Through out this last week I have been thinking a lot about what it means to follow.
As I was thinking about ways I could better follow the Savior in everything I was of course walking around the house doing certain chores. As I was doing these I looked behind me and realized that I was being followed, by our dog Audrey. And that got me to thinking. Audrey who has some what limited mental abilities has the idea of following down perfectly. Wherever I go she goes, when I say "come" or "Sit" or "Go" she does it happily right away. And if she does something wrong she comes to me submissive receives her punishment and then walks away tail wagging.
Now, I am not saying that we should all act like dogs. But wouldn't be wonderful if we all could follow the savior with that same blind devotion in all times and all things and all places? We all know how easy it is to follow the Lord when everything is right and good. But what about when it isn't? Because often it is not? Are we so eager to follow then? Whenever I feel like I am in the middle of my own struggles I try to picture the Savior, who surely struggled far more then I can ever imagine. If the Savior can so willingly follow his Father our Heavenly Father through the struggles and sorrows of his life. Surely I can follow the Savior.
In a talk that Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave he talks about following the Savior. He speaks of , Peter, Andrew,Simon, James and John. Christ spoke to them saying "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men." The scriptures continue saying that they "straightway left their nets, and followed him." Elder Wirthlin then asks us this question.
"If the Savior were to call you today, would you be just as willing to leave your nets and follow Him?am confident that many would.
Nets come in many sizes and shapes. The nets that Peter, Andrew, James, and John left were tangible objects—tools that helped them earn a living.While for some of us a net is nothing more then a net, but for most of us a net is something that prevents us from following Jesus Christ. I don't think there has been another period of time when the world has had so many nets. Our lives are so easily filled with appointments, meetings, and tasks. It is so easy to get caught in a multitude of nets that sometimes even a suggestion of breaking free of them can be threatening and even frightening to us.Sometimes we feel that the busier we are, the more important we are—as though our busyness defines our worth.It seems to me that there are two ways that we can live our lives. We can continue casting out our nets and filling them with unimportant things. New cars, a big house, an important job, things of status and wealth. Or even little things like a hobby that takes away from our family and church callings, our nets can be filled with pride or anger. As much joy as these things can bring us they do not bring us any closer to following the Savior. In fact most of the time it takes us further and further away.It doesn't matter how much we do-just as along as we are focused on those things of eternal significance. In all of the daily conversations that we have are we tuning out the most important one? The Savior whispering quietly "come follow me"
There are those who would give all they have to experience peace. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,” the Savior taught, “and I will give you rest.” But it is not merely peace that the Savior promises to those who keep His commandments and endure to the end, but eternal life, “which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.”
Because of the Savior, we will live forever. Immortality means that we will never die. But eternal life means to live forever in exalted spheres in companionship with those we cherish, encompassed about by profound love, exquisite joy, and glory.
No amount of money can purchase this exalted state. Eternal life is a gift from a loving Heavenly Father, offered freely and liberally to all who heed the call of the Man of Galilee.In 2nd Nephi, Nephi tells his people why Christ was baptized. He says " And he said unto the children of men : Follow thou me. Wherefore my beloved brotheren can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And the Father said: Repent ye, Repent ye and be baptized in the name of my beloved son."The answer seems to easy. We drop our worldly cares and follow the Savior by being baptized, repenting of our sins and enduring to the end. Why is it that something that seems so east can sometimes be so hard? Why is it that the people who truly follow Christ often receive persecution? Christ did, as well as numerous early Christians. Joseph Smith was martyr for his faith. As we get ready to commemorate Pioneer day. I think of my ancestors who were driven from their home in Italy for accepting the gospel only to come to Navvou to be driven away from their as well.I personally have tried to follow the Savior all of the time. It has not always been easy. There are members of my family who do not agree with the teachings of the Church, friends who did not agree with my decision to be baptized. People who where pained by my decision to be married to a worthy priesthood holder in the Temple. Even though I was hurt that I had caused any one pain. I knew that I was doing the right thing by following the Savior. And hopefully one day they will understand, and maybe one day they will begin to hear the call of the Savior to follow them as well.
Countless leaders, prophets and general authorities said that it would not be easy. But just as Christ called to the disciples he still calls to us today to follow Him. It is my prayer that when he calls we will answer by dropping our nets and going where he wants us to go.