Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Lovest Thou Me?"

Following Jesus' suffering in Gethsemane, His crucifixion, and His resurrection, Peter and at least six of the other apostles journeyed to Galilee and went fishing. Of this Elder Robert D. Hales said:
"Peter and the others fished all night without catching any fish. The next morning Jesus appeared on the shore and called to them across the water, 'Cast [your] net on the right side.' The disciples in the boat followed the Savior’s instructions and quickly discovered their nets were miraculously filled to overflowing. John recognized the Savior’s voice, and Peter instantly cast himself into the water and swam to the shore.
"...As the brethren returned to the shore, they discovered a feast of fish and bread. 'Come and dine,' the Savior invited. As He fed them, He asked Peter three times, 'Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?' When Peter expressed his love, the Savior implored him, 'Feed my lambs. … Feed my sheep."(Robert D. Hales, "Being a More Christian Christian," Ensign, November 2012)
Of the question "Lovest thou me?", Elder Jeffery R. Holland said:
"...I am not certain just what our experience will be on Judgment Day, but I will be very surprised if at some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter: 'Did you love me?' I think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand one commandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all—'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.' And if at such a moment we can stammer out, 'Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,' then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments,' Jesus said. So we have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord. We can’t quit and we can’t go back. After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before. The Crucifixion, Atonement, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ mark the beginning of a Christian life, not the end of it. It was this truth, this reality, that allowed a handful of Galilean fishermen-turned-again-Apostles without 'a single synagogue or sword' to leave those nets a second time and go on to shape the history of the world in which we now live." (Jeffrey R. Holland, "The First Great Commandment", Ensign, November 2012)
May we follow in their footsteps and be such disciples.

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