Editor’s note: “Resources to follow Him” curates study resources, teachings, and thoughts to deepen your study of this week’s Come, Follow Me.
On Sunday, I received a text from my sister who had just participated in an area conference where she lives in New Jersey:
“The person giving the prayer just mentioned the fast we had earlier this year about COVID, and then thanked God for the progress on vaccines. I wish I was that great about seeing God’s hand in the world.”
My jaw dropped. The idea hadn’t crossed my mind either that the rapid development of vaccines could be attributed to the fast I participated in a few months ago. Just that morning, I had read an article in The New York Times about progress on vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna. The article, in part, shared: “Still, both companies, in their own very different ways, have pulled off a remarkable feat: developing a vaccine that appears safe and effective in a matter of months, rather than the years or decades that such developments usually take.”
Months, instead of years—isn’t that incredible?
The thought of God's hand being involved in a solution for the coronavirus is remarkable to me. I'm sure the results of the worldwide fast are manifested in many ways and more will still become evident as time goes on. And I'm certain that some of the blessings of that fast include the Father sending the Comforter to those who have lost loved ones during this time.
As we enter a holiday season where the effects of the pandemic will be felt by many, I think about what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said in general conference, “Yes, God can provide miracles instantaneously, but sooner or later we learn that the times and seasons of our mortal journey are His and His alone to direct.”
Though the world might not look the way we want it to right now, we have the privilege of having hope for a better world.
As we dive into this week’s Come, Follow Me, here are four scripture passages to spur discussion. Each is accompanied by a resource and a question to help you study and ponder the verses.
And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
In his October 2019 general conference remarks, Elder Jorge M. Alvarado of the Seventy explained that as we follow God’s voice, He strengthens us in our trials. Elder Alvarado said, in part quoting Elder Holland:
No matter the obstacles we face in life, we can trust that Jesus Christ will prepare a way forward as we walk with faith. God has promised that all who live according to the covenants they have made with Him will, in His time, receive all His promised blessings. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”
Like Moroni explains, we can rely on faith to anchor us while we wait in hope for the things that are not seen, and we can trust that the Lord will fulfill his promises after the trial of our faith.
Question: How can you cling to faith while hoping for something that is not yet seen?
Watch Elder Alvardo’s talk, “After the Trial of Our Faith,” below.
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Moroni said that when he “heard these words,” he “was comforted” (Ether 12:29). They can be a comfort to all of us. Those who do not see their weaknesses do not progress. Your awareness of your weakness is a blessing as it helps you remain humble and keeps you turning to the Savior. The Spirit not only comforts you, but He is also the agent by which the Atonement works a change in your very nature. Then weak things become strong.
Recognizing our weakness takes humility, but that humility can be worthwhile as we turn to the Savior. The manual shares examples from the scriptures where weak things were made strong, like for Enoch (Moses 6:31–34; 7:13), Moses (Exodus 4:10–12; 14:31), Gideon (Judges 6:12–16; 8:22–23), Peter (Luke 5:8–10; 22:55–62; Acts 4:13–21), Moroni (Ether 12:23–29), and Joseph Smith (Joseph Smith—History 1:28; Doctrine and Covenants 35:17; 135:3).
Question: How can your weakness help you turn to the Savior?
Watch President Eyring’s full address below.
And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.
And now I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles, yea, and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood.
On this week’s episode of the Sunday on Monday study group, host Tammy Uzelac Hall mentions how these two verses were marked in the copy of the Book of Mormon that Hyrum Smith had with him at Carthage Jail. In Doctrine and Covenants 135:4, which is an announcement of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, we read:
When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said: “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me—he was murdered in cold blood.”—The same morning, after Hyrum had made ready to go—shall it be said to the slaughter? yes, for so it was—he read the following paragraph, near the close of the twelfth chapter of Ether, in the Book of Mormon, and turned down the leaf upon it:
The study group talks about the meaning of these verses when cross-referenced together. Guest Abe Mills explains:
“There's a certain calmness and a certain satisfaction that comes from just doing the right thing. He knew that he was going as a lamb to the slaughter. He knew that there was death that was coming, but also he knew that that's exactly where he needed to be and there was a peace that came to him because of it. And not only that, it seems as if he had an understanding of how this was only one part of his journey and that his journey would continue after life.”
Question: Why do you think these verses in Ether brought comfort to Hyrum Smith?
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original presented by LDS Living. You can access the full study group discussion through the Bookshelf app. Listen to a segment of this week's episode below or listen to the full Sunday on Monday episode here.
But behold, the Spirit of the Lord had ceased striving with them, and Satan had full power over the hearts of the people; for they were given up unto the hardness of their hearts, and the blindness of their minds that they might be destroyed; wherefore they went again to battle.
On this week’s episode of “Don’t Miss This,” Emily Freeman and David Butler dive into chapter 12 of Ether, but at the end Freeman points out a contrast found between the beginning of this week’s Come, Follow Me chapters and the end of this week’s chapters using Ether 15:19.
“It’s such an interesting contrast to where we started,” Freeman says. “Here, the Spirit of the Lord had ceased striving with them, and Satan had control over their hearts compared to Ether who could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was with him.”
Freeman and Butler explain in the lesson how we, like Moroni says in Ether 12:41, can “seek this Jesus.”
“His advice is in all of this just seek for this Jesus, and then let Him fill you with faith, hope, grace, and charity,” Butler says.
Question: How can you “seek this Jesus” and avoid letting Satan have full power over your heart?
Watch this week’s episode of “Don’t Miss This” below.
The 2021 “Don't Miss This” study materials are now available! Perfect for your family study and for individuals of all ages, the Don’t Miss This Study Journal, created in partnership with LDSLiving, begins with a weekly study schedule and is filled with fun and interactive study guide sheets that complement the Don’t Miss This weekly YouTube videos. Available now at DeseretBook.com.