Come Follow Me - New Testament
We Have Found the Messiah
- Jesus Christ was “in the beginning with God.”
- Jesus Christ is the Light.
- We can gain our own witness of the Savior and then invite
others to “come and see.”
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the Scriptures at LDS.org.
Lesson Handout (PDF)
Jesus Christ Was “In the Beginning With God”
JOHN TEACH ABOUT THE PREMORTAL CHRIST?
- There was a premortal state where Jesus Christ lived.
- Elder Spencer W. Kimball, "I want to testify
further that he not only lived in the Meridian of Time for approximately
thirty-three years, but that he lived eternities before this, and will live
eternities beyond it." (General Conference, October 1946)
- Jesus Christ was with our Heavenly Father in this premortal existence.
- President Hugh B.
Brown, "The Apostle John tells us that the Word—which
he identifies as the Savior was with God in the beginning. This is a precise
and unambiguous declaration, not only that he was with God in the beginning,
but that he himself was invested with the powers and rank of godship and
that he came into the world and dwelt among men. He was the Creator of all
that is." (General Conference, April 1966)
- Elder Joseph
Anderson explained it this way, "This would indicate
that Christ, Jehovah, the Great I Am, was with the Father in that early
state of existence; he was the firstborn of his spirit children. He was
taught by the Father during that incalculable time." General
Conference, October 1974)
- Jesus Christ is
the personification of the gospel, thus he the the "Word."
Elder Bruce R. McConkie,
"Further, the gospel itself is the word, and it is
because the gospel or word of salvation is in Christ that he, on the
principle of personification, becomes the Word."
(New Testament Commentary, 1:71)
It is interesting to note that the Joseph Smith
Translation reads, "In the beginning was the
gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word
was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God."
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are two
separate and distinct beings, yet one in purpose.
"The same [Jesus Christ/the Word] was in the
beginning with God" (v2).
Elder Erastus Snow,
"There certainly was more than one God—God the Father, and God the Son."
(Journal of Discourses, 26:218)
All things were made by Jesus Christ.
without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own
purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten."
"The light and the
Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world,
because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and
the light of men. The worlds were made by him; men were made by him;
all things were made by him, and through him, and of him."
Elder Neal A.
Maxwell, "What John and Paul wrote about
God's creations and the plurality of worlds, the restored gospel
grandly affirms, declaring that 'worlds without number' have been
created. These gospel truths are very significant assurances for us,
situated as we are on this tiny 'speck of sand' at the outer edge of a
minor galaxy, the Milky Way. Without the gospel’s fulness, we would
appear to be living during one tick of the geological clock and in the
midst of unexplained vastness." (General
Conference, October 1987)
Elder Orson Pratt,
"Paul, when speaking of Jesus Christ,
gives us to understand that he is the firstborn of every creature, for
by him were all things made that were made, and to him pertains all
things; he is the head of all things, he created all things, whether
visible or invisible, whether they be principalities, powers, thrones,
or dominions; all things were created by him and for him, and without
him was not anything made that was made. If all things were created by
him and for him, this world on which we stand must have been created
by him and for him; if so, he is its legitimate, its rightful owner
and proprietor; its lawful sovereign and ruler."
(Journal of Discourses, 1:221.
Elder Gordon B. Hinckley bears witness
of the Lord's creations, "Can any man who
has walked beneath the stars at night, can anyone who has seen the
touch of spring upon the land doubt the hand of divinity in creation?
So observing the beauties of the earth, one is wont to speak as did
the Psalmist: 'The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament
sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto
night sheweth knowledge.' All of beauty in the earth bears the
fingerprint of the Master Creator."
(General Conference, April 1978)
WHAT DO THESE VERSES MEAN TO US?
We also lived in a premortal state with our
- Our Heavenly Father has a plan for our eternal life and salvation made
possible through His son, Jesus the Christ.
- The creation of this earth was not a accident of nature and time, but was
part of the plan for our salvation carried out by the Creator of an expansive
universe and this very earth on which we dwell.
- When one takes time to consider these few words contained in the gospel of
John, we find clues to our eternal purpose.
Jesus Christ is the Light
"In him was life; and
the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the
darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:4-5:)
- The Joseph Smith Translation reads, "In him was the
gospel, and the gospel was the life, and the life was the light of men; And
the light shineth in the world, and the world perceiveth it not."
- Elder Howard W. Hunter, "The life mentioned is life
eternal, which he revealed to the world, which he promised to his believers,
which he died to give them, to which he will raise them up, because he hath
the life in himself. He is the resurrection and the life. The darkness
mentioned is the state of man's mind, which drags him down, that he does not
comprehend." (General Conference, October 1968)
- HOW ESSENTIAL IS THE LIGHT? HOW CAN WE AVOID THE DARKNESS THAT KEEPS US
FROM SEEING AND UNDERSTANDING THE LIGHT?
- Elder Marion G. Romney, "The restored gospel of
Jesus Christ is the sure light shining in the darkness of our troubled
world." (General Conference, October 1971)
- Thus, to avoid the darkness that pervades so much of the world, we need
to turn to the "restored gospel of Jesus Christ" and strive to live the
commandments and follow the precepts taught by the Savior and his appointed
"The true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
- John the Baptist is the "man sent from God ... to
bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe."
- President George Q. Cannon, "[John] was filled with
the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, and he declared in great plainness
to the people who lived in Judea, that the coming of the Messiah was near at
hand, and when he baptized him, he bore testimony that he was the veritable
Son of God, the Messiah." (Journal of Discourses, 22:357)
D&C 84:45-46. The Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into
- Elder Richard G. Scott, "The ability to have an
unsettled conscience is a gift of God to help you succeed in this mortal life.
It results principally from the influence of the Light of Christ on your mind
and heart. The Light of Christ is that divine power or influence that emanates
from God through Jesus Christ. It gives light and life to all things. It
prompts all rational individuals throughout the earth to distinguish truth
from error, right from wrong. It activates your conscience. Its influence can
be weakened through transgression and addiction and restored through proper
repentance. The Light of Christ is not a person. It is a power and influence
that comes from God and when followed can lead a person to qualify for the
guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost." (General Conference,
- President Joseph F. Smith, "There is not a man born
into the world but has a portion of the Spirit of God and it is that Spirit of
God which gives to his spirit understanding. Without this, he would be but an
animal like the rest of the brute creation, without understanding, without
judgment, without skill, without ability, except to eat and to drink like the
brute beast. But inasmuch as the Spirit of God giveth all men understanding,
he is enlightened above the brute beast. He is made in the image of God
Himself, so that he can reason, reflect, pray, exercise faith; he can use his
energies for the accomplishment of the desires of his heart, and inasmuch as
he puts forth his efforts in the proper direction, then he is entitled to an
increased portion of the Spirit of the Almighty to inspire him to increased
intelligence, to increased prosperity and happiness in the world."
(Journal of Discourse, 25:51)
- It is up to us to utilize the light with which we have been blessed. I
have had the opportunity to do a trail race at night. To be successful and not
find oneself on the ground, it is essential to run with a light. I used a
headlamp. As I gave attention
to where the beam of the light fell, I was able to continue forward without
getting lost or falling to the ground. I recall one instance where the trail
seemed to be fairly smooth and I didn't give sufficient attention to the light
on the trail. In my distraction I tripped on a root and fell to the ground.
Fortunately, I fell in grass to the side of the trail and did not injure
myself. I was lucky. I could have fallen on a sharp rock. Constant attention to the trail ahead through the use of the light was
the only way to keep on going throughout the night. So it is with the light
with which we have been blessed. As Elder Scott noted, the influence of the
light can be weakened through transgression. Thus, the batteries in our
spiritual light are charged as we given attention to the light and seek to
follow its influence.
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and
we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of
grace and truth." (John 1:14)
- President John Taylor, "Jesus came here according to
the foreordained plan and purpose of God, pertaining to the human family, as
the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. He came to offer
himself a sacrifice, the just for the unjust; to meet the requirements of a
broken law, which the human family were incapable of meeting, to rescue them
from the ruins of the fall, to deliver them from the power of death to which
all peoples had been subjected by the transgression of a law." (Journal
of Discourse, 22:139)
- President David O. McKay, "Many who deny his
divinity declare him to be the one perfect character, the peerless personality
of history. Millions accept him as the Great Teacher, whose teachings,
however, are not applicable to modern social conditions. A few accept him for
what he really is—'Only Begotten of the Father' who came into the world, even
Jesus, to be crucified for the world and to bear the sins of the world."
(General Conference, October 1960)
- Elder Mark E. Peterson speaking of the Savior coming to earth said that,
"His mortal advent was accompanied by much sorrow and
suffering, but the greatest tragedy of his coming was that the people
generally, and more particularly their leaders, did not—or would not—either
recognize or accept him." (General Conference, October 1965)
- The Word, the Light of men, even Jesus Christ, came to this earth and
taught men and women how to live their lives and offered eternal life! And yet
so many ignore him and fail to see the light and life than emanating from him.
- HOW CAN WE DO BETTER AT RECOGNIZING AND ACCEPTING THE SAVIOR?
We Can Gain Our Own Witness of the Savior and Then Invite Others to “Come
1:35-40. Andrew and John follow Jesus.
- The second disciple was John, son of Zebedee according to both Elders
Talmage and McConkie.
- WHAT CAUSED THESE TWO MEN TO LEAVE JOHN AND FOLLOW JESUS?
- John the Baptist was a man both speaking and baptizing with authority.
What would cause these two men to leave such a great teacher?
- John the Baptist testified that Jesus was the Lamb of God (see v36).
- John had been teaching that he was the forerunner of the Messiah, so
John and Andrew should have been looking for the Messiah.
- Certainly their hearts were touched by the Holy Ghost to know that what
John had said was true. They turned away from the past and followed the
- Consider the invitation of the Master to Andrew and John to
"Come and see" (John 1:39).
- WHAT DOES THIS INVITATION MEAN TO YOU? WHAT IS THERE FOR YOU TO COME AND
- Elder Alexander B. Morrison helps to answer this question for us,
"'Come and see,' come seeking to know Him, and I
promise you will find Him and see Him in His true character as the risen,
redeeming Savior of the world. 'Come and see,' and you will recognize Him
as the Christ of the empty sepulchre, the conqueror of Calvary, who broke
the bands of death and rose triumphant from the tomb, to bring immortality
to all and eternal life to the faithful. He is the 'lamb without blemish
and without spot,' foreordained in His messianic role 'before the
foundation of the world.' 'He was wounded for our transgressions [and]
bruised for our iniquities: … with his stripes we are healed.'
"'Come and see,' and in your coming lay your burdens at
His feet. Give away all your sins that you might see and know Him. 'Come
unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,' He said, 'and I will
give you rest.'....
“'Come and see,' and as you do so your eyes will be
opened and you will really see, perhaps for the first time, who you are,
and who He is. You will come to see yourself as a child of God, of divine
parentage, possessed of infinite capacities to grow spiritually and become
more like Him. You will come to understand that God 'hath made of one
blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth' and
you will see all men everywhere as your brothers and all women as your
sisters, with all that implies in terms of sibling responsibility. You
will see that 'he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond
and free, male and female; … and all are alike unto God'." (General
Conference, October 2000)
- HOW CAN WE DO BETTER AT HELPING OTHERS TO "COME AND SEE?"
- Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Our homes can be
gospel-sharing homes as people we know and love come into our homes and
experience the gospel firsthand in both word and action. We can share the
gospel without holding a formal discussion. Our families can be our
lesson, and the spirit that emanates from our homes can be our message."
(General Conference, April 2006)
WHAT DID ANDREW DO WHEN HE DISCOVERED THE MESSIAH?
- He was so filled that he wanted to share the good news.
- READ JOHN
1:41-42. Andrew shares the good news with his brother Simon.
1:43-51. Phillip and Nathanael called to follow the Lord.
- Phillip, like Andrew, wanted to share the new found good news.
- Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, "After the Savior called
Peter, Andrew, and Philip, Philip introduced Jesus to Nathanael.... Philip
said to Nathanael, 'We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the
prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.' In this statement,
Philip testified that Jesus is the Messiah. Nathanael wondered whether any
good thing could come out of Nazareth, indicating the relatively bad
reputation of Nazareth in those days. Philip asked him to come and see. This
is the perfect answer to all who seek to know the truth about Christ.
Impartial investigators are converted when they come and see." (General
Conference, April 1988)
Five men have been called by the Lord to follow him:
- John - Andrew - Simon - Phillip - Nathanael.
- WHAT KIND OF MEN WERE THEY?
- The Lord said, "Follow me" and they followed without question.
- Men foreordained in the pre-earthly councils.
- Men born in humble families where they were taught not just the law, but
to look for the Messiah.
- Certainly they must have been taught to love the Lord and instilled
with a desire to learn the truth.
- Most at that time were seeking a Messiah who would be a great
political/military leader. These men had open hearts and minds which the
Spirit could touch.
- HOW EASY WAS IT FOR THESE MEN TO LEAVE THEIR FORMER LIFE AND FOLLOW JESUS?
- It seems that good men of all ages are willing to sacrifice everything
when touched by the Spirit. I suppose it was not easy to turn away
from their old life. This change indicates that they were spiritual
- Recall the story of the rich young man who was not willing to sell all
and follow the Lord. Not even all the believers are willing to make this
kind of sacrifice. These five disciples were willing to give all they had
to follow the Lord.
- Modern examples:
- Brigham Young, Parley Pratt, Heber Kimball, and John Taylor gave up
their homes and careers to serve the Lord.
- President Heber J. Grant left a highly successful business enterprise.
- Presidents Russell M. Nelson and Dallin H. Oaks and left highly
successful careers to serve the Lord full time
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
How do the teachings of John enlarge your understanding of the
Savior? What things can you do to invite others to "come and see?"
Resources Used In This Lesson
Journal of Discourses
New Testament Commentary, Volume 1, by Bruce R. McConkie
This outline is provided as supplementary material and is not
intended to replace the official lesson manual. It is not endorsed by The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am wholly responsible for the content.
I do my best to see that the content is in
harmony with the teachings and doctrine of the Church.
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Changes last made on:
17 December 2018