February 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable – Salt of the Earth in Matt 5:13
I love the idea of incorporating the Come, Follow Me material into ministering. And it has also given me the opportunity to dive into the New Testament in a way I might not have otherwise. So this February 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering printable has to do with “February 18–24 – Matthew 5; Luke 6 – Blessed Are Ye.” And I am looking a little harder at what exactly it means to be the “salt of the earth.”
This one is a little more in-depth than I mean to normally make them, but once I started learning about salt, I just couldn’t stop. I ended up with insights I had never even thought of before. I am always amazed at how jammed packed the symbolism in the scriptures is.
These printables are perfect for leaving with your sisters, but then they can reuse them in their own study and when teaching their families. They can also be used for Young Women’s, Relief Society or Sunday School.
Download February 2019 Come Follow Me and Ministering Printable
Since the scriptures are totally right, everything is better with salt. I paired this printable with some salted caramels for Valentine’s Day.
February 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering Message
Salt of the Earth – Matt 5:13
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his followers that they are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” Most of us are pretty familiar with the light metaphor. You can help others come unto Christ by being a beacon and a guide when you “let your light so shine before men.” Much like a lighthouse does in the storm. But did you know that the salt metaphor serves as a similar image? This time, the imagery focuses on our sense of smell instead of sight.
Salt had a very important role and meaning in ancient Israel. It was used to heal, clean, preserve, and season. Do you know that they even rubbed newborns with salt (Ezekiel 16:4)? Most symbolically it was used as part of the sacrifices made in the temple. In the Old Testament, it talks about the burnt sacrifices having a “sweet savour unto the Lord.” It has been pointed out that the word “savour” is mostly used in the Bible in reference to the pleasant smell of burnt offerings in the temple, rather than in the taste. It is the reaction between the salt and the meat that makes it smell sweet. Salt suppresses the bitter, enhances the sweet, and increases the aroma of the cooking meat.
It kind of makes me think of when I walk by a steak house and they waft out the smells to draw people in. The sense of smell is so powerful that I love how it is used in this metaphor. Especially when you think about it in the context of inviting others to feast upon the word. When they smell how delicious it is in your life, how can anyone resist? [It is funny because when I was a kid, I thought a stake center was where they sold steaks. Kind of puts a new twist on a “stake house!”]
However, in the same sermon, the Lord warns, “if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13).
If the salt isn’t good anymore, it won’t produce the “sweet savour unto the Lord.” It is important to note that salt doesn’t lose its savor by getting old or stale. It loses its savor by losing its purity. If we allow contaminants into our lives, we risk losing our “savour.”
It reminds me of going through the motions of the gospel, but without the intent. While we may think we are getting away with it, once our sacrifice is placed before the Lord, the proof is there in the smell. Instead of a sweet smell, you would smell the mix of burnt flesh and whatever impurities were in the salt. Depending on what is mixed in with the salt, it would obviously stink and not be an acceptable sacrifice. And since the metaphor of the light and salt focuses on our duty as disciples to others, a stinky life isn’t going to draw anyone to Christ.
Paul’s counsel to the saints is a perfect example of this. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6). Paul is reminding us that we ought to consecrate our words so that they are a sweet and acceptable offering to the Lord. Without salt, our words will stink and drive others away, but with it, they are sweet and draw others to the gospel.
But I know that my salt isn’t always very pure. I try hard, but impurities are always sneaking in. That is why we can only become the salt of the earth by making covenants with the Lord through which we are purified and gain savor. We become the salt of the earth, “when men are called unto [his] everlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant.” It is then that we “are accounted as the salt of the earth and the savor of men” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:39).
Once clean, it is then our duty to stay free of the contaminants of the world and to keep ourselves pure through the ordinances of the gospel. And when we do, the sweet savor of our sacrifice, words, and actions will draw those who are looking for the gospel.
It is neat to note that salt was also used anciently as a sign of friendship and loyalty to one another. “Among many peoples, salt is still used as a sign of honor, friendship, and hospitality. The Arabs say ‘there is salt between us,’ meaning ‘we have eaten together, and are friends’” (The World Book Encyclopedia, 1978, 17:69).
In the Sermon on the Mount, just a few verses after Christ tells us that we are the salt of the earth, that connection between the salt in our offerings and our relationship with others is made more clear. In a word, Christ tells us that if our offering does not have salt, to go take care of that first. “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matt 5:23-24).
It is fitting that salt is used to signify our responsibility and connection to others. In Doctrine and Covenants 103:10 it says that if we “are not the saviors of men” then we are “as salt that has lost its savor.” If we are not bringing others to Christ, then we are not fulfilling our role as friends and will have lost our savor.
In Mark 9:50, you see this same connection between salt and our relationships with others when Christ says, “have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.”
I love this wonderful double imagery in the Sermon on the Mount of not only drawing men to Christ through sight but smell. And I love how it focuses so strongly on the relationships we have with one another. Inviting others to the feast and sitting down to partake together has always been such an intimate sign of friendship.
The gospel has always been about building bonds of friendship as we light the way for the weary and bring the hungry to the feast. Christ told his disciples, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you,” and then reminded them what it means to love as he loves and to be a true friend, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13).
I am so grateful for the friendships I have in the gospel. So many people have reached out to me in love just when I needed it. And I am grateful for the chance to do the same. Love isn’t just something that appears, it is something we cultivate through serving one another.