Lesson 2: “Be It unto Me according to Thy Word”

Come, Follow Me - For Individuals and Families
LEARN

Read January 7-13 lesson here.

Why did the Savior need to be born of a mortal mother and immortal Father?


Innocence by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1893
DIG DEEPER

“There is nothing figurative about the paternity of Jesus Christ; he is literally the Son of an immortal Man and a mortal woman … This is a fundamental doctrine of true Christianity … the doctrine of the Divine Sonship of Christ is the foundation of our religion. With his unique parentage, he literally had power over life and death.” Ogden, D. Kelly, and Andrew C. Skinner. Verse by Verse: the Book of Mormon. Deseret Book, 2011.

John 10:17-18: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” 

“The most fundamental doctrine of true Christianity is the divine birth of the child Jesus. It is a doctrine not comprehended by the world … The paternity of Jesus Christ is one of the mysteries of godliness. It may only be comprehended by the spiritually minded.” –President Ezra Taft Benson 

“According to eternal law, that atonement required a personal sacrifice by an immortal being not subject to death. Yet He must die and take up His own body again. The Savior was the only one who could accomplish this. From His mother He inherited power to die. From His Father He obtained power over death.” -President Russell M. Nelson

Moses 1:39 “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

THINK

Have you considered the birth of Jesus to a mortal mother and immortal father as a fundamental concept to Christianity? It’s hard to think about because its so hard to comprehend. In no other way would Jesus have been capable of performing His extraordinary work.

Lesson 1: We Are Responsible for Our Own Learning

Come, Follow Me - For Individuals and Families, January
LEARN

Read December 31-January 6 lesson here.

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

DIG DEEPER

James (or Jacob in Hebrew) was the brother of Jesus.

See also James, Epistle of.

The epistle states that it was authored by “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1). Christian tradition has held that this James, like Jude, is one of the sons of Joseph and Mary and hence half-brother of Jesus of Nazareth (see Matthew 13:55Mark 6:3Galatians 1:19) … After Jesus was resurrected, James was one of those special individuals to whom Christ appeared as a resurrected Being (see 1 Corinthians 15:7). Later James became an Apostle and, according to early Christian writers, the first bishop of the Church in Jerusalem (see Acts 12:1721:18Galatians 1:18–192:9).” For further information on James, see the commentary for Acts 15:13–29. New Testament Student Manual (Version 2, 5/18), Chapter 50.

Unfortunately, The General Epistle of James doesn’t clarify exactly which James was writing it, but the dates line up that James, the brother of Jesus, wrote it and plenty of scholars agree. “If the author of the epistle of James was the half brother of Jesus as the evidence seems to indicate, then perhaps he knew the Master as intimately as anyone. But later he knew the Savior as more than a brother. With a witness born of the Spirit, he knew him as Lord and God. James’ writing cannot help but reflect those lessons learned in childhood as he grew with Jesus, always being led and enlightened by his eldest brother’s example.” CES Manual: Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles (2nd ed; 1979), 407.

THINK

First and foremost, that means Jesus’ brother wrote the scripture that inspired Joseph Smith to pray in the Sacred Grove where he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ which led to the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ in the latter days. Blows. My. Mind.

As for James, he was raised side by side with Jesus. The resurrected Jesus also appeared to James. Think his message and testimony might be important? I do.

As you learn from the New Testament this year, consider the authors. Was the author a close family member to Jesus? Were they a personal friend to Jesus? Did the author have spiritual experiences that qualify their witness of Jesus to be particularly important? I know in my life, if someone wanted to know about me or my character, my siblings and close friends would be good people to ask. Guys, you can trust what these authors are telling you.

Lesson 3: We Have Come to Worship Him

Come, Follow Me - For Individuals and Families
LEARN

Read January 14-20 lesson here.

1 Nephi 11:26 “…Look and behold the condescension of God!”

DIG DEEPER

Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of condescension “Voluntary descent from one’s rank or dignity in relations with an inferior.”

D&C 88:6 “He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;”

Moses 1:33, 35: And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten…But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.

“Truly, the observation made by Enoch the Seer is literally one of the grandest understatements of all time: ‘And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still’ (Moses 7:30). Such are the sweeping and incomprehensible powers of Jesus the Creator.” The Premortal Godhood of Christ: A Restoration Perspective by Andrew C. Skinner.

THINK

Consider the greatness, power, and glory that Jesus possessed before He descend to the earth He created. Jesus chose to descend below all things so man could rise above all things. What do you think that means about how do you think Jesus feels actually feels about YOU?

Consider the “worlds without number” that have been created. You were sent to live on the same earth that Jesus lived on. We can walk where Jesus actually walked. What do you think that means about how Heavenly Father feels about you? Does that add to your understanding of the phrase “Holy Land?”