November 2022 Come Follow Me Ministering – Jonah – The Doctrine of Belonging

November 2022 Come Follow Me MinisteringThe November 2022 Come, Follow Me Ministering printable ties together Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s October 2022 General Conference talk “The Doctrine of Belonging” and this November’s “Come, Follow Me” lesson on Jonah.

Belonging comes not as we wait for it but as we reach out to help one another

Download November 2022 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable (4×6)

You can print these printables as 4×6 photo prints. My local drug store prints them for just pennies. They are also a higher resolution if you want to enlarge them.

November 2022 Come Follow Me Ministering Message

Jonah – The Doctrine of Belonging

We are lucky to have access to so many wonderful General Conference talks. Poor Jonah. Maybe if he had listened to Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk “The Doctrine of Belonging” on the Gospel Library app, things could have turned out differently for him.

In his talk, Elder Christofferson teaches about the Doctrine of Belonging. He explains that it has three parts: (1) the role of belonging in gathering the Lord’s covenant people, (2) the importance of service and sacrifice in belonging, and (3) the centrality of Jesus Christ to belonging. Let’s look at how these principles could have helped Jonah.

(1) The role of belonging in gathering the Lord’s covenant people

Jonah clearly felt that the Ninevites were unworthy of repentance or the gospel. Nineveh was an enemy of the Israelites, and the people were known for their cruelty. It is understandable why Jonah would avoid a mission to Nineveh. But in chapter four we learn it goes much deeper than that.

Jonah didn’t want to preach to the Ninevites because he didn’t want them to repent. Jonah knew the Lord would forgive them because He is gracious, merciful, and kind. And Jonah hated them so much he didn’t want them to be forgiven.

Elder Christofferson teaches us, “Let us leave judgment in the Lord’s hands and those He has commissioned and be content to love and treat each other the best we can.”

Even after Jonah’s experience praying for forgiveness in the belly of the great fish, he was still unwilling to extend forgiveness to the Ninevites. Imagine how different his mission would have been if he could have seen the Ninevites as children of God instead of enemies.

This same principle applies to how we feel about ourselves. “It is a sad irony, then, when someone, feeling he or she doesn’t meet the ideal in all aspects of life,” said Elder Christofferson, “concludes that he doesn’t or she doesn’t belong in the very organization designed by God to help us progress toward the ideal.”

(2) The importance of service and sacrifice in belonging

Elder Christofferson shares, “Although we rarely think about it, much of our belonging comes from our service and the sacrifices we make for others and for the Lord. Excessive focus on our personal needs or our own comfort can frustrate that sense of belonging… Belonging comes not as we wait for it but as we reach out to help one another.”

The conversion of the Ninevites was remarkable, especially when you consider what kind of missionary Jonah must have been. I have a feeling he was doing the bare minimum. I imagine Jonah moodily slouching through the city whining, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4).

If Jonah had truly reached out to help the Ninevites, he would have wanted them to repent and belong. If we feel like someone doesn’t belong or that we don’t belong, we need to dig in and serve. Instead of joining in the fasting when the Ninevites repented, Jonah sulkily separated himself from the people. In the antithesis of belonging, he sat high above on the hill alone waiting for the Lord’s vengeance to come upon them.

Service and sacrifice help tie us together. Elder Christofferson said, “Any sacrifice we make in the Lord’s cause helps to confirm our place with Him who gave His life a ransom for many.”

(3) The centrality of Jesus Christ to belonging

The value of belonging depends on what we belong to. In the Lord’s church, He provides us with the tools to belong and the means to be successful. It is in His church that we receive the ordinances needed for salvation. And His church is the practicum in which we learn to apply Christ-like attributes. Jesus Christ and His love are central to all of this. We belong in His church because we are His.

At the end of Jonah, Jonah is angry and mourns the loss of the gourd that shaded his head. Jonah did nothing to grow the gourd, but he is more upset that it died than about the potential loss of 120,000 people. Jonah forgets that these souls are priceless to the Lord. Christ suffered and atoned for each of these individuals. He gave everything to save them. The Lord’s commitment to us is absolute.

Elder Christofferson teaches, “Thus, the doctrine of belonging comes down to this—each one of us can affirm: Jesus Christ died for me; He thought me worthy of His blood. He loves me and can make all the difference in my life. As I repent, His grace will transform me. I am one with Him in the gospel covenant; I belong in His Church and kingdom; and I belong in His cause to bring redemption to all of God’s children.”


November 2022 Come Follow Me Ministering Handout

I used these whale crackers a few years ago when gifting my dad a whale watching adventure with the grandkids for Christmas. They were perfect for this month’s lesson on Jonah! I even designed the printable to match the box.

Did you like this November 2022 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.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *