply the doctrine to our own lives from the story in Luke 4:16-32, that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah. I shared the story of the first time I felt the Spirit confirm to me in unmistakable terms that Jesus is my Redeemer and Savior. I was practicing the organ to play for my congregation’s Sabbath meeting, our sacrament meeting. I was struggling to get through a song with my four-month-old-baby in tow. I had put her on a blanket on the floor. (She’s now 23 years old, married, with her own four-month-old baby.) I was hoping to get in at least 30 minutes of practice before she started fussing, wanting to nurse or be held. As I practiced the Easter hymn that has the words, “rising from the purple east, symbol of our Easter feast,” I felt the Spirit burn within me that the Savior is indeed my Savior. I played the organ with triumphant sounding stops and the whole moment was just this glorious enrapturement feeling of peace, joy, triumph, and victory through Christ Jesus. It’s hard to describe. in that moment, I felt the Savior also accepting my sacrifice of time to fulfill my calling as an organist, to serve Him, and that He was helping me to juggle my responsibilities as a young mother of a baby and toddler and an organist. I only hope that each one of you can feel that same witness to strengthen you in your responsibilities.
4. As a follow up to the previous question, I read aloud the scripture that Jesus had cited, Isaiah 61:1-2. I asked my husband and kids over dinner what role that is listed in that scripture they felt Jesus was fulfilling when they felt a witness that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah. We had such an enlightening conversation, full of the Spirit.
5. I shared the story of Jesus inviting Peter to do four things in Luke 5:1-10. (If you read that passage, you can find the four things.) The last invitation was to cast the net out again, even though Peter had been waiting to catch fish all night with his net out. Catching nothing, he had brought it back in. Maybe he had even cleaned it up and repaired it when Jesus asked him to cast it out again. Peter probably felt that the Savior’s invitation was illogical but he put the net out again, trusting Jesus. So my question to my kids was, “When did you feel a call from the Savior, through His Holy Spirit, that seemed illogical, but you did it anyway like Peter, and you were astonished at the results?” I asked this over dinner. My two big boys at home, ages 17 and 20, shared wonderful answers that gave me insight into their lives. The younger kids don’t have an answer yet. That’s OK. We can always revisit the question.
I love this gift of Come, Follow Me because it is giving me amazing questions to ask my kids that are spiritual in nature, which I had never thought of before. All over dinner! We don’t have to set aside any extra time to do this. For the past two years I have been using a Question and Answer a Day book I bought on Amazon to ask questions over dinner time, but so many of the questions are silly and not amazing. So I’m grateful to this new curriculum to help me see that I can just use the doctrines from stories in the scriptures to come up with questions, questions that resonate eternal truth and deal with real life application. The study guide often has questions that I use or I tweak them to come up with my own. I also watch the video released every week on the YouTube Channel called “Don’t Miss This” by David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman to get ideas for questions to ask my family and to use as journal writing prompts.