June 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering – Luke 23 – Forgiveness
The June 2023 Come, Follow Me Ministering Printable ties together Elder K. Brett Nattress’s April 2023 General Conference talk “Have I Truly Been Forgiven?” and this June’s “Come, Follow Me” lesson on “The Savior is our example of forgiveness.”
Download June 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable (4×6)
You can print these printables as 4×6 photo prints. My local drugstore prints them for just pennies. They are also a higher resolution if you want to enlarge them.
June 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Message
Luke 23 – Forgiveness – Let Repentance Bring Joy
During every General Conference, I prayerfully look for any goals that I need to focus on. Sometimes goals come from a particular talk, but they can also come from general impressions. At this last General Conference, one of my goals was to “Let repentance bring joy.”
Meaning of Repentance
In English, the word repent means to “feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin.” The focus of the word is on feeling bad. But in Greek and Hebrew, the word focuses on the changes we make when we repent. For example, the Greek word for repent is metanoia. It means “a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world.” In Hebrew, the word is teshuvah and it means to “return, as if turning back to something you’ve strayed or looked away from.”
A fresh view? A return? Those are all things that bring joy! Feeling remorse is part of the process of repentance, but if we get stuck there, we miss out on the joy of repentance. We miss out on the wonderful ways repentance changes us. And we miss out on the love of Christ.
Have I Truly Been Forgiven?
We get stuck when we have the faith to repent, but not the faith to accept forgiveness. And by faith, I don’t mean just faith that He can forgive us, but faith that He will forgive us.
Elder K. Brett Nattress poses the question, “Have I Truly Been Forgiven?” in his April 2023 General Conference talk. As part of the answer, he recounts the story of a wonderful young man from his ward who had fallen away from the church due to his involvement in drugs. But one Sunday while in Sacrament meeting for his brother’s mission farewell, he felt the spirit. He knew it was time to come back. It was not an easy road. Besides addiction, he also felt a lot of guilt and shame for his past choices.
Despite having the faith to repent and change his life, the young man continued to grapple with doubts regarding forgiveness. In response, Elder Nattress wisely pointed out to him the change in his countenance – the light in his eyes and the spirit that accompanied him. Instead of focusing on whether the young man felt sorry, he shifted the focus to the young man’s fresh view and his return. Elder Nattress told him not to look back but to “look forward with faith to the next ordinance.”
Christ’s Gift of Forgiveness
We can learn a lot about forgiveness by reading about Christ’s mortal ministry. His example helps me cultivate the faith I need to accept His forgiveness for myself.
Most remarkably, Christ continued to extend forgiveness even during His greatest suffering. As He hung from the cross and endured the mockery of the soldiers, Christ forgave those who tormented Him. He even plead to Heavenly Father to “forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
At that moment, Christ felt their sins two-fold. He would have suffered for their sins personally and individually as part of the Atonement. But He would also suffer as the victim of those sins. Christ paid the price for the sins of all mankind, including those who were currently torturing Him.
And not only did Christ advocate for their forgiveness, but He did it with empathy and understanding. He knew that the soldiers did not understand the gravity of their sin. And after personally suffering for their sins, He would understand better than anybody how crushing it would be when they realized that they had killed and mocked their Savior.
In addition, the soldiers weren’t the only ones Christ forgave in His last moments. He also forgave the repentant thief who hung beside Him on Golgotha. Instead of focusing on His suffering, Christ promises the thief a place with Him in paradise.
Complete and Perfect Forgiveness
The Savior longs to extend forgiveness to everyone. As Elder Nattress reminds us, “the same promise of complete and perfect forgiveness is made to everyone—in and through the infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
Feeling remorse for our sins is a necessary part of repentance. But if that is where our focus stays, we run the risk of feeling unforgivable. And Christ showed very clearly that He desperately wants to forgive all those who turn to Him. If you ever wonder if the Lord will forgive you, remember that He pled for the soldiers to be forgiven.
Forgiveness isn’t about what we deserve, rather it’s about Christ’s sanctifying love. He has already paid the price for our forgiveness. He offers it as a precious gift that He earnestly desires us to embrace. Accepting His gift is the most profound way we can express our gratitude. As we allow repentance to change us, we move beyond mere remorse and are filled with the joy of sanctification.
June 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Handout
I am a chocolate snob and Ghirardelli chocolates are one of the few chocolates that pass muster. Instead of my typical flat boxes, I decided to buy some cute cubes to stack the chocolates in. They were the perfect fit!
Did you like this June 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering message? Find more Relief Society Ministering Printables for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
These ministering printables are a great way to help families incorporate the “Come, Follow Me” lessons into their own study. They are also perfect for Young Women’s, Relief Society, Sunday School, or Family Home Evening. I hope that these ministering printables will be a simple way to reach out to those we minister to.