The New Testament Let Us Begin Right
The Come, Follow Me curriculum for the New Testament begins with a lesson about being “responsible for our own learning.” In addition to our own learning, let us consider our responsibilities toward others as parents, teachers, or other roles wherein we have influence. These weekly “Study and Teaching Helps” can assist you in your individual study and help you as you participate in family study or as you teach others. Some thoughts:
- In Matthew 11:29, Jesus invited all, “learn of me.” This can be taken to mean that we are to learn about Him as well as learning from Him. Jesus continued, “for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Find rest. Rest from the world and the worldly, rest from crowded lives, rest from trials, afflictions, and other burdens. He will help, as we regularly devote a portion of our time and efforts to learn of Him, through His words in the Holy Scriptures.
- Section 17 of the current LDS General Handbook is titled, “Teaching the Gospel.” The information provided can appropriately be applied to individual study, as well. Following is an excerpt:
“We teach [and let us add “study”] the gospel to help people strengthen their faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We seek to help people become more like the Savior, receive His power in their lives, and ultimately obtain eternal life. When the word of God is taught [or learned] and received by the Spirit, it has the power to change hearts and inspire conversion. It has a ‘more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than … anything else’” (Alma 31:5).
- Subsequent portions of Section 17 of the General Handbook help us understand the importance of (1) loving those we teach; (2) teaching by the Spirit; (3) teaching the doctrine; and, (4) inviting diligent learning.
- Also, consider the Church’s manual, Teaching in the Savior’s Way: For All Who Teach in the Home and in the Church. Part 1 of this new manual teaches us to focus on Jesus Christ in all our study and teaching; Part 2 expands on the four precepts cited above from Section 17 of the General Handbook; and Part 3 offers practical helps and suggestions.
- Finally, consider what it means to “liken all scriptures” unto ourselves (see 1 Nephi 19:23). Nephi added to this, “that it might be for our profit and learning.” What does it mean to profit and to learn? It means to apply, which means to change, to improve, and to repent, where needed. It can also mean to share with others. We internalize the doctrine, the principles, the examples, and the teachings as we labor to follow the Savior and become more like He is.
Note: As a preparation to your study of the New Testament, you may want to refer back to the material provided at the end of the final Old Testament lesson (the book of Malachi), which summarizes the 400-500 years between the Old and the New Testaments, which is known as the Intertestamental Period.