November 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering – Let Him Ask of God
This month, the November 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable covers President Nelson’s recent challenge to us in General Conference to learn more about the First Vision and immerse ourselves in the “glorious light of the restoration” in preparation for the bicentennial of the First Vision next General Conference. It corresponds perfectly with our area of study in the “Come, Follow Me” manual this month as we read James 1:5 and James’ counsel on how to seek answers.
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 or Sunday School.
I made an orange one to go with pumpkins and fall stuff or a gold and teal one that matched my notebooks.
Download November 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable (Gold and Teal) (Orange)
With the challenge to plan our own course of study, I thought adding a notebook would be perfect. I was able to pick up these super cute notebooks on clearance at Office Depot, but you can also find cute ones at the 99 Cent Store or Amazon as well. And I bought cute gold paperclips to attach the printable to the notebook.
November 2019 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable
Joseph Smith’s First Vision – Let Him Ask of God
Several years ago, I had a boss who would often ask me questions about the gospel. He was respectful but candid and I appreciated his earnest questions. One day he came into my office and asked me, “Don’t you find it a little hard to believe that God would appear to a young boy in the middle of the woods to establish His church?”
It caught me off guard, but I felt prompted to answer, “If God wanted to tell us something, how do you think He would do it?” We worked in marketing and so we kind of laughed at the idea of God hiring a marketing company or putting out a commercial. I then asked him how God has typically communicated with people in the scriptures. I explained that over and over again in the scriptures God has made use of imperfect people in humble circumstances to deliver His messages. He has often called prophets from unlikely backgrounds. If anything, Joseph Smith’s first vision fits much better into how God has operated for centuries than any other method we could come up with.
As we compare Joseph Smith to people like Moses, Paul, Peter, and Abraham, Joseph’s story isn’t that surprising. I think we have just gotten so good at sidelining God in our lives that it surprises us when He pushes through the walls we put up.
Did the First Vision Happen?
The big question isn’t whether it is “likely” God would appear to Joseph Smith, but whether He “did” appear to Joseph Smith. And if we ask that question earnestly, God has promised us an answer in the same scripture that prompted Joseph Smith to turn to God in prayer – James 1:5.
In the “History of Joseph Smith,” Joseph explains:
While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart.
Determined to seek an answer, Joseph Smith went to the woods to pray and, as a result, received the First Vision and set in motion the restoration of the gospel in these latter-days. Since that time, many have turned to God asking for help with Joseph Smith’s same question – which church is true?
My Own Testimony
I remember first asking that question when I was 14 years old. I was at my grandma’s house and I still remember her tacky red carpet and her lime green sofa. I told God that the church helped me be a good person, and I figured that this counted for something, but I wanted to know if it was true. I didn’t have a vision, but the spirit spoke with so much peace to my heart that I knew it was true. Since then, my testimony has continued to grow and be refined as I constantly turn to God with my questions.
We pay a lot of attention to James 1:5, but the whole chapter is a wonderful primer on how to seek for answers. We are reminded to seek with meekness, humility, patience, and unwavering faith. We are told to lay aside all filthiness and “superfluity of naughtiness” (what a great phrase!). And we are warned that we must be not only hearers of the word but doers.
President Nelson’s Bicentennial General Conference Challenge
This October, President Nelson announced that the next General Conference would be the 200th anniversary of the “theophany that we know as the First Vision.” He promised that we would be commemorating with a General Conference that would be unlike any other.
To prepare for that conference, President Nelson has challenged us to:
- Read afresh Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price.
- Study the Book of Mormon along with the Come, Follow Me manual. As you do so, ask yourself questions like:
- “How would my life be different if my knowledge gained from the Book of Mormon were suddenly taken away?”
- “How have the events that followed the First Vision made a difference for me and my loved ones?”
- Select your own questions. Design your own plan. Immerse yourself in the glorious light of the Restoration. As you do, general conference next April will be not only memorable; it will be unforgettable.
I love that the gospel encourages us to ask questions and find out for ourselves. The only way to gain a true and deep testimony is by putting in the work.
Why a Testimony of Joseph Smith is Important
Joseph Smith is by no means the cornerstone of the gospel. We look to Jesus Christ for our salvation. But a testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet is vital because it shows us where Christ’s church is to be found today. I was pretty clueless when I was 14. My testimony was still fragile and unrefined. But those first steps served as a priceless foundation that has led me closer to God. My life can be pretty challenging at times. I am often asked to do things way beyond my abilities. And I am so grateful for the understanding the gospel has brought to my life as I work to return with my family to my Heavenly Father. And I am excited to see what General Conference will look like in April! President Nelson is always full of surprises!