As our first year of Come, Follow Me comes to a close, I find myself looking forward to the new year and the upcoming Book of Mormon study. I am also finding myself very reflective on this last year and I can’t believe we have only six weeks left of the New Testament.
What have you learned this past year? What have you gained? Have you enjoyed learning at home? Are you closer as a family? More importantly, are you closer to our Savior?
Or are you regretful over the lack of effort you put forth? Do you miss the third hour of church? Are you discouraged in your ability to prepare lessons in advance? Maybe you feel all alone in your studies, or maybe you just aren’t sure if you are doing it right?
What is the objective of “Come, Follow Me?“
Conversion is the goal.
From the first pages of Come, Follow Me manual we learn:
“The aim of all gospel learning and teaching is to deepen our conversion and help us become more like Jesus Christ.”
We should be striving to have a true change of our very nature by learning from the pages of our Come, Follow Me curriculum. We are relying on Christ through the Holy Ghost to change our hearts.
Conversion is not a single solitary event but a process. It is a process of many cumulative events. Each instance of learning, growing, receiving guidance and acting again and again with faith and serving as Christ would have us serve is a benchmark in our progression. As we continually act in faith, the Holy Ghost will enlighten us, bear witness of truth, and cause our hearts to change as we learn by revelation from our Father in Heaven.
Come, Follow Me has been given as a gift for us to open again and again to the inspiring words of the scriptures and discover applications for our lives. We have been given the tools of conversion and we’ve been asked to use them. But are we doing it right? Is there a right way?
Sometimes my weekly goal for Come, Follow Me doesn’t go as originally planned. Usually my week consists of me listening to my favorite YouTube lesson on the topic and talking it over with my husband who listens to it on his own as well. I listen to the lesson from the Church’s tools app on the way to youth activities on Wednesday as we drive the 55 minutes to our meetinghouse. Saturday and Sunday we open the manual as a family and study together. Most days we have my husband on speaker phone rather than with us in person. We do many of our daily family scripture study and prayers over the phone and sometimes from over 2,000 miles away as he travels for work.
This is how my family does Come, Follow Me.
Is this the right way?
Is this ideal?
The answer for my family is yes! It is ideal for my family! This is right for us and we have our own way to study Come, Follow Me weekly. Can we do better? We can always do better, but this is the way it works for us and that’s why this program is inspired! It is meant to be fit-to-size. It’s meant to squeeze through the tight spaces we call life and be customized specificially for our needs.
That’s the point.
Within the first pages of the Come, Follow Me curriculum it states:
“How Should I Use This Resource?
This resource is for every individual and family in the Church. It is designed to help you learn the gospel—whether on your own or with your family. If you haven’t studied the gospel regularly in the past, this resource can help you get started. If you already have a good habit of gospel study, this resource can help you have more meaningful experiences.”
If you read through those first few pages of instructions you will realize the whole purpose of the curriculum is to give us the opportunity to have a deeper personal conversion as individuals or as a family in our own way.
If you like handouts for your lesson, awesome! If you like to incorporate family home evening lessons into the mix, that’s great! If you pick out hymns to sing before study, that’s terrific too. If you use Facetime, or Come, Follow Me chats on social media with friends, do that. If you like to study alone, or with your furry friend, or with the neighbor, or in a house or with a mouse…all of these examples are simply customizing the lessons to fit yours and your family’s needs.
Don’t be hard on yourself.
I like to think like Elder Peter M. Johnson and telling myself to keep picking that Come, Follow Me book up. “Every week, every week, every week.”
Keep opening your scriptures. “Everyday, everyday everyday.” If we do this we can’t go wrong. The Come, Follow Me curriculum is an inspired tool to help us to stay on the covenant path. Keep picking it up any way you can and your life will be blessed.
A few months back my church-shy 12-year-old son astounded us during a Come, Follow Me lesson at home with a comment that touched our hearts.
He WAS listening and participating in our tailored-fit version of Come, Follow Me. He was growing in knowledge and faith. The coolest part about it was we were in the comfort of our home and he felt comfortable enough to open up in such a way that we knew he was learning by the Holy Ghost. We were there to witness his testimony grow. If you aren’t studying in your home, you are missing out on treasured experiences that have no comparison.
As we are in the home stretch of Come, Follow Me for this year I challenge you all to jump in. If it takes 21 days to make a habit you have double that time frame to make it a solid habit. When January roles around the goal of doing Come, Follow Me all year will be one you can embrace completely.
I promise you that your life will be blessed just as mine has been.
President Thomas S. Monson taught:
“As we read and ponder the scriptures, we will experience the sweet whispering of the Spirit to our souls. We can find answers to our questions. We learn of the blessings which come through keeping God’s commandments. We gain a sure testimony of our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of Their love for us. When scripture study is combined with our prayers, we can of a certainty know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true…As we remember prayer and take time to turn to the scriptures, our lives will be infinitely more blessed and our burdens will be made lighter”
- Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019, November 11-17.
- “Converted unto the Lord” -Elder David A. Bednar, October 2012.
- “Deep and Lasting Conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” -Elder Quentin L. Cook, October 2018.
- “A Sin-Resistant Generation” -Sister Joy D. Jones, April 2017.
You can follow Larin on Twitter @larknap.