Rescue of the Lost Lamb by Minerva Teichert
The angel who appeared to King Benjamin described the mortal life of Jesus Christ in this way: “the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay” (Mosiah 3:5). The angel also prophesied that He would be rejected by some: “They shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil (Mosiah 3:9). Nowhere is this contrast more clearly illustrated than in John 7-10.
The Lord Omnipotent
As Jesus tried to explain to a group of Pharisees that their practices were inconsistent with the works of Abraham, they asked how He could possibly know that. He wasn’t even fifty years old, and Abraham had lived thousands of years earlier. Jesus replied simply, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:57-58).
In a world of change and instability, the Savior is a constant whom we can rely upon, the self-existing God who will always be there. Here is a blog post on that topic: I Am.
Light and Life
Just before healing a man who was born blind, Jesus said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). He made the same statement after illuminating the hypocrisy of the men who accused the adulterous woman. (See John 8:12.) He also declared, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
In the Book of Mormon, Abinadi testified that Jesus is “the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death” (Mosiah 16:9). Jesus used that title to introduce Himself when He visited the people on the American continent. (See 3 Nephi 9:18, 3 Nephi 11:11.)
I particularly like the Savior’s use of the word “abundantly.” Jesus not only gives us life through the resurrection, He can also help us to be more alive today. Here is a blog post on that topic: Active, Aware, and Joyful.
And here are a couple of blog posts about the Savior as our light and our life:
- How Is Jesus Christ “the Light and the Life of the World?”
- I Am the Light and the Life of the World – 3 Nephi 9:18, 3 Nephi 11:11
Our Advocate and our Redeemer
Jesus earned “rights of mercy” (Moroni 7:27) by enduring unimaginable suffering on our behalf. He will defend us when we are under attack, just as He defended the woman taken in adultery. See this blog post: What Does It Mean for Jesus to Be Our Advocate?
Jesus taught, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). Sin is bondage, and Jesus is uniquely able to release us from that bondage. Here’s a blog post on that topic: What Does It Mean for Jesus to Be Our “Redeemer?”
“They Shall Consider Him a Man”
In spite of all the miracles He performed, many people rejected Jesus’ declaration that He was the Son of God. They tried to stone Him for blasphemy, “because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (John 10:33), even though He pointed out to them that their own scriptures testified of the divine nature of all people as children of God. On multiple occasions, they said, “Thou hast a devil,” as though that accusation alone could invalidate His good works. (See John 7:20, John 8:48, 52, John 10:20-21.)
Jesus responded with patience, but He encouraged them to learn how to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
The Good Shepherd
The prophet Ezekiel lamented that spiritual leaders of his day had neglected their responsibilities, comparing them with irresponsible shepherds. Jesus used the same metaphor, calling Himself “the good shepherd” and contrasting His leadership with that of hireling, who “careth not for the sheep” (John 10:11-15).
Shepherds nourish, gather, and protect their sheep. Jesus even gave His life for His sheep. We can learn a lot about righteous leadership by considering the attributes of a good shepherd. Here are a few blog posts on that topic:
Jesus said, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16).
During His visit to the American continent following His death and resurrection, Jesus told the people that they were the “other sheep” He had spoken of (3 Nephi 15:16-21). Then, He went on to say, “I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem” (3 Nephi 16:1).
We all belong to many “folds”—families, work teams, church congregations, neighborhoods, cities, countries, etc. In each case, they give us a sense of belonging and they provide us with opportunities to serve and to be served. But I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to periodically ask ourselves, “What other sheep are there, who are not of this fold?” God loves all of His children, and He wants them all to experience joy and growth. Maybe we need to reach outside of our folds, as the Savior did, and help Him bring people together, so that there can eventually be “one fold, and one shepherd.”
Here are two blog posts on that topic:
Blog Posts: April 25-30
A Great Division
Jesus wants us to have peace, but there were divisions among the people who saw and heard Him. Sometimes our words provoke division. Sometimes winning an argument is more important to us than the topic. We should heal divisions, not exacerbate them.
“Neither Do I Condemn Thee”
Jesus didn’t come to condemn us. He came to save us. He expressed confidence in the woman who had committed adultery, saying, “Go and sin no more.” He believed that she could change, and in response, she “glorified God…and believed on his name.”
Knowing and Doing
Some things we can learn by observation, but others are learned only by personal experience. Jesus taught, “If any man will do [God’s] will, he shall know of the doctrine.” Discipleship requires practice. We learn by doing.
Rivers of Living Water
Jesus testified that He is the source of “living water,” which is the love of God. When we come to Him, He not only quenches our thirst, He also makes it possible for us to share that living water with others.
Veritas Liberabit Vos
Truth makes us free for at least two reasons. First, when we don’t acknowledge our sins, we are unable to overcome them. Second, increased knowledge brings increased power. God wants to give us more knowledge, so that we can be more free.
After healing a man who was born blind, Jesus taught the Pharisees about spiritual blindness. Unlike physical blindness, spiritual blindness is often willful, caused by trying to prove what we want to believe instead of accepting evidence at face value.
It’s me Benedict. Sorry for the confusion but I was asking for you to ordain me the first priest of my personal religion/faith system, not as a priest of the LDS religion. Could you say a blessing for me here?
Thanks for reaching out again, Benedict.
I think you misunderstand what it means to be a priest. I applaud your desire to serve God in the best way you know how. In order to be a priest, however, you need to better understand how God has established the priesthood on the earth. In order to do that, I would encourage you to attend one of our services or meet with representatives of the church who can explain the process better and answer your questions. I do wish you the very best on your journey to learn more about God and serve him.