This week's FHE lesson topic comes from the Come, Follow Me reading in Matthew 3, Mark 1, and Luke 3. Check out this week's Come, Follow Me study ideas on LDS Living for additional resources and suggestions.
“Now, to each member of the Church I say, keep on the covenant path. Your commitment to follow the Savior by making covenants with Him and then keeping those covenants will open the door to every spiritual blessing and privilege available to men, women, and children everywhere.”
(Russell M. Nelson, “As We Go Forward Together,” Ensign or Liahona, Apr. 2018, 7)
"When I Am Baptized," Children's Songbook, no. 103
“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:11-17).
Fold a blank piece of paper in half. Open it again and on one side write the title “Jesus” and on the other “Us.” Read together 2 Nephi 31:12–13 and look for reasons why we need to be baptized. Have one person record the answers under the heading “Us.” Then read 2 Nephi 31:6–9 and Matthew 3:15 as a family. Have someone record under the heading “Jesus” the reasons that Jesus was baptized. Compare the lists and discuss why some of the reasons we need to be baptized are different from the reasons Jesus was baptized.
Share the following by Elder Bruce R. McConkie: “Nephi gives four reasons as to how our Lord fulfilled all righteousness in being baptized: (1) He humbled himself before the Father; (2) He covenanted to be obedient and keep the Father’s commandments; (3) He had to be baptized to gain admission to the celestial kingdom; and (4) He set an example for all men to follow (2 Ne. 31:4–11). To fulfil all righteousness is to perform every ordinance, keep every commandment, and do every act necessary to the attainment of eternal life” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:123).
Show a picture of Christ being baptized by John the Baptist. (See Gospel Art Kit, no. 208.) Have your family look closely at the picture as another family member reads Matthew 3:13–17. Have them identify the members of the Godhead that were present during this event. Ask:
Which verse indicates that Heavenly Father was there? (Verse 17.)
Which verse indicates that the Holy Ghost was there? (Verse 16.)
To what did John compare the Holy Ghost?
You may need to help your family understand the relationship between the Holy Ghost and a dove by sharing the following statement from President Joseph Fielding Smith: “The Holy Ghost is a personage, and is in the form of a personage. It does not confine itself to the form of the dove, but in sign of the dove. The Holy Ghost cannot be transformed into a dove; but the sign of a dove was given to John to signify the truth of the deed, as the dove is an emblem or token of truth and innocence” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:77).
Share your testimony of the importance of baptism.
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The New Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006])
In a talk about saving ordinances, Elder Taniela B. Wakolo shared this story about the changes one man experienced after baptism:
John and Bonnie Newman…are recipients of the spiritual blessings President Nelson promised. One Sunday, after attending church with their three young children, Bonnie said to John, who was not a member of the Church, “I cannot do this on my own. You need to decide whether you come to my church with us or you choose a church that we can go to together, but the children need to know that their dad loves God too.” The following Sunday and every Sunday after, John not only attended; he also served, playing the piano for many wards, branches, and Primaries over the years. I had the privilege of meeting with John in April 2015, and in that meeting, we discussed that the best way he could manifest his love for Bonnie was to take her to the temple, but that could not happen unless he was baptized.
After attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 39 years, John was baptized in 2015. A year later, John and Bonnie were sealed in the Memphis Tennessee Temple, 20 years after she had received her own endowment. Their 47-year-old son, Robert, said of his dad, “Dad has really, really blossomed since he received the priesthood.” Bonnie added, “John has always been a happy and cheerful person, but receiving the ordinances and honoring his covenants has enhanced his gentleness.”
(Tanieala B. Wakolo, “Saving Ordinances Will Bring Us Marvelous Light,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018)