NT Week 5

This week we were able to study Matthew 21-22; Mark 11-12; Luke 19-20; John 12; Matthew 23-24; Mark 13; Luke 21; JST Matt.

There were a few principles that really stood out to me in this reading that I was able to ponder through the week.

  1. By cleansing the temple, Jesus was showing that sin is not acceptable in any location, but is even certain things acceptable to the world should never be done in His house. Mark 11: 15-18
  2. Jesus was the master of words. While others tried to trick him in his words, he was able to speak clearly exactly. Mark 12: 13-15
  3. When we give all that we can, without comparing it to others, we are blessed accordingly. Mark 12: 41-44

I want to expound more on my thoughts about the Widow’s Mite, which is a more popular parable but one of my favorites.

The story of the Widow’s Mite is always one that hits close to home with me. It has a message that reaches me and gives me great comfort. The widow did not have a lot to give, but she gave all she could. Others had more to give, and gave willingly but it was nothing compared to the sacrifice the widow made. We too can realize that even though we are on different levels of spirituality as others, when we give all we can, we are doing enough. We shouldn’t punish ourselves for being on a different level than our neighbor.

Before, I didn’t read into this parable based on what was happening in the world at this time and knowing about the history makes a difference. I am grateful that the gospel was brought back today and that I am lucky enough to be born in the time that it was restored in. While it was rejected by the Pharisees and Saduccees, taken from the earth and changed to fit the doctrine of man, we are still so loved by Him that it has been brought back for us. We are the nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

The account from General Conference was something I needed to hear. I loved that it reflected back to serving a mission. The Priesthood has a slightly different meaning to me as a woman, and I’m grateful for the perspective. I need the priesthood in my life and am able to encourage the men around me to use their Priesthood to fulfil callings and lift up others around them. I am able to be blessed continually by it through the sacrament, receiving blessings, and each time I go to the temple.

NT 4

This week we studied Luke 10-14; Matthew 19-20; Mark 10; Luke 15-18; John 11

A few significant principles/reminders I learned from this study is that:

  1. Jesus was willing to come to Earth and sacrifice His life for us. Matt 20:28
  2. When we listen to our Prophet, Apostles, and leaders it is as if receiving guidance from Our Savior personally. Luke 10
  3. No matter what we do, we will fall short. Through the atonement alone are we made whole. Luke 17:10

With the direction received in these chapters, we can have clarity in our prayers and set our priorities straight.

In Mark 10, it says

“51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

First, the blind man recognizes his shortcomings. This is easier for him, but we too have these emotional/mental/physical shortcomings that we are reluctant to recognize as a problem or shortcoming. He then asked for help. This is where pride gets in the way for many of us, at least me personally. Once we humble ourselves, we know how He will respond. Jesus, of course, responded in the way that He will for every living being in the universe. He was willing to do His part so long as the blind man did the same. The blind man had to have an immense amount of faith in Jesus and be willing to follow Him. Jesus saw this in the man and healed him, inviting the man to stay on the path and continue in his strong faith and follow Him.

The example of Mary and Martha stuck out to me quite a bit this week. Sometimes we choose to focus on miniscule tasks, represented by worldly distractions or things we personally think are important but have nothing to do with God’s plan for us. We may not even realize that our priorities are messed up, but we have the guidance of modern day prophets, apostles, teachers, and we have personal revelation. With this added guidance, like that that Mary and Martha had, we can find what our personal priority should be.

This week has helped me to be more aware of how I ask in prayer and in conversation, not only to Heavenly Father but to those who are around me. This whole section of the Bible is very focused on the ways that Jesus was asked to heal others and it shows me the pattern that faith without works is dead. There is always an action prior to the healing, a step that has to be taken to show true faith.

NT 3

This week we focused on chapters:

Matthew 14-15; Mark 6:14-56, 7-8; Luke 9:7-17; John 6

Matthew 16-18; Mark 9; Luke 9:18-62; John 7-10

I was able to see a theme of Personal Sacrifice very prominently in the reading, which is something I can improve on. Often times I find myself wanting to be alone and away from the commotion of the world, but I will get a call to spend time with family or invitation to the temple, etc. If someone is in need of a friend or help with something, I can be better at sacrificing my alone time and going to help them. Jesus was able to show this example when He gave up His grief period over the death of His beloved friend, John, and instead preached to the crowd and fed them.

One of my favorite stories has always been Jesus and the woman taken in adultery. This is an odd favorite story, but it touches me personally every time I read or hear reference to it. First, our sins do not need to be known to other people as hers was found out. I’m grateful we live in a different era now. I find that we can act as those men did to her, though, when we find a weakness in others. We do not physically torment them, but we judge them and gossip instead of lifting them up. Jesus was able to condemn this behavior by reminding others that they, too, are not without sin. If we were to remind ourselves of that fact before passing harsh judgment or making assumptions, we would be able to see more clearly how to help. Jesus did not condemn her for her sin. He forgave her but was firm in helping her to not make the same mistake again. Go and sin no more. We can be that positive influence in the lives of others.

NT 2

This week I had the wonderful opportunity to study the Beatitudes and more about the ministry of Jesus and the miracles he performed while on this earth. We were able to see how the people gravitated toward Him and respected and felt the truth in His words. You could see that the people had faith because miracles were able to be performed.

In these chapters, you get to know a lot more about the characteristics of Christ. You come to understand how He is perfect rather than just know it because you were told. Seeing how selfless, merciful, and accepting He was of all people in all walks of life is an inspiration and always will be.

We will not be perfect like Him in this life, but by creating the habit of being kind to other, of going out of our way to help another, of thinking less of ourselves, we are becoming more like Him. As we seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost to guide us to all things holy, we can show our faith, just like the woman with the blood disease, and reach out our hand to grab hold of the unknown. We cannot always see the end result of our actions, but if they are done with faith and are the will of the Lord’s, they will always be the right action.

NT Week 1

I just started a new class, the first New Testament class, at BYU-Idaho. It focuses on the 4 Gospels. I am very excited to participate in this class and learn more about the time when Jesus was among the people and preaching and healing. This week we focused on the first few chapters of every book, specifically Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2; John 1:1-18, 17:1-5; Matthew 3-4; Mark 1; Luke 3-4; John 1:1-19-4:54.

These chapters were all very inspiring and I love the different perspectives that are gained from each book collectively.

I loved how we started off our reading by being reminded of Christ’s birth. I could write a whole segment just on the significance of this and how it has affected me personally and brought me so much joy in my life. Christmas time brings out this joy in everyone, and the world seems to be a better place when they come nearer to Christ and reflect on His life during Christmas season. It will be that time again before we know it! Reading about the sacrifices that were made by His parents and those who looked after Him to be protectors as a newborn is inspiring and shows just how much He was loved by his earthly and godly parents.

We were shown that He was baptized by immersion and by one who holds the proper priesthood authority, two things that are hard for many to recognize today. I’m grateful for the clarification that is received in the Book of Mormon relating to baptism that makes it so much clearer as to the proper order of baptism.

What really got my attention in this reading was how He was tempted after the 40-day fast. Being so physically weak, it had to have been one of the greatest struggles of his life up to that point. Even so, he selflessly denied giving in to pride and cited scripture after scripture to show Satan what’s up. One part that amazes me, is even after Satan left, His first reaction was to free John from prison in Galilee.

I’m excited to get into His ministry and be reminded of all the miracles He performed for those who were in need and had faith. His ministry is inspiring and uplifting in times when we need to be lifted up.