My husband and I are empty nesters and the new Come, Follow Me resources are an exciting challenge. We do the reading on Sunday after our meetings for the coming week. We have found it best to read aloud together. We take turns reading 5 verses each, making comments as we go. Another source we use besides the manual are commentaries. A good way to stimulate discussion is to ask each other questions and review other resources.
Living Christ’s Gospel Consistently
The reading for May 27 to June 2 is entitled “The Son of Man Shall Come.” My first impressions after reading were that it is good to know the signs of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but the most important aspect of the Second Coming is for each of us to be prepared personally for this event.
The parable of the 10 virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) with its reference to the Doctrine and Covenants is particularly applicable to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
“And at that day, when I shall come in in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.
“For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.
“And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.
“For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:56-59).
As I thought about how we add drops of oil to our lamps daily by living the gospel consistently and practising gospel principles in our lives, an experience we had as we served in the West Indies Mission in 2008 came to my mind. Our area of service at the time was in Canje, Guyana in South America. We were serving in a zone with 16 elders. One preparation day we drove out to a remote area to help two elders who did not have cars or bikes and had propane cylinders to run their stoves. Our plan was to pick up the elders and their empty tank and take them to get it filled and return them home. We drove up to their place, let them know we were there, and waited on the porch.
While we waited, an older man called to us over the fence. He said: “Do you know that those two boys are very good? They get up at the same time every morning. I watch them and they never miss a morning. No one is checking on them. They leave the house every morning at the same time all dressed nicely and clean. I could set my clock by them. They do not stay up late or make loud noises or party. They are very good boys out here by themselves.”
At the time I was grateful to hear that they were obedient missionaries, but as I have reflected on this experience, I have had other thoughts. If we were unaware of someone watching our every move, how would we fare? Would we be consistent in living the gospel? Are we adding oil to our lamps daily so when the Second Coming is here we will be ready?
Finding Ourselves in Other Parables
Many of the parables in the Come, Follow Me resources allude to our being ready by daily efforts. The parable of the talents tells us to make use of our time and abilities to be a “good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:14-30). As I read of the widow’s mite (Mark 12:38-44; Luke 21:1-4), I thought how much do I give when it is difficult?
I thought of the young girl I knew in Samoa who walked five miles to meetings and back every Sunday in the heat and humidity, and even the rain. She was always there. There were members who walked that same distance in Darhan, Mongolia in minus 50 degrees weather. I was humbled by their faithfulness in such adverse conditions.
There are many members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ living in Canada who make sacrifices to be at their meetings every week, whereas some find it an easy task. Each of us has areas of gospel living where we face challenges to live by the Saviour’s doctrines and principles. We must learn to follow the example of the widow who “cast in all the living that she had” (Luke 21:4; italics added).
In striving to serve well and overcome our challenges, we all must take “heed, watch and pray” (Mark 13:33) I bear my testimony of the purpose and diligence needed to live the gospel daily so that we may be ready for the Second Coming every day of our lives.