Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lesson 4 - Student Choice Assignment #2 - The "Bread of Life" Sermon

·       The day before the “bread of life” sermon Jesus had fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. 

·       According to John 6:22-26 many people were seeking out the Savior at this time because they had been fed the day before, and were looking to be fed again.

·       In the assignment the question was asked “What motivates you to ‘seek’ the Lord today?” At first I wasn’t sure how to answer this question because I am kind of out of practice in “seeking” the Lord. I have spent many years lately fighting through life on my own. I have let my spiritual side dissipate in an effort to keep my head above the water and just survive. The funny things is though that in making those choices to not include the Savior in my daily life I have actually made things harder for me. The past few months I have hit my breaking point.  My life was falling apart.  I felt alone, and I shared my burdens with no one.  On the outside, and to the rest of the world I looked like I had it all together, that life was great. Yet, on the inside that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I was hurting and struggling to even breathe. I felt alone and completely overwhelmed.  I needed to make some serious decisions about my marriage, and where I wanted to go in the future. A friend happened to be over one night when things fell apart at home, and she was able to coax some answers out of me about how I was really feeling. That next day I was able to attend Time Out for Women. I was able to feel the Lord’s love for me, and the reassurance that I could move forward and be happy again.  In fact I was reminded that those were things that I deserved and he wanted for me. I went home with the decision that even though I could no longer avoid these hard choices.  It wasn’t fair to me, it wasn’t fair to my kids, and living in limbo was no longer an option. A couple weeks later I was able to talk to my Bishop about my situation and my feelings.  He reminded me that I needed to return to my faith in the Lord and ask him for help.  Though facing my problems was a scary thought I knew that it was necessary. I am working on daily personal prayer, and scripture study. Though things in my life have not gotten better yet, I am facing them with a different attitude, and my burdens feel lighter. I know that I am no longer facing them alone.  I have allowed the Savior to carry me in my time of need, I am leaning on the support of my Bishop, and a few close friends. So, back to the original question. I am “seeking” the Savior because I am tired of being tired, unhappy, and unloved.  I am worth more than that.  I am a daughter of God, and has great things in store for me. I am trust him to lead me in and through my trials.

·       When the people came looking for Christ to feed them he reminded them that the meat they were seeking would perish, and that they should seek “meat which endureth unto everlasting life”.

·       In Matthew 6:19-21 the Lord also encourages the people to seek “treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal”. I think it is natural to want to seek things that bring us immediate happiness. We want to be happy and have fun now, not wait for an indefinite time to receive those rewards. In today’s world people spend their money of things like fast food, movies, and entertainment. While these things are not necessarily bad most of the time they will not bring you lasting happiness. We should be seeking things that will build our faith, or bring our families closer together.

·       Many of the disciples that heard Christ speak the “bread of life” sermon felt that what he was asking was too hard, and they decided to no longer follow him, and went back to their old lives.

·       When Christ asked the 12 apostles if they were also going to go away, they asked where they would go when he was the one who had the words of eternal life.

·       Peter and the apostles were able to respond that way because they knew that he was the Son of God, and the Savior of the World.

·       From then on there are many people who show this kind of faith when faced with “hard sayings”. The first I think of was Joseph Smith. He was just a boy when he was able to see and speak to the Lord. He was told that his life would be rough, and that he wasn’t going to be able to share this burden with many people yet, he pressed forward and followed the counsel and direction of the Lord. One thing in my life that I felt those “hard sayings” was when I was making a decision to serve a mission. I was young, and newly engaged when I received my patriarchal blessing. In the blessing I was told that I would serve a mission and meet the man I would marry. This was not an easy thing to hear, as I really felt that I loved this young man, and that marrying him was the right thing to do. I was faced with direct counsel from the Lord that challenged what I had planned with my life. I chose to serve a mission and that relationship dissolved, but I knew that the sacrifice would bring greater blessings in my life. It was more important at that time for me to stand up and choose to follow the Savior and partake of the “bread of life”.

·       In reading and studying this section of John and the “bread of life” sermon we are promised that if we will seek after things of eternal value and follow the Savior he will make sure that we are spiritually fed, and bolster us up when life is hard. He will stand by us and give us support when we need it. Having the spirit and the teachings of Christ are not a privilege, but a blessing that we need to cherish.

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