Chapter 17: The Followers of Jesus Christ

"Chapter 17: The Followers of Jesus Christ," Part Six: The Church of Jesus Christ, ()


Followers of Jesus Christ are different from other people. Who are His followers? How are they different?

The Followers of Jesus Love Our Father in Heaven

The followers of Jesus are people who believe in Him and obey Him. They learn our Father in Heaven’s plan as taught to them by Jesus and want to follow it. They love our Father in Heaven and believe He wants the best life possible for all of them. They believe that Jesus is our Father in Heaven’s Son. They believe that Jesus is their Savior. They believe that Jesus has made it possible for them to return to live with our Father in Heaven. They believe that only by following Jesus and obeying His commandments can they be forgiven for their sins and return to our Father in Heaven.

Those who follow Jesus are grateful to God and Jesus for all God and Jesus have done for them. They want to obey Jesus. They repent of their sins. They are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. They understand that all people are important to God. They try to help other people in any way possible.

True followers of Jesus make sacred promises. They promise to our Father in Heaven to be called by the name of Jesus Christ. This means to be known as a member of His Church, to accept and follow all of His teachings, and to remember Him always. They also promise to love other people and to help them.

Our Father in Heaven makes sacred promises to the followers of Jesus. Some of the things He promises are that He will:

  1. 1.

    Accept them as members of the Church of Jesus Christ.

  2. 2.

    Give them the gift of the Holy Ghost.

  3. 3.

    Help them obtain the things they need.

  4. 4.

    Give them His power in order for them to do His work.

  5. 5.

    Give them great blessings now and forever.

  6. 6.

    Allow them to return to live with Him if they continue to obey Jesus.

Discussion

  • How are the followers of Jesus different from other people?

  • What do the followers of Jesus promise to do?

  • What do our Father in Heaven and Jesus promise to the followers of Jesus?

Jesus Gives the Priesthood to Worthy Male Church Members

Jesus gives worthy male members of the Church authority to help Him do His work. This authority is called the priesthood. Our Father in Heaven gave this authority to Jesus.

Having the priesthood is a great blessing. The priesthood is a sacred authority. Only those male members who are true followers of Jesus and are working earnestly to keep His commandments are permitted to have the priesthood.

When a man has the priesthood, he can do certain things Jesus wants him to do. He can teach other people about our Father in Heaven and Jesus, baptize them, and give them the gift of the Holy Ghost. A man who has the priesthood can bless his family when they are sick and when they have other problems. Whenever people have believed in Jesus and obeyed His commandments, Jesus has given them the priesthood and other blessings.

Discussion

  • What is the priesthood?

  • Why does Jesus give the priesthood to His worthy male Church members?

Many People Believed in Jesus and Followed His Commandments Before He Came to Earth

Adam and Eve and Some of Their Children Believed in Jesus and Followed His Commandments Before He Came to Earth

Our Father in Heaven told Adam and Eve to believe in Jesus Christ and obey His commandments. They were told He would come to earth someday. Adam and Eve promised they would obey. They kept their promise. They were baptized, and they received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Before Jesus came to the earth, He gave the priesthood to Adam. He permitted Adam to give the priesthood to his sons who obeyed Jesus. Adam put his hands on the head of each of his obedient sons and gave him the priesthood. Later, Adam’s sons gave the priesthood to their sons in the same way.

Discussion

  • What did Adam and Eve do to become followers of Jesus?

  • How did the followers of Jesus receive the priesthood?

Abraham Blessed Jesus and Followed His Commandments

Abraham and his family believed in Jesus. They believed He would come to earth someday. Abraham promised our Father in Heaven that he would obey Jesus and do His work. Our Father in Heaven promised Abraham that if he would be obedient, our Father in Heaven would bless him and his descendants. These are some of the things our Father in Heaven promised:

  1. 1.

    He would give Abraham and his descendants the priesthood.

  2. 2.

    He would give Abraham and his descendants a land to live in.

  3. 3.

    He would give Abraham many descendants.

  4. 4.

    Many of Abraham’s descendants would be followers of Jesus.

  5. 5.

    Many of Abraham’s descendants would choose to do Jesus’ work and to teach other people about our Father in Heaven and Jesus.

Abraham taught his children to believe in Jesus and obey His commandments. Abraham gave the priesthood to his son named Isaac. Isaac gave the priesthood to his son named Jacob. Later, our Father in Heaven changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Israel had twelve sons. He taught them to believe in Jesus and obey His commandments. They had the priesthood. The descendants of Israel’s sons were called the twelve tribes of Israel.

Discussion

  • What did our Father in Heaven promise to Abraham?

  • Who was Israel?

The People of Israel Believed in Jesus and Obeyed His Commandments

Because there was not enough food in their own land, Israel and his sons went to live in a land called Egypt. In time the people who lived in Egypt made the descendants of Israel work hard. They forced them to stay in Egypt to be their servants. They would not allow them to return to the land Jesus had promised to give them.

Many years later, our Father in Heaven chose a man named Moses to lead the descendants of Israel out of Egypt. Moses used the power of the priesthood to help them escape from the people of Egypt. He led them to the land Jesus had promised to give to them. This land was called Canaan. It was located west of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea.

Discussion

  • What power did Moses use to help Jesus’ people escape from Egypt?

The People of Israel Stopped Believing in Jesus

After the people of Israel had lived in the land of Canaan for many years, they stopped believing in Jesus and obeying His commandments. Jesus sent prophets to tell them to repent and obey His commandments. Isaiah, Elijah, and Jeremiah were some of the prophets Jesus sent. There were many other prophets.

But the people of Israel did not repent. Therefore our Father in Heaven allowed other people to come and rule them and take over their land and scatter many of them to other lands. This made the people humble and caused them to remember Jesus and obey Him. But several years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the people of Israel became wicked again, and our Father in Heaven allowed the people called Romans to capture the people of Israel. They took control of their lands and their sacred buildings.

Discussion

  • What happened when the people forgot their promises to our Father in Heaven and stopped obeying Jesus?

Jesus Came to Earth and Organized His Followers

When Jesus came to the earth, He taught people that He was the Son of God. He taught that they would not have to suffer forever for their sins if they would obey His teachings. He told them to believe in Him and to repent. He said they must be baptized. He promised to send the Holy Ghost to help them. He taught them to love and obey God. He taught them to love other people and to help them.

The people who believed Jesus and obeyed Him became His followers. He organized His people into a group called the Church of Jesus Christ. He gave the priesthood to the men who were the leaders and teachers in His Church.

Discussion

  • How did Jesus help the people to follow Him?

  • What did the people need to do in order to become followers of Jesus?

To Be One of the Followers of Jesus Is a Great Privilege

Those who follow Jesus are happy. They know our Father in Heaven’s plan for them. They know that our Father in Heaven loves them. They know He wants them to follow Jesus so Jesus can help them return to Him. They know the things they should do to be happy. They have the gift of the Holy Ghost to help them and comfort them. When they have problems, they know that Jesus will help them. They know that God will bless them for having faith to follow Jesus.

Those who follow Jesus are grateful for the many blessings our Father in Heaven gives them. They thank our Father in Heaven for these blessings when they pray.

People who are not followers of Jesus can become His followers. They can learn about Him by reading the scriptures and by listening to the leaders of His Church. They can believe in Him, repent, and be baptized. If they obey Jesus, they can receive the same things God has always promised to the followers of Jesus.

Discussion

  • Why is it a great privilege to be one of the followers of Jesus?

References

The Followers of Jesus Love Our Father in Heaven

  • John 8:12 (Jesus wants us to follow Him.)

  • 2 Nephi 31:12 (We are commanded to follow Jesus Christ and to do what He did.)

  • Mosiah 2:41 (Those who obey the commandments of Jesus are blessed in every way.)

  • 3 Nephi 18:37 (Jesus gave His disciples power to give the gift of the Holy Ghost to others.)

Jesus Gives the Priesthood to Worthy Male Church Members

  • Exodus 3 (Moses received authority from our Father in Heaven.)

  • Numbers 27:18–23 (Moses put his hands on Joshua’s head and gave him authority from our Father in Heaven.)

Many People Believed in Jesus and Followed His Commandments Before He Came to Earth

To Be One of the Followers of Jesus Is a Great Privilege

  • 2 Nephi 31:13 (Special blessings await those who follow Jesus and do what He taught.)

  • Alma 5:57 (Those who follow Jesus will be counted with the righteous.)

  • Moroni 7:48 (Followers of Jesus Christ will become like God.)