Each week Meridian Magazine’s founders, Scot and Maurine Proctor, will be giving a 30-minute podcast on the “Come, Follow Me” curriculum for the week. This is so you can listen with your scriptures in hand, or while you are about life’s many other duties. If you want some thoughts about teaching your family or in Church lessons, this can be a place to turn. If you live alone, let us study with you.
We have many sicknesses today in our tumultuous world, but Paul aptly labels one of the most pervasive and contagious. We’ll call it the “shaken in mind” syndrome. Being “shaken in mind” is as deadly as it sounds, like something that would make you really sick. It is where stillness and stability and a sure foundation have fled.
Paul’s letters, or the Pauline epistles, are arranged in the New Testament in descending order of their length—with the exception of The Book of Hebrews. These 14 letters comprise 173 pages, just about 43% of the entire New Testament. This week we will be looking at the small epistle of Paul to the Philippians—those converts living in Philippi in the region of Macedonia, Greece and another even smaller epistle to the Colossians—those living in Colossae, a celebrated city of Phrygia just 100 miles east of Ephesus in modern day Turkey. And we will be looking at one particular very wonderful thing Paul taught: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
September 30–October 13
What does it mean to be a “stranger in the world”? That’s a lonely idea, right up there with one of the saddest words in our language—homeless. Paul tells the Gentile converts, “Now, therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the Saints” (Ephesians 2:19). Being a stranger in the world is what it means to be without Christ in our journey. A stranger in the world is exiled from Him and from home. That would be lonely, indeed.
The Book of Galatians is little known among us. It’s only 6 chapters, in 149 verses and a total of 3,084 words. Can we glean some eternal lessons from this brief letter of the Apostle Paul? We certainly can! In today’s podcast we will draw out some of Paul’s teachings that we think will bless all of our lives.
In this book of 2 Corinthians we come nearest to the inner feelings of Paul than in any other of his writings. As one writer said, here Paul reveals his “joy and depression, anxiety and hope, trust and resentment, anger and love.” We see his human qualities. Some writers have suggested that one of the best words to describe 2 Corinthians is that it is a defense. What would Paul have to defend? We'll discuss that this week.
This mortal experience was never meant to be easy—it was meant to be a school—but a school full of joy and wonderful learning. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: We are troubled on every side (have you ever felt that way?), yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” (See 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9) Paul sounds like he is talking to us in our day—not to the people living in Corinth in the 1st Century A.D. Or was he talking to both? Let’s explore this together.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul is addressing early converts to the Church who brought with them baggage and false ideas from their previous beliefs. To make matters even more difficult, they were far away from any central administration of the Church and so old ideas, firmly entrenched in their minds could clash with the gospel. Among these new converts were polytheistic Gentiles who had once worshipped idols, Jews who held to the Mosaic law, and all of the ideas influenced by the philosophies of Greece. How did Paul handle this whirlwind of opinions?
August 26-September 1
This week’s readings include some of the most important teachings in all the scriptures. You’re familiar with them: Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I AM NOTHING. We’re excited to explore this most coveted gift from the heavens.
Corinth was the powerful, bustling, and wicked trade center of the Roman province of Achaia. When Paul wrote what we call 1 Corinthians, to the members there, it wasn’t his first letter to them. That one is lost to us in time, but this second letter, that we call first, was motivated in part, by the concerns of a woman named Chloe and her household, who had written him. We’ll tell you why.
The book of Romans has some scriptures that are so familiar to us like “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ”, and at the same time, we may sometimes find it hard to understand what Paul is saying beyond those scriptures we know well. Let’s dive in and see if we can unwind some of the mystery.
Preaching the gospel had been restricted during Christ ministry, with few exceptions, to the House and children of Israel. In a series of days on the beautiful coast of the Mediterranean Sea—all that would change. It reminds us of a very special day in June of 1978—a day never to be forgotten.
What is this surprise in the nature of Paul that he can go from “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of Christ” one day and be a submissive disciple of Christ the next? Of course he had this stupendous vision on the road to Damascus, but is there something more we can learn about the life of Paul, itself, that can give us clues to his energy and passion?
For many people, one of the most enigmatic and mysterious parts of the life of Christ, comes after His resurrection when He spent forty days teaching the Apostles. What was the instruction that He gave them and is there some way to learn more? Do any sources give us a window into that teaching?
We’ve all been studying the life and mortal mission of Jesus Christ for the past six months. Don’t you agree that you feel closer to the Savior now than you did at the beginning of your studies? This week’s lesson has some surprises and is the culmination of the Savior’s perfect ministry. How would you have felt if you had come to the tomb early that Sunday morning after your own pain and sorrow at the loss of Jesus—and you looked in only to find it empty?
After his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, another kind of agony was about to begin for Jesus who was already exhausted with the weight He had borne. Before the night was finished, He would be betrayed, falsely charged, scourged, spit upon and maligned in a trial that was utterly illegal. Why illegal? And who is the only mortal on record that Jesus refused to speak to? We will tell you in this week's podcast.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “That first Easter sequence of Atonement and Resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift, the most excruciating pain, and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of this world. Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could, like lightning in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to eternal life.”
Did you know that the preparation for the Last Supper began with a miracle? It’s subtle, and most readers of the account will not see it—but when you understand the culture and the setting of the time, it’s obvious and it’s amazing.
May 27-June 2
We have two questions for you: 1) Which chapter in the New Testament did Joseph Smith make the most changes to? It’s Matthew 24 where Christ during his last week on earth told his apostles just what to expect before He would return. Here’s the next question: 2) Do we have any precedent in the Gospel or in history where a people were preparing for the coming of the Lord; they knew He was coming; they knew where He was coming; they even prepared a place for Him to come—and then He came? Of course we see this in the Book of Mormon—but is the same pattern happening in our time? We’re going to explore this question in this podcast.
Jesus once told Mary at Cana that “Mine hour hath not yet come,” but now as we start this lesson that has changed as we take you to the beginning of the last week of His mortal life. Now he will say, “Mine hour hath come,” a statement that will break His followers hearts and have implications for every one of us.
Many questions were posed to the Savior during His mortal ministry. If you had the chance to ask Him one question, in person, what would that question be? In this week’s lesson we have a very powerful question asked of the Lord face to face in his ministry and it’s worth all of us pondering about this specific question.
Have you ever given a party, invited many people, and no one came? In this week’s chapters, we’ll explore a parable about a great feast and how, when invited, many people found shoddy excuses not to attend. As we hear this story, it seems so strange that anyone would find any reason to miss a marvelous feast put on by the Lord, but he is talking to us. Are we, knowingly or unknowingly, rejecting wonderful invitations that the Lord offers?
April 29-May 5
Have you ever wondered why John the Beloved included the story of the woman taken in adultery in his record? Surely he had hundreds of stories he could have chosen to complete his testimony—why this particular story? We’re going to explore at least three things about this tender encounter that you
The Lord often requires us to do things that we think sound impossible. Forgive seventy times seven? This does not mean 490 times, but boundless forgiveness, that we travel with forgiveness for those who have wronged us. Forgiveness is not always easy, especially when we have been deeply hurt or wronged or if we live in a situation where we are poorly treated continually, but the Lord’s command to forgive is one that can free and heal our hearts and cultivate boundless love for our neighbors.
We love Easter as the most important celebration of the year because it is Jesus Christ’s atonement and resurrection that answers every uncertainty, loosens every bond and supplies every hope for our mortal experience. More people saw the resurrected Jesus than we sometimes realize, including John Murdock, an early convert to The Church of Jesus Christ in Kirtland. He described what Jesus looked like in detail and then said this, “It left on my mind the impression of love, for months, that I never felt before to that degree.”
In Jesus’s teachings, the land of Israel itself becomes his visual aid. That is nowhere more evident than in the teachings he gives in Caesarea Philippi about the rock on which His Church will be built. Learn about that this week as well as the profound answer the Pharisees got who were seeking a sign.
Not all of the moments and sayings in the life of Jesus can we read as a sequence of events. We have stories and sayings that we can’t always connect. But in today’s study we can see things in sequence, which adds meaning to the story. This includes the feeding of the 5,000, the rescue of the apostles while they are struggling against great winds on the Sea of Galilee, and the Bread of Life speech which motivated many of Jesus’s followers to desert Him.
Jesus taught in parables both to reveal and conceal truths. There is more in even apparently simple statements than immediately meets the eye in what Jesus taught. What for instance does it mean, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father”?
This episode of the Come Follow Me podcast relates many stories that you probably haven’t heard into the calling of an apostle and what today’s apostles say about their own special witness of Jesus Christ. You will also come to know, by tradition, how each of the Twelve that Christ called eventually died.
As mortals we are on a journey to move from being broken to healed, and it is the Lord who is our attending physician. The stories in the New Testament are not only about the halt, the blind, and the person afflicted with leprosy. They are about us, and our universal need for his healing touch.
How can we become better at praying? It is a question that most of us ask ourselves as serious disciples of Jesus Christ. In these chapters from the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Himself teaches us how to pray. If the Lord says this is how we should pray, then, there is something deep to learn.
The Sermon on the Mount was called by President Joseph Fielding Smith, “The greatest sermon that was ever preached, so far as we know,” and President Harold B. Lee called it “the constitution for a perfect life”. It tells us not just what to do but gives us the much more exacting standard and describes how we should be.
John’s gospel is so beautifully structured to reveal eternal truths to his audience who are Church members. One story reinforces and points back or forward to the next. For instance, both the wedding at Cana and the visit to Nicodemus at night are teaching the same thing—an idea the casual reader might miss.
Jesus goes into the wilderness, fasting for 40 days, to commune with his Father, and then when he is famished, Satan comes upon him with temptation. As the arch liar who has eons of practice, he uses types of temptations on the Savior, which he also uses on all of us. What these are and how the Savior resists him is a profound teaching for us all.
There is a stir in the Judean wilderness, a voice of authority and vibrancy that hasn’t been heard amongst the Jews for at least four hundred years. John the Baptist is preaching his hopeful and important message. He is a voice in the wilderness, which has come to mean in our English language, someone who is expressing an idea that is not popular. Yet, it is the message that Israel has anticipated for its entire history, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” The Messiah is here.
Joseph Smith calls this book The Testimony of John. Think of this as his testimony to us as an eyewitness of the life of the Savior. The scenes from Jesus’ life that [John] describes are carefully selected and arranged with this object in view...He clearly affirms that Jesus is the Son of God, attested to by miracles, by witnesses, by the prophets, and by Christ’s own voice. John the Baptist is a voice crying in the wilderness. Come and listen!
The chapters in this week’s podcast are familiar to us because we have recited them so many times at Christmas. The surprise is that there are hidden gems and ideas in these chapters we might not have seen before. The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) also adds new dimensions to the old story we love so well. Come and join us again this week.
This is the second week's lesson in the new Come Follow Me curriculum. We are Scot & Maurine Proctor, publishers and editors of Meridian Magazine. The podcast gives you 25-30 minutes of lively discussion on the week's lesson. The topic this week is: "Be It unto Me according to Thy Word" where we focus on Matthew Chapter 1 and Luke Chapter 1. Come and study with us as we give you insights and ideas about this week's lesson.
Beginning today, December 28, 2018, each week Meridian Magazine’s founders, Scot and Maurine Proctor, will be giving a 30-minute podcast on the “Come, Follow Me” curriculum for the week. This is so you can listen with your scriptures in hand, or while you are about life’s many other duties. If you want some thoughts about teaching your family or in Church lessons, this can be a place to turn. If you live alone, let us study with you. This week's lesson: "We are responsible for our own learning."