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Eielson Relief Society

One evening, "I happened to glance at a travel brochure
which had arrived at my home several days earlier. It was
printed in breathtaking color and written with persuasive
skill. The reader was invited to visit Bethlehemeven the
Holy Landcradle of Christianity. The closing lines of the
brochures message contained the simple yet powerful
appeal, Come and walk where Jesus walked.

My thoughts returned to the counsel Gods prophets

even President Lee and President Kimballhad provided:
Follow the pathway of the Lord. Walk in his footsteps. I
reflected on the words penned by the poet:

The Mount of Olives: hallowed scenes

I walked today where Jesus walked, That Jesus knew before.
In days of long ago; I saw the mighty Jordan roll
I wandered down each path He knew, As in the days of yore.
With revrent step and slow. I knelt today where Jesus knelt,
Those little lanes, they have not Where all alone He prayed;
changed The Garden of Gethsemane
A sweet peace fills the air. My heart felt unafraid!
I walked today where Jesus walked, I picked my heavy burden up,
And felt His presence there. And with Him by my side,
My pathway led through Bethlehem, I climbed the Hill of Calvary,
Ah, memries ever sweet; Where on the cross He died!
The little hills of Galilee, I walked today where Jesus walked
That knew those childish feet; And felt Him close to me!

We need not visit the Holy Land to feel him close to us. We need not walk by the shores
of Galilee or among the Judean hills to walk where Jesus walked. In a very real sense,
all can walk where Jesus walked when, with his words on our lips, his spirit in our
hearts, and his teachings in our lives, we journey through mortality. I would hope that
we would walk as he walkedwith confidence in the future, with an abiding faith in his
Father, and a genuine love for others. President Thomas S. Monson, The Paths Jesus
Walked, April 1974 General Conference
Day 1
READ: Luke 1:26-38; 46-55, The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles

QUESTIONS: Do I have a testimony of Jesus Christ? Can I join Mary and consider myself a
handmaiden of the Lord? Am I willing to obey His word?

PONDER: Our testimony of the Savior magnifies our soul and brings us joy. Mary sang a song of
praise for the Lord in verses 46-55. What do I do or say in my life to express my testimony of Him and
to sing His praises?

CHALLENGE: Write down my song of praise for the Savior.

The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles

As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His
matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence
upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He
was the creator of the earth. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was
made (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He went about doing good (Acts
10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His
example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He
taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential
for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on
spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvarys cross. He gave His life to atone
for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded
on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

He rose from the grave to become the firstfruits of them that slept (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He
visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His other sheep (John 10:16) in ancient
America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-
promised dispensation of the fulness of times (Ephesians 1:10).

Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like
the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the
rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father (D&C

Of Him the Prophet also declared: And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the
testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only
Begotten of the Father

That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are
begotten sons and daughters unto God (D&C 76:2224).

We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earthbuilt
upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone (Ephesians

We testify that He will someday return to earth. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see
it together (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and
every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works
and the desires of our hearts.

We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostlesthat Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is
the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of
the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be
thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

Day 2

READ: Luke 17:5-10, Excerpts from talks on faith

QUESTIONS: How does having faith increase my power to accomplish the work of the Lord? How
does submission to the will of God lead to greater faith? Why is it essential that I serve the Lord with
no thought of reward?

PONDER: Do I have faith in the capacity and willingness of Jesus Christ to fulfill all His promises?
What can I do in my life to more fully submit to the will of God?
Excerpts from: John K. Carmack, "Lord, Increase Our Faith", Ensign, Mar. 2002, 53

The Parable of the Unprofitable Servant

Jesus Christs early Apostles pleaded to the Lord, Increase our faith (Luke 17:5). The statement was made in the form of a request,
perhaps asking for a free gift of greater faith, but the Savior responded with a statement and a parable, treating their request as if it
were the question How can we increase our faith?

Jesus began His response by declaring, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou
plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you (Luke 17:6). That kind of power is much greater than
any mortal could hope to achieve, but the scripture underlines the breathtaking scope of faith as an eternal and cosmic power.

After affirming the power of faith, Jesus answered His apostles with a parable. Perhaps they had expected a formula. Maybe they
had expected Him to merely touch each of them and confer on them an increase of faith as a gift. That was not to be. His parable
was extraordinary in its subtlety, probably to require the Apostlesand usto think more than superficially about the subject of
increasing ones faith.

Read Luke 17:710.

Where in this parable do we find the formula the Apostles might have expected? For that matter, how does the parable teach us how
to increase our faith? It seems to ignore the Apostles request rather than answer it.

King Benjamin may have caught the meaning as well as anyone. In the final teachings to his people, he explained that we are utterly
reliant on our Lord, even for each day of our lives and our very breath. No matter how much we have served Him, even if with our
whole souls, we are unprofitable servants (Mosiah 2:21). And that being true, He surely has the right to require that we keep His
commandments. If we keep His commandments, He has promised to bless and prosper us, and He always keeps His promises.
King Benjamin explained, He doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and
are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast? (Mosiah 2:24).

Could this be what Jesus is teaching us in His parable? This begins to illuminate Jesus parable of the servant who comes into the
house from plowing or feeding cattle, yet still must prepare a meal for his master before eating and drinking. In the parable, the
master would neither thank his servant nor release him from the balance of his duties. Though the insistence on preparing the meal
after a long day of work sounds harsh and ungrateful on its face, in reality that servant is greatly indebted to his master and will
always be. Similarly, if we want increased faith, such as Enoch gained, we must give ourselves over completely to our Lord, utterly
trusting Him and striving to act as He would act in all circumstances. No matter how difficult and impossible the circumstances we
face, we must retain the attitude that we are still in the Lords debt. Just keeping the commandments, while laudable, may be enough
to maintain our faith but not enough to increase it. We must continue sacrificing and serving with no thought of reward. We do it out
of love and gratitude for the Lord, to whom we owe everything.

Too often we allow ourselves to think or even say words like these: I dont deserve this setback. Youd think after all Ive done, it
would not have to be like this. Why must I prove myself over and over again? This is my time to rest from all this responsibility. Ive
done enough.

Perhaps the Savior was teaching us that if we are serious about desiring greater faith, nothing short of maintaining a constant eternal
perspective will do. If we place any condition on our willingness to serve the Lord with all our hearts, we diminish our faith. If we have
complete trust in Him, our faith will increase, and that means the strength of our belief and our power to act will increase.
To summarize, we do not increase our faith by following a formula, although the ingredients of fasting, prayer, and righteous living
are part of that process. Increasing our faith requires trusting the Lord with our whole souls. We cannot say, We have done enough
and deserve to rest. Nor does the increase come through definitions, logic, or philosophy. Rather, we must:

1. Do what is right and serve the Lord because we know, trust, and love Him with all of our souls.
2. Harbor no thought that we deserve a reward or thanks for what we do, although rewards will surely come.
3. Humbly ask, seek, and knock.
4. Never demand anything of our Lord, because we are always in His debt.
5. Leave to Him the final decision in all things, having the attitude Not my will, but thine be done.
6. Be prepared to sacrifice, even unto death, for our entire mortal lives.

Excerpts from: Richard G. Scott, "The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing", Liahona, May 2003,

God has given us the capacity to exercise faith, that we may find peace, joy, and purpose in life. However, to employ its power, faith
must be founded on something. There is no more solid foundation than faith in the love Heavenly Father has for you, faith in His plan
of happiness, and faith in the capacity and willingness of Jesus Christ to fulfill all of His promises. You will gather the fruits of faith as
you follow the principles God has established for its use. Some of those principles are:

Trust in God and in His willingness to provide help when needed, no matter how challenging the circumstance.
Obey His commandments and live to demonstrate that He can trust you.
Be sensitive to the quiet prompting of the Spirit.
Act courageously on that prompting.
Be patient and understanding when God lets you struggle to grow and answers come a piece at a time over an extended period.

You can learn to use faith more effectively by applying this principle taught by Moroni: 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. (Ether 12:6) Thus, every
time you try your faith, that is, act in worthiness on an impression, you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit. Those
feelings will fortify your faith. As you repeat that pattern, your faith will become stronger. With consistent practice, faith will become a
vibrant, powerful, uplifting, inspiring force in your life..

God uses your faith to mold your character. Character is the manifestation of what you are becoming. Strong moral character results
from consistent correct choices in the trials and testing of life. Your faith can guide you to those correct choices. Clearly, it is what
you do and what you think about that determine what you are and what you will become. Therefore, the choices you make need to
be inspired by the Lord. Others can encourage you to make the right decisions, but those choices must not be prescribed by them.
You need to ponder, pray, and exercise faith to willingly make choices consistent with the teachings of the
Master. Such choices are made with trust in things that are believed and when acted upon will be
confirmed. Only enough guidance is given to lead you aright and not to weaken your growing character.
That guidance will solidify your trust in Heavenly Father and the Savior.

Day 3

READ: 1 Peter 2:21, Abraham 1:2, Moroni 7:48

QUESTIONS: What does it mean to be filled with love? How is the love of God
manifested in my life? Am I a follower of righteousness? How does following
Christs example provide me with hope?

PONDER: What can I do today to follow the example of Christ?

Day 4

READ: Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Jacob 4:7; Ether 12:27

What trials do I have? Are they a result of disobedience and/or a lack of wisdom or are they the
Lords way of refining me? Do I pray for Gods help and strength or do I just ask Him to take away
the very experiences and trials which He has designed to improve me? Am I seeking the Lords help
in overcoming my weaknesses or do I try to do it all on my own?

PONDER: Think of what I can do to submit to the will of my Father in Heaven and learn to accept
then work to overcome my trials and weaknesses. Think about what specific help I can ask the Lord
for to help me overcome my weaknesses.

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior
appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of
his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.

This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set
squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing it with all his might. Each
night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in
vain. Noticing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the adversary decided to enter the
picture by placing thoughts into the man's weary mind.

"You have been pushing against this rock for a long time, And it hasn't budged. Why kill yourself over
this? You are never going to move it."

Thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These
troubled thoughts discouraged and dishearten the man.

"Why kill myself over this? I'll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good
enough. However, before he did this, he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his thoughts
to the Lord.

"Lord" he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which
you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even been able to budge that rock. What is wrong?
Why am I failing?"

The Lord responded compassionately,

"My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push
against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I say that I expected you
to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking you
have failed. But is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back
sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become
massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that
which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to
push and to exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom. This you have done. I, my friend, will now
move the rock."

At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He
wants, when actually what God wants is simple obedience and Faith in Him... By all means exercise
the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves the mountains.

Day 5
READ: John Chapter 15

QUESTIONS: Who is the vine? Who are the branches? Can I bear fruit if I am separated from the
vine? Do I ask the Lord for help and strength? What happens if I dont bear fruit?

PONDER: Think of ways that I can bear more fruit and glorify the Father. Set some spiritual goals
and decide what steps I need to take to achieve them. Ponder the following statement, Ye have not
chosen me, but I have chosen you. How does that make me feel?

Day 6
READ: Mark 2:17; Alma Chapter 42, Alma 34:16

QUESTIONS: How well do I understand the atonement? Why is repentance

such an integral part of the plan of redemption? Do I let the Lords mercy work in my
heart to help me be humble and repentant?

PONDER: What do I need to repent of today?

ADDITIONAL READING: Richard G. Scott, Finding Forgiveness, New Era, Mar. 2010, 2-7

Day 7
READ: Doctrine & Covenants 20:77; Doctrine & Covenants 84:88

QUESTIONS: How do I take upon myself the name of Christ? What blessing comes from taking
upon His name? What are my responsibilities?

PONDER: Freedom to choose does not mean freedom from consequences. Before I make a choice,
picture the Savior standing by my side and ask myself, Would I think it, say it or do it knowing He is

ADDITIONAL READING: What Have You Done With My Name? Mervyn B. Arnold of the Seventy,
General Conference, October 2010
Day 8
READ: Matthew Chapters 5-7

QUESTIONS: What sacrifices does the Lord require from me?

PONDER: How can I better offer up my will with a broken heart and a contrite spirit? Have I truly
admitted to myself that I am nothing without God?

Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a
rudder by which to steer. Oliver Wendell Holmes

The first time we took our three-year-old daughter to Temple Square, she showed me what it means to
come unto Christ. As we were going up the ramp in the North Visitors Center, she looked up and saw
the statue of Jesus. She let go of my hand, looked into my face, and with an expression of unutterable
love and eagerness said, Oh, Daddy! Its Jesus! She then ran as fast as she could to meet him.

The Savior himself said, Whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of
such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again;
therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved. (3 Ne. 9:22.) S. Michael
Wilcox, "The BeatitudesPathway to the Savior", Ensign, Jan. 1991, 19

Day 9
READ: Doctrine & Covenants 6:16; Doctrine &
Covenants 121:45-46; Alma 37:35-37

QUESTIONS: Who knows my thoughts? What

blessing do I receive when I let virtue garnish my

PONDER: Do my thoughts control me or do I control

my thoughts? How do I respond to my unrighteous or
negative thoughts?

So how can we overpower undesirable thoughts? In the Book of Mormon, we read that Captain Moroni
built fortifications ahead of time to defend his people against their enemies (see Alma 50:16, 10). We
can follow his example by also preparing ahead of time to protect our minds from the influence of evil
thoughts. The following two techniques have worked for clients counseled by experienced therapists.

First, we can treat the thought with indifference, preventing it from developing
or becoming engaging to our minds.

Second, we can replace the negative idea with a wholesome thought or

activity. For example, President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles has suggested memorizing a favorite hymn as an emergency
channel, a place for thoughts to go when inappropriate subjects come to
mind. Keeping handy a list of possible replacement activities may also be useful.

When the human brain is introduced to any new activity, it begins to build a new pathway. The more often
the activity is repeated, the more solid and automatic that pathway becomes. An analogy might further
explain this concept:

You are standing at the edge of the jungle and know that you must find a way through it. You notice that a
path, well worn and easy to travel, has already been cut through the undergrowth for you. But then you
notice signs warning of dangers lurking at the end of the path, and even though it appears to be the
easiest route, you determine that it might be best to forge your own path. You pull out a machete and
start hacking through the thick growth and underbrush. Its tough work! When you glance up and again
notice the path that has already been cut, you become discouraged. But
you persevere, eventually carving out your own path. You use it frequently
as you traverse the jungle, and in time it becomes the obvious,
preferred path. Meanwhile, the original well-worn paththe one
with danger at the enddeteriorates from lack of use.

The jungle, of course, represents our brains; the initial well-worn path is
the route of our undesirable thoughts. The new path represents our efforts
to forge new and righteous thoughts, habits, and behaviors.

Granted, these techniques for managing thoughts may not stop

undesirable ideas from coming into our minds; dealing with such
thoughts is one of the consequences of living in a fallen world. However,
when the thoughts do come, these two methods can help us more quickly and decisively dismiss them.

In our world of ever-increasing evil and more sophisticated assaults on our thoughts, this practice can be
useful in providing additional strength against self-defeating thought patterns and habits. With diligent
effort, managing our thoughts can become natural. Well be able to fortify ourselves against attacks of the
adversary, just as Captain Moroni did, and we will be able to come off conquerors (see D&C 10:5).
Bruce K. Fordham, "Think About What You Are Thinking About", Ensign, Apr. 2009, 6869

The Stage of Our Minds

The mind is like a stage. During every waking moment the curtain is up. There is always some act being
performed on that stage. It may be a comedy, a tragedy, interesting or dull, good or bad; but always there
is some act playing on the stage of your mind.
Have you noticed that shady little thoughts may creep in from the wings and attract your attention in the
middle of almost any performance and without any real intent on your part? These delinquent thoughts
will try to upstage everybody. If you permit them to go on, all thoughts of any virtue will leave the stage.
You will be left, because you consented to it, to the influence of unrighteous thoughts. When they have
the stage, if you let them, they will devise the most clever persuasions to hold your attention. They can
make it interesting all right, even convince you that they are innocent, for they are but thoughts. What do
you do at a time like that, when the stage of your mind is commandeered by the imps of unclean thinking,
whether they be the gray ones that seem almost clean or the filthy ones that leave no room for doubt? If
you can fill your mind with clean and constructive thoughts, then there will be no room for these persistent
imps, and they will leave. President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Worthy
Music, Worthy Thoughts, New Era, Apr. 2008, 8.

READ: Luke 10:29-37; Luke 19:1-7; John 8:3-11; Doctrine & Covenants 18:10

QUESTIONS: Why did the Savior place such great worth on individuals who were not accepted by their

PONDER: How can I become more Christ-like in my relationships with others? How might I treat
individuals differently if I recognize their worth as Jesus did and then love them as I love Him?

It had been several years since Margaret
attended a sacrament meeting; and as she
walked into the chapel and quickly found a
seat, she felt like a stranger. She had let a
Word of Wisdom problem keep her away
all that time. The bishop told her that
the more often she attended church and
the more she prayed, the easier it would
become for her to conquer her hurtful

Though nearly all the ward members were

now new to her, Margaret gradually
began to feel as though she had come home
after a long absence. Too soon the closing
prayer was said and she edged her way out with the
crowd. She caught bits of conversations around her, silently longing to be part of them. Then suddenly a
whispered voice behind her seemed to scream above all the others and pierce the very depths of her
soul: Well, did you smell the cigarettes? I could barely keep my mind on the talk. Ill have to be more
careful of where I sit (Helen Selee, And Jesus Wept, Ensign, Apr. 1973, 14).

The Touch of the Master's Hand

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer He played a melody pure and sweet
Thought it scarcely worth his while As a caroling angel sings.
To waste much time on the old violin, The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
But held it up with a smile: With a voice that was quiet and low,
What am I bidden, good folks, he cried, Said, What am I bid for the old violin?
Wholl start the bidding for me? And he held it up with the bow.
A dollar, a dollar; then, Two! Only two? A thousand dollars, and wholl make it two?
Two dollars, and wholl make it three? Two thousand! And wholl make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice; Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
Going for three But no, And going, and gone! said he.
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man The people cheered, but some of them cried,
Came forward and picked up the bow; We do not quite understand
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, What changed its worth. Swift came the reply:
And tightening the loose strings, The touch of a masters hand.
And many a man with life out of tune, Hes going once, and going twice,
And battered and scarred with sin, Hes going and almost gone.
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Much like the old violin. Never can quite understand
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine, The worth of a soul and the change thats wrought
A gameand he travels on. By the touch of the Masters hand.

READ: John 5: 2-9; excerpts from Christ at Bethesdas Pool

QUESTIONS: What shall I do with Jesus?

PONDER: What are my motivations for doing good? Is my service to others based on less than pure
motives or are they prompted by charity-the pure love of Christ? Do I live the way I pray?

Excerpts from Christ at Bethesdas Pool , Thomas S. Monson, General Conference / October 1996

Just a few weeks ago my wife, Frances, and I visited the National
Gallery and admired the display of inspired genius which met our
gaze and touched our hearts. A large painting occupied most of the
wall of one room. It was an incomparable piece by the
renowned Bartolom Esteban Murillo, completed in the year 1670 and
titled Christ Healing the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda. The
centuries have not dimmed its beauty, dulled its appeal, nor
diminished its impact.

I have thought since of the majesty of Christ Healing the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda
the Masters command, the
Bartolm Murillo
tenderness of His heart, and the incredible joy His act had brought
to the afflicted man.

Jesus, the very thought of thee With sweetness fills my breast; But sweeter far thy face to see And in thy presence rest.
Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame, Nor can the memry find A sweeter sound than thy blest name, O Savior of mankind!
Hymns, no. 141

Do we remember the question posed by one Pontius Pilate as he spoke to those who would shed the blood of Jesus and thus end His
mortal life? What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. 3 And so He was.
The question each of us must answer is the same: What shall I do with Jesus? He Himself has provided us the answer: Follow me,
and do the things which ye have seen me do. 4

From time to time the question has been posed, If Jesus appeared to you today, what questions would you ask of Him?

My answer has always been, I would not utter a word. I would listen to Him.

Down through the generations of time, the message from Jesus has been the same. To Peter by the shores of beautiful Galilee, He
said, Follow me. 6 To Philip of old came the call, Follow me. 7 To Levi who sat at receipt of customs came the instruction, Follow
me. 8 And to you and to me, if we but listen, shall come that same beckoning invitation, Follow me.

Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Have we? Of Him it was said that He went about doing
good. 10 Do we?

His beloved Apostles noted well His example. He lived not to be ministered unto, but to minister; 11 not to receive, but to give; not to
save His life, but to pour it out for others. It has been said, If they would see the star that should at once direct their feet and influence
their destiny, they must look for itnot in the changing skies of outward circumstance, but each in the depth of his own heart and after
the pattern provided by the Master.

I love the sentiment contained in the words of the poem entitled Living What We Pray For:

I knelt to pray when day was done Yet, once again, when day was done,
And prayed, O Lord, bless everyone; I prayed, O Lord, bless everyone.
Lift from each saddened heart the pain, But as I prayed, into my ear
And let the sick be well again. There came a voice that whispered clear:
And then I woke another day Pause now, my son, before you pray;
And carelessly went on my way; Whom have you tried to bless today?
The whole day long, I did not try Gods sweetest blessings always go
To wipe a tear from any eye. By hands that serve Him here below.
I did not try to share the load And then I hid my face and cried,
Of any brother on the road; Forgive me, God, I have not tried.
I did not even go to see Let me but live another day,
The sick man, just next door to me. And I will live the way I pray.

READ: Job 14:14; Rev. 21:4; 1 Cor. 15:21-22; Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-23, Excerpts from talk,
He Is Risen!

QUESTIONS: What free gift to us from God is made possible by the Saviors resurrection? What gift
must we earn through our faithfulness and righteous choices?

PONDER: Does it make any sense for me to accept resurrection, but then lose exaltation through my
unwillingness to submit my will to the Father? How can I recommit myself to living the gospel more fully
so I will be worthy to live with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again?
Excerpts from Thomas S. Monson, "He Is Risen!", Liahona, May 2010, 8790

Among all the facts of mortality, none is so certain as its end. Death comes to all; it is our universal heritage; it may claim its victim[s] in
infancy or youth, [it may visit] in the period of lifes prime, or its summons may be deferred until the snows of age have gathered upon
the head; it may befall as the result of accident or disease, or through natural causes; but come it must. It inevitably
represents a painful loss of association and, particularly in the young, a crushing blow to dreams unrealized, ambitions unfulfilled, and
hopes vanquished.

What mortal being, faced with the loss of a loved one or, indeed, standing himself or herself on the threshold of infinity, has not
pondered what lies beyond the veil which separates the seen from the unseen?

To understand the meaning of death, we must appreciate the purpose of life. The dim light of belief must yield to the noonday sun of
revelation, by which we know that we lived before our birth into mortality. In our premortal state, we were doubtless among the sons
and daughters of God who shouted for joy because of the opportunity to come to this challenging yet necessary mortal existence. 5 We
knew that our purpose was to gain a physical body, to overcome trials, and to prove that we would keep the commandments of God.
Our Father knew that because of the nature of mortality, we would be tempted, would sin, and would fall short. So that we might have
every chance of success, He provided a Savior, who would suffer and die for us. Not only would He atone for our sins, but as a part of
that Atonement, He would also overcome the physical death to which we would be subject because of the Fall of Adam.

No mere mortal can conceive the full import of what Christ did for us in Gethsemane. He Himself later described the experience: [The]
suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body
and spirit.

Following the agony of Gethsemane, now drained of strength, He was seized by rough, crude hands and taken before Annas,
Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod. He was accused and cursed. Vicious blows further weakened His pain-racked body. Blood ran down His
face as a cruel crown fashioned of sharp thorns was forced onto His head, piercing His brow. And then once again He was taken to
Pilate, who gave in to the cries of the angry mob: Crucify him, crucify him.

He was scourged with a whip into whose multiple leather strands sharp metals and bones were woven. Rising from the cruelty of the
scourge, with stumbling steps He carried His own cross until He could go no farther and another shouldered the burden for Him.

Finally, on a hill called Calvary, while helpless followers looked on, His wounded body was nailed to a cross. Mercilessly He was
mocked and cursed and derided. And yet He cried out, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

The agonizing hours passed as His life ebbed. From His parched lips came the words, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:
and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

As the serenity and solace of a merciful death freed Him from the sorrows of mortality, He returned to the presence of His Father.

At the last moment, the Master could have turned back. But He did not. He passed beneath all things that He might save all things. His
lifeless body was hurriedly but gently placed in a borrowed tomb.

No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary when,
on the first day of the week, they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord. Spoke the angel:
Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. (Luke 24:5-6)

Our Savior lived again. The most glorious, comforting, and reassuring of all events of human history had taken placethe victory over
death. The pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary had been wiped away. The salvation of mankind had been secured. The Fall of
Adam had been reclaimed.


READ: 2 Nephi 32:5; Doctrine and Covenants 11:12; Doctrine and Covenants 8:2; Moroni 10:4; Doctrine
and Covenants 121:45-46; Mosiah 5:2

QUESTIONS: What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost? Why is the gift of the
Holy Ghost one of Gods greatest gifts to us? How can the Holy Ghost help me be more like Christ?

PONDER: Is there anything in my life that prevents me from having the Holy Ghost as my constant

READ: Moroni 7:40-48

QUESTIONS: What is charity and why does it never fail?

PONDER: Has my love for the Savior increased with the efforts I have made to study His life and
teachings? Have I felt the depth of His love for me? Am I ready to more fully follow in His footsteps and
submit my will to the Father in all things?

Jesus walked the path of disappointment.
Can one appreciate his lament over the Holy City? O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the
prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy
children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! (Luke
Jesus walked the path of temptation.
That evil one, amassing his greatest strength, his most inviting sophistry, tempted him who had
fasted for forty days and forty nights and was an hungred. Came the taunt: If thou be the Son
of God, command that these stones be made bread. The reply: Man shall not live by bread
alone. Again, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give
his angels charge concerning thee. The answer: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy
God. Still again: the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. The Master replied:
Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matt. 4:34, 610.)
Jesus walked the path of pain.
Consider the agony of Gethsemane: Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And
being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:42, 44.)
And who among us can forget the cruelty of the cross. His words: I thirst. It is finished. (John 19:28, 30.)
Yes, each of us will walk the path of disappointment, perhaps due to an opportunity lost, a power misused, or a loved one not taught. The path of
temptation, too, will be the path of each. And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto
themselves. (D&C 29:39.)
Likewise shall we walk the path of pain. We cannot go to heaven in a feather bed. The Savior of the world entered after great pain and suffering. We,
as servants, can expect no more than the Master. Before Easter there must be a cross.
While we walk these paths which bring forth bitter sorrow, we can also walk those paths which yield eternal joy.
We, with Jesus, can walk the path of obedience.
It will not be easy. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. (Heb. 5:8.) Let our watchword be the heritage
bequeathed us by Samuel: Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1 Sam. 15:22.) Let us remember that
the end result of disobedience is captivity and death, while the reward for obedience is liberty and eternal life.
We, like Jesus, can walk the path of service.
Like a glowing searchlight of goodness is the life of Jesus as he ministered among men. He brought strength to the limbs of the cripple, sight to the
eyes of the blind, hearing to the ears of the deaf, and life to the body of the dead.
His parables preach power. With the good Samaritan he taught: love thy neighbour. (Luke 10:27.) Through his kindness to the woman
taken in adultery, he taught compassionate understanding. In his parable of the talents, he taught each of us to improve himself and to strive for
perfection. Well could he have been preparing us for our journey along his pathway. Why else would he counsel: Go, and do thou likewise.
(Luke 10:37.)
Finally, he walked the path of prayer.
Three great lessons from three timeless prayers. First, from his ministry: When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy
name. (Luke 11:2.)
Second, from Gethsemane: not my will, but thine, be done. (Luke 22:42.)
Third, from the cross: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34.)
It is by walking the path of prayer that we commune with the Father and become partakers of his power.

Shall we have the faith, even the desire, to walk these pathways which Jesus walked? Gods prophet, seer, and revelator has this day invited us to
do so. All we need do is follow him, for this is the pathway he walks.

As you and I walk the pathway Jesus walked, let us listen for the sound of sandaled feet. Let us reach out for the Carpenters hand. Then we shall
come to know him. He may come to us as one unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside he came to those men who knew him not. He
speaks to us the same words, follow thou me (John 21:22), and sets us to the task which he has to fulfill for our time. He commands, and to
those who obey him, whether they be wise or simple, he will reveal himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in
his fellowship; and they shall learn in their own experience who he is.
We discover he is more than the babe in Bethlehem, more than the carpenters son, more than the greatest teacher ever to live. We come to know
him as the Son of God. He never fashioned a statue, painted a picture, wrote a poem, or led an army. He never wore a crown or held a scepter or
threw around his shoulder a purple robe. His forgiveness was unbounded, his patience inexhaustible, his courage without limit. Jesus changed men.
He changed their habits, their opinions, their ambitions. He changed their tempers, their dispositions, their natures. He changed mens hearts.

One thinks of the fisherman called Simon, better known to you and to me as Peter, chief among the apostles. Doubting, disbelieving, impetuous
Peter was to remember the night that Jesus was led away to the high priest. Present were the priests whose greed and selfishness the Master had
reproved, the elders whose hypocrisy he had branded, the scribes whose ignorance he had exposed. And then there were the Sadducees,
considered the most cruel and dangerous opponents. This was the night that the throng began to spit on [the Savior], and to cover his face, to
buffet him, and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands. (Mark 14:65.)
Where was Peter, who had promised to die with him and never to deny him? The sacred record reveals, And Peter followed him afar off, even into
the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. (Mark 14:54.) This was the night that Peter, in fulfillment
of the Masters prophecy, indeed did deny him thrice. Amidst the pushing, the jeers, and the blows, the Lord, in the agony of his humiliation, in the
majesty of his silence, turned and looked upon Peter.

As one chronologer described the change, It was enough. Peter knew no more danger, he feared no more death. He rushed into the night to meet
the morning dawn. This broken-hearted penitent stood before the tribunal of his own conscience, and there his old life, his old shame, his old
weakness, his old self was doomed to that death of godly sorrow which was to issue in a new and a nobler birth. (Frederic W. Farrar, The Life of
Christ, Portland, Oregon: Farrar Publications, 1964, p. 604.)

Then there was Saul of Tarsus, a scholar, familiar with the rabbinical writings in which certain modern scholars find such stores of treasure. For
some reason, these writings did not reach Pauls need, and he kept on crying, O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this
death? (Rom. 7:24.) And then one day he met Jesus, and behold, all things became new. From that day to the day of his death, Paul urged men to
put off the old man and to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Eph. 4:22, 24.)
The passage of time has not altered the capacity of the Redeemer to change mens lives. As he said to the dead Lazarus, so he says to you and me:
come forth. (John 11:43.) Come forth from the despair of doubt. Come forth from the sorrow of sin. Come forth from the death of disbelief. Come
forth to a newness of life. Come forth.

As we do, and direct our footsteps along the paths which Jesus walked, let us remember the testimony Jesus gave: Behold, I am Jesus Christ,
whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. I am the light and life of the world. (3 Ne. 11:1011.) I am the first and the last; I am
he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father. (D&C 110:4.) President Thomas S. Monson, The Paths Jesus Walked,
April 1974 General Conference