Come Follow Me

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

In the movie, Always, there’s a scene where a mechanic is working on a service vehicle used at a small private air strip.  Somehow while the motor is running it jumps into gear and takes off without a driver.  On the back of the service vehicle is a sign, Follow Me, intended to guide pilots of small aircraft to the proper location.

(Image, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo – Adoration of the Magi – Google Art Project courtesy of Wikipedia)

As often happens in movies intended to entertain, a borderline qualified pilot happens to be landing at this precise moment as he observes and follows the unmanned service vehicle down the taxi way, across a private road, all the while everyone around is yelling for him to stop.  Eventually the truck crashes into a house at the edge of the landing strip.

I suppose it really is important to identify and validate prior to following just anyone, or in this case, anything.

Such was and is the case with the Great War in Heaven.  Satan put forth his plan whereby every soul would be guaranteed to return to Father; but man would not have his Agency, the ability to choose.  That plan was not accepted by Father and a third of the host of Heaven who wanted to follow that plan were cast out with Satan.

In the other plan… the plan we all agreed to follow, mortality would be our proving ground, a probationary period to test our resolve in obeying God’s laws.  Knowing our shortcomings Father would provide a Savior, even His Only Begotten Son.  And so the War in Heaven began…and continues to this very day.

For our safe return to Father we must decide on a daily basis if we really do want to return to Father or is it worth the effort.  Nobody is going to force you back to Heaven; but there are plenty of opportunities to stray from the path.

We’ve been given lots of help; parents who love and guide us, the scriptures and living prophets all with the purpose of showing us the way home to Father.  Still, we must decide.

Being a convert to the Church I missed out on attending Primary in my youth; however, the Lord didn’t want me to miss out entirely so along the way I’ve been privileged to serve as an instructor while getting to learn all about Sharing Time, Children’s Hymns and how to deal with a wide variety of challenges.

I remember being impressed as Sharing Time began with a roomful of high energy children bouncing off the walls.  The Chorister didn’t seem phased at all as she stood in front of them, having nodded at the sister playing the piano; asked if one of the more energetic children would assist in singing, Do As I’m Doing.

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

If I do it high or low,

If I do it fast or slow,

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me…

Apparently the children love this tune as they also have a chance to get the ‘wiggle worms’ out of their system.  After a couple of imaginative operations are offered, a different child helping to carry out the exercise, the children are asked to fold their arms for an opening prayer and the children have achieved a much more teachable attitude.  Someone from the Primary Presidency would then present the spiritual lesson with far fewer interruptions.

Isn’t it much the same with adults?  Take for instance the setting for the birth of our Savior.  Wise Men followed the star, traveling far until it rested over the stable where He’d been sleeping in a crib of hay.  Shepherds watching their flocks by night were greeted by angels advising them of the fulfillment of ancient scripture.

Each of us is prepared according to the Lord’s time, His knowing when our hearts have been properly prepared to receive the message of the Gospel.  For some they are born into families where the Gospel is already a daily part of their lives.  Others, myself included, wait a little longer as experiences and testing work to soften our hearts and open our minds.

The tune in my head has been bouncing around all week, Do as I’m doing, Follow, Follow Me…Do as I’m doing, Follow, Follow Me.  Funny how things like that work to our advantage if we but listen to the Spirit as it guides us to the path leading to what’s best for us.

Lucy and I had been married about 7 years when we decided it was time to toss our world upside down and have children.  I knew at that moment that I needed to know more about spiritual life, much more than I’d gathered over the years.

I hadn’t been much on attending the Presbyterian church, at least not after I’d asked some important questions to the Youth Minister and was told, “You really don’t need to know that”.   Well, I did need to know which was why I’d asked so I came to the conclusion that the reason my request was turned away was simple…this Youth Minister didn’t know the answers and it was his way of telling me to get lost.

I was about 14 at the time and had no use for formal religion until we decided to start our family.

It was time to read the Bible, only this time with the intent of actually finding out what was in it.  The New Testament was my starting point.  I had a partner who attended the Lutheran Church at the time.  He thought it was great that I’d decided to read the Bible, offering me a copy, can’t remember exactly; but it sure wasn’t the King James Version.

I got to the part where God made a Deal with Abraham…yea, it came off like a popular television show… Monty Hall pointing to Curtain Number 3… “…and for you God has a Brand New Pontiac Grand Prix with Air Conditioning, Electric Windows and Italian Leather Bucket Seats.”

I thanked him for his genuine concern and shelved that version of the Bible in favor of the King James Version.  It took a little more effort to read the archaic use of language; but somehow the intent of those words made it into my soul as I continued searching for the pathway back to our Father in Heaven.

I actually took inventory, so to speak, an inventory of those I worked with on a daily basis.  Who seemed to be happier; not because they had more money or a better car as we all were police officers making about the same pay.  No, what I was looking for I’ve learned to call, Countenance, the subtle glow which presents itself when an individual is living his/her life in accordance with Gospel principles.

It’s as if that person had a sign on them saying, Follow Me, I know the way home.

Interestingly, those individuals I’d identified as ‘persons of interest’, they all happened to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

If I were prone to assigning things as coincidence, random alignment of details to fit a theory then perhaps it wouldn’t have made such an impression on me; but I don’t believe there is such a thing as coincidence…no, everything happens for a reason including the folks we meet in passing.  It’s up to us to take notice and act on what we have been given.

In short, I knew my insurance agent was a member of the Church so I asked him to send ‘those boys on bicycles’ over so they could tell me more.  The rest is history and we joined the Church.

The Lord sent his servants to assist us in finding the path, the Plan of Salvation.  Another Hymn has been rattling around in my thoughts, one you are familiar with, Come Follow Me.

“Come, follow me,” the Savior said.

Then let us in his footsteps tread,

For thus alone can we be one

With God’s own loved, begotten Son…

I’m grateful for the many opportunities the Lord has seen fit to bless me with all these years; an angel for a wife who puts up with my short comings and loves me in spite of them, the Gospel in my life which has permitted me to follow the Iron Rod which leads us back to our Father in Heaven.  The Temple Blessings which provide the necessary ordinances for eternal marriage and families, ordinances which include all those who have gone before us and tie them together with those who have yet to arrive.

Glad I followed the right path, could just have easily tore through that house on the edge of the run way had I not been paying attention.  In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


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