In this very book is says, "Knowing Christ is not only a prerequisite to salvation, but also the very essence of eternal life, for to know him is to be like him, and becoming like him is the whole object of the plan of salvation."
This book was great! It took me on a journey through the Savior's life beginning with his birth and ending with his death. Then it explained what he has done for us in every setting and how it relates to us on an individual level. I really enjoyed it and it indeed brought me closer to my Savior!
I have already referenced to this book in previous posts. There were so many things that I loved to where I wish I could record all of them, but there were more specific times where I really felt the spirit open my mind and stretch my understanding. Here are just a few that I would like to share.
- In the beginning of the book, Porter explains how he came to know the Savior on a personal level and how it strengthened his testimony and commitment to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He says, "The witness of the Holy Ghost that Christ was a real, living being who knew me and cared about me, transformed my commitment - indeed, my whole life - to a higher plane. I no longer viewed the gospel simply as a set of principles and laws. My loyalty was to a living being. I came to understand that I must not trust in my own strength, but instead to rely 'wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save (2 Nephi 31:19)." I LOVED this! This definitely helped me see that I can raise to that 'higher plane' of understanding. The goal is now in sight.
- In explaining Christ and his sufferings: "He 'uncrowned himself to crown us, and put off his robes to put on our rags.' Or, as the Apostle Paul said of the Savior, 'though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich' (2 Corinthians 8:9)." Wow. I was humbled once again by his words.
- When speaking on the courage of the Savior: "Through it all, he neither wavered nor flinched. We cannot detect the slightest trace of fear in his actions or words form the beginning of his ministry to his death on the cross. He met every accusation with silent serenity, faced every danger with equanimity. Even in the face of the most bitter invective, he never compromised his teachings, his mission, or his manhood." He then later goes on saying, "The Master did what was right in every circumstance and regardless of consequence. In him, righteousness and fearlessness met and became one." What a perfect example. Think of what we could accomplish with this kind of faith.
- On coming closer to him through bearing our own crosses: "Nevertheless, we have covenanted to always remember him, which covenant the prophets have plainly taught includes memory of his suffering. Such remembrance may also bring consolation as we bear our own crosses through life - for even as Christ suffered to more perfectly know us, we suffer sometimes to better know him."
- Regarding your losses Porter quotes Joseph Smith, "All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful." Think of all your losses. Now internalize the possibility that ALL could be made up to you.
- And again, he quotes Joseph Smith, "Those who have lived without law, will be judged without law, and those who have a law, will be judged by that law." We are all held accountable for the things we know. If we are not living up to a law that we are fully aware of, then we will be held accountable! What an intense warning!
- At the end of the book Porter touches on the Light of Christ. He says, "Neither sun nor moon nor stars, nor even the light of temples, are needed to illuminate the celestial realm. God the Father and Jesus Christ are the light thereof: light everlasting, light divine." Their light is a real thing and it is in each of us! When we are told to 'let our light shine', we are literally being told we have the ability to let the light of Christ within us shine forth. Literally! How amazing is that?
IN HIS STEPS - Leona B. Gates
The road is rough, I said,
Dear Lord, there are stones that hurt me so.
And he said, Dear child, I understand,
I walked it long ago.
Let me walk there for a time.
No child, He gently answered me,
The green road does not climb.
How can I bear it so?
My child, said he, I remember weight.
I carried my cross, you know.
But, I said, I wish there were friends with me
Who would make my way their own.
Ah, yes, he said, Gethsemane
Was hard to face alone.
And so I climbed the stony path,
Content at last to know
That where my Master had not gone
I would not need to go.
And strangely then I found new friends;
The burden grew less sore
As I remembered-long ago
He went that way before.