In “Fixing Our Focus On Christ“, I discussed ways in which we can make Jesus Christ a focal point in our lives. Over time our focus can become blurry and we need to sharpen it. In “Focus On Jesus Christ“, Brother Milton Camargo helps us to know how to sharpen focus.
If you’ve ever used binoculars you know that you can bring an object into focus without it being well-defined. By adjusting the focus on the binoculars, you can get even more details about the object you are viewing. In the same way, we must continually adjust our focus on Jesus Christ so that the details of the gospel come into clearer view.
One way to sharpen our focus is by better understanding the covenants we make. When I went through the temple the first time for my endowment, I exited with a massive headache. It was A LOT to take in. I’m the kind of person that tries to understand things the first time and in this case, it wasn’t possible. After my mission, I learned how to get understanding “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30). Now every time I attend the temple, receive the sacrament, or witness a baptism, I try to gain more knowledge of the covenants being made. This has helped me sharpen my focus on the Savior.
I have also found that keeping my covenants increases my focus on Christ. Keeping covenants has helped me have “no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2). Part of that is an increase of the Holy Ghost in my life. Another part is the understanding that keeping covenants produces a change in my heart that makes me more Christlike.
Come Follow Me
Introduced in 2018, Come Follow Me has the following goal:
The aim of all gospel learning and teaching is to deepen our conversion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and help us become more like Them. For this reason, when we study the gospel, we’re not just looking for new information; we want to become a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This means relying on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to help us change our hearts, our views, our actions, and our very natures.“Conversion Is Our Goal,” Come Follow Me – For Individuals and Families: New Testament
Come Follow Me is therefore a focus knob on our spiritual binoculars. What does it focus on? Our Savior Jesus Christ. The more we use Come Follow Me, the sharper our focus on Him.
Brother Camargo relates the four promises President Nelson made when introducing the program. They are:
- Your Sabbath days will truly be a delight
- Your children will be excited to learn and to live the Savior’s teachings
- The influence of the adversary in your life and in your home will decrease
- Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining
Each of these promises in magnificent and as a husband and father, something I want for my family. Brother Camargo then asks “What do we need to do to obtain them?” His answer, “The answer is to transform our homes into a sanctuary of faith and a center of gospel learning. And how do we do that? By focusing on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, making Them the center of our family life, the most important influence in our home.”
Sharpening Through Consistency
In order to have the promises fulfilled and to make Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ the center of our family life, we must be consistent in our “home-centered Church” (Opening Remarks, April 2023 General Conference, President Nelson). I have a mentor that loves to say that “practice makes progress”. In reality, however, it’s “consistency that makes progress.” By utilizing Come Follow Me consistently we will continuously sharpen our focus on Jesus Christ.
Reading the scriptures daily coupled with daily prayer sharpens our focus individually, as partners in marriage, and in our families. “Over time your consistency in feasting on the word of God will help your children grow closer and closer to the Savior. They will come to know Him as never before.”
Some of the ways I sharpen my focus on Christ are:
- Divide the Come Follow Me chapters by five and read that number of chapters Monday through Friday
- I use the journal edition of the scriptures for Come Follow Me so I can capture that year’s learning. It also allows me to make comments easier in scriptures along with insights gained from reading
- Podcast/Videos: I like “Don’t Miss This” and the way that David Butler and Emily Belle-Freeman bring the Come Follow Me lessons to life.
- Reading the sections in the Come Follow Me manual and pondering on the questions
- Daily prayer that includes the lessons learned in that day’s study
- Participating in the Sunday School lessons and listening for insight from others and the Spirit. I bring my journal edition of the scriptures so I can refer to the notes I have made and add to them based on the discussions in Sunday School
- Watching “Line Upon Line” each Sunday with my family. These are short videos that discuss the upcoming week’s lesson.
As a family, we sharpen our focus on Christ by:
- Watching “Line Upon Line” each Sunday
- Reading one set of verses and discussing them on a nightly basis. We use the “Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening” section of the lesson. This gives us a topic to discuss and select verses to read.
- Daily family prayer: There is something about family prayer that can bring the Spirit into a home. It also allows us to hear from everyone as different members of the family pray on different nights. It is interesting to hear what is prayed for, what the family member is grateful for, and the inspiration the Spirit brings to mind.
Over time, our focus on Jesus Christ can become blurred. We need a constant sharpening of our focus to ensure that we remain fixed on Him who can solve all our problems. Keeping our covenants, learning, and understanding more about them help us to see how Jesus Christ can lead us back to our Heavenly Home. Come Follow Me acts as a spiritual focus knob, allowing us to have a “home-centered church” that points our focus to Jesus Christ. As we individually, partners in a marriage, and family consistently utilize Come Follow Me, our focus will be sharpened on Jesus. When we have that focus, He then becomes the solution to our problems and the “finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
Tips for Teaching
When teaching this topic, you may want to consider:
- Discussing how binoculars are used to focus on objects. You may want to use a different object than binoculars like a telescope or microscope. Having one of the said objects in class can be a good object lesson.
- Discuss how learning about, understanding, and keeping covenants can sharpen our focus on Jesus Christ. Discuss why we have covenants and what purpose they serve. You may want to take a covenant, like baptism, and explain the covenant to the members of your class.
- How can Come Follow Me help us not only maintain, but sharpen our focus on Jesus Christ? Discuss ways in which the class or group uses Come Follow Me in their personal lives, marriage, and family.
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