Matthew 14–15; Mark 6–7; John 5–6
“Be Not Afraid”
The manual for this lesson gives the purpose of this lesson so beautifully!
What could have inspired Peter to leave the safety of his boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee during a boisterous storm? What led him to believe that if Jesus could walk on water, he could too? We can’t know for certain, but perhaps Peter understood that the Son of God came not just to do wonderful things for the people but to empower people like Peter to do wonderful things too.
In this episode, I talk about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and how they are so proud of each other. I quote from a beautiful talk by Jeffrey R Holland called, “The Grandeur of God.” Elder Holland quotes Joseph Smith, “Little wonder then that the Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God.” “I want you all to know Him,” he said, “and to be familiar with Him.” We must have “a correct idea of his … perfections, and attributes,” an admiration for “the excellency of [His] character.”
He continues quoting Joseph Smith, “in the words of that prophet I, too, declare: ‘Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive. … God does not look on sin with [the least degree of] allowance, but … the nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs.’ I bear witness of a God who has such shoulders.”
Then I talk about the miracle of the loaves and fishes and the manual so beautifully applies that miracle to our own lives. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can take what little we have to offer and turn it into a miraculous thing of beauty. The manual references a great talk by James E. Faust called “Five Loaves and Two Fishes.” In it, he says. ” “It has been said that this church does not necessarily attract great people but more often makes ordinary people great. Many nameless people with gifts equal only to five loaves and two small fishes magnify their callings and serve without attention or recognition, feeding literally thousands.”
Then we talk about Peter and his faith and letting Christ save us. I suggested we call out to the Savior as we begin to sink, rather than waiting until we hit the very bottom. I loved that the minute Peter called out to Him, “immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.” Let’s not wait so long next time to ask for help. I spoke of a painting I really like by Yongsung Kim called, “Hand of God.” I also referenced a song by Avril Lavigne, “Head Above Water.”
We end by talking about the disciples who left Jesus because of his “hard saying” and the Savior asking, “Will you also go away?” So sad to me. The manual references a talk by Elder Russel M. Nelson called, “To Whom Shall We Go?” He says, “If anyone of you is faltering in your faith, I ask you the same question that Peter asked: “To whom shall [you] go?” If you choose to become inactive or to leave the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where will you go? What will you do? The decision to “walk no more” with Church members and the Lord’s chosen leaders will have a long-term impact that cannot always be seen right now.” Just stay people. It’s the best choice.
Again, I suggest reading Lawrence Corbridge’s talk, Stand Forever.
Then I suggest that you send me videos of your family re-enacting Jesus and Peter walking on the water. Because that’s what the manual suggested and I want to see it come to pass.
Shine on friends!