Come, Follow Me
The grand and simple sum of salvation through the gospel of Jesus Christ is put into words in the third to final paragraph of the Book of Mormon, “…come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him” (Moroni 10:32). Just as He called the fishermen from the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:19), the tax collector (Matthew 9:9), and all those others who had eyes to see, ears to hear and willing hearts, and even those who did not, He said, “Come, follow me” (Luke 18:22).
As a child one of may favorite hymns was “Come, Follow Me” (Hymn 116, Lyrics by John Nicholson, Music by Samuel McBurney). These simple and sublime words filled my young heart with wonder and awe, the expectation that He really wanted 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.
“Come, follow me,” a simple phrase,
Yet truth’s sublime, effulgent rays
Are in these simple words combined
To urge, inspire the human mind.
Urge and inspire these words did. My earliest memories of singing this sacred hymn, was in an old chapel on Echo Ave in Fresno, California. The pews on which I sat between my mother and father, my small feet just barely hanging over the edge, have long since been lost in a fire. I remember looking up at the grates high above in the ceiling, and with my young innocent mind wondering from which one was Heavenly Father and Jesus watching over me. This hymn in particular aroused my imagination and curiosity concerning Jesus. I pictured His outreached hand coaxing me a long, “Come follow me,” He would say. My tiny hand in His, I felt such comfort and warmth. It was a simple invitation with an abundant reward awaiting my obedient response.
A favorite scripture from my youth is found in Doctrine and Covenants 14:7. The Lord declared,
“And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.”
The simplicity of this message with promised blessings is like unto the phrase, “Come, follow me,” or “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him.” The invitation is the same, the promised blessings, glorious.
Among Moroni’s final written words in mortality he invited with a heart full of hope and charity for us,
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is His grace sufficient for you, that by His grace ye may be perfect in Christ” (Moroni 10:32).
His sealing witness that Jesus is the Christ, and that we are saved by Him, can be known of all men, if we will ask in faith and heed the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. As promised in holy writ, “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5).
For thrones, dominions, kingdoms, pow’rs,
And glory great and bliss are ours,
If we, throughout eternity,
Obey His words, “Come, follow me.”
May my witness be added to his, that I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. This good news is true for our day as it has been always. Angels have declared it in this dispensation as the heavenly host did to humble shepherds on the night of His birth. With glorious song and uplifting praise the God of heaven and earth has endured the infinite atonement that we all may return to His presence free of the shackles of sin and guilt. He has performed divine intercession on our behalf that we may stand with Him before the throne of God without spot or blemish, cleansed by His blood, perfected in Him. May we answer well and with humility this simple, merciful and most sincerely offered invitation, “Come, follow me.” In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.