March: Matthew 8; Mark 2-4 and Luke 7
Jonathan Taylor talked about having a terrible accident that caused him to be paralyzed. His words of hope are for all of us: “Being healed of the effects of sin is the greatest miracle we each receive in our lives, all because of Jesus Christ.” We can all learn from his words. The greatest healing we can receive is to heal from the effects of our sins.
Becoming part of the family of God
The Savior’s family, brothers, and mother wanted to talk to Him while He was teaching His disciples. The multitude told Jesus that they were seeking Him. “Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.” The Savior answered them, “Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35) As we do the will of God, we join the Lord’s family.
In Matthew 8:20-22, one of the disciples who wanted to follow the Savior said, “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.” This statement might seem to be unfeeling but the Lord was teaching us that we should put following Him first, even when it means putting other issues second.
What does it mean to do the will of God? The Lord gives us parables to help us understand what this means.
- Mark 4: 1 – The parable of the Sower teaches us how important it is that we are the host of good, fertile ground. As we improve our own hearts, the seeds of the gospel become embedded in our hearts/ Our thoughts, actions, and words multiply the good around us.
- Mark 4:21 – Is our candle or light hidden under a bushel? Or, is our light put on a candlestick to help others see the light? We should hold up our light to all the people around us.
- Mark 4:29 – The Sower needs to harvest when the fruit is ripe and ready to harvest. When we see people who are interested in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we must be ready to help harvest these souls into the shelter of the Church of Jesus Christ. This is part of doing His will.
- Mark 4:31-32 – The parable of the mustard seed teaches us that even a small amount of faith can flourish if we are willing to take care of it. Our faith can grow as we reach out to others and do His will.
By Their Fruits You Shall Knew Them
“Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-20). Moroni 7:5 reiterates the same message: “For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, they are good also.” Because of our actions, the Lord will know us and call us His. We can also know that the Church is true because of the fruits of the gospel. Elder Audukacis taught, “Thus the scriptures teach us that we can know the truth by observing its fruits or by experimenting with it personally, giving place for the word in our hearts and cultivating it like unto a seed.”[i] Elder Royden G. Derrick suggested “a formula for bringing forth good fruit and helping one to gain eternal salvation? (1) have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in yourself, (2) study eternal truths, (3) ponder and pray for understanding, (4) strive to incorporate principles of truth into daily living, (5) exercise integrity in all that you do, and (6) strive to do everything you do to a standard of excellence.”[ii]
Receiving the Courage and Vision of our Mother Eve Pres. Nelson pled with women: “Attacks against the Church, its doctrine, and our way of life are going to increase. Because of this, we need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation.12 We need women who can detect deception in all of its forms. We need women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and who express their beliefs with confidence and charity. We need women who have the courage and vision of our Mother Eve.”[iii] As women, we must do the will of our Savior and follow the words of our Prophet by receiving the courage and vision of our Mother Eve. Her example will help each one of us become fruitful by doing His will during our earthly life.
[i] Audukacis, “If Ye Lack Wisdom,”GC April 2014.
[ii] Royden G. Derrick, “By Their Fruits ye Shall Know them,” GC Oct. 1984.
[iii] Russell M. Nelson, A Plea to My Sisters, GC Oct 2015.