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Come Follow Me Cornerstone New Testament

Come Follow Me 2023: New Testament Resources

Enhance your Come Follow Me 2023 Sunday School lessons with scriptural insights about the New Testament.

The Come, Follow Me 2023 lessons are drawn from the New Testament. The Sunday School curriculum complements the Book of Mormon as a witness of Jesus Christ, and the title is taken from the Savior’s invitation in Matthew and Luke: “Come, follow me.” This article contains scriptural insights from Latter-day Saints and notable secular scholars, along with the Come, Follow Me 2023 schedule.


Cornerstone content. This will be updated throughout the year as we publish new articles about the New Testament. We also frequently add new content about the Old Testament, Book of Mormon, and Book of Abraham.


We’ve got a full year of Come Follow Me 2024 study helps!


Table of Contents


Books to Read

There are several books you can read to complement your Come Follow Me 2023 New Testament Study. This is a compilation of some of the most popular options. It includes books by Latter-day Saints like Elder Holland and Truman Madsen, as well as contributors like N. T. Wright and Oxford University:

Recommended Books
Our Day Star Rising: Exploring the New Testament by Jeffrey R. Holland (Find Book)
Making Sense of the New Testament by Richard Neizel Holzapfel (Find Book)
The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints by Thomas Wayment (Find Book)
The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version (Find Book)
The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians by N. T. Wright (Find Book)
The New Testament History, Culture, and Society: A Background to the texts of the New Testament by BYU Religious Studies Center (Find Book)
Jesus of Nazareth by Truman Madsen (Find Book)
Messiah Series by Elder Bruce R. McConkie (Find Book)
The Miracles of Jesus by Eric Huntsman (Find Book)
The Savior’s Final Week by Andrew Skinner (Find Book)
Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters by N. T. Wright (Find Book)
Doctrinal New Testament Commentary by Bruce R. McConkie (Find Book)
BYU New Testament Commentary by BYU Studies (Find Book)
The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim (Find Book)
Women in the New Testament by Camille Fronk Olson (Find Book)
This table includes Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Come, Follow Me: History

Context matters

N.T. Wright has been called the C.S. Lewis of our day, and many Latter-day Saints appreciate his theological writings. He believes that we can draw closer to Christ by understanding the historical, literary, and theological contexts of the first Christians:

We need to ground our understanding in that world rather than assuming that the later periods of Christian history ‘got it all right.’ As Luther and the other reformers insisted in the sixteenth century, they didn’t.

N. T. Wright on the New Testament in Its World
Andrew Mark Henry explains how the New Testament was formed—a fascinating insight for those studying Come Follow Me 2023.

Christianity is rooted in history

Latter-day Saint scholar Terryl Givens said that Christianity is predicated on three historical facts about Jesus Christ—all of which are found in the New Testament:

  1. His birth
  2. His death
  3. His resurrection


The name “Jehovah” has a profound meaning

Hebraist David Noel Freedman taught Ann Madsen that Jehovah meant not merely “I am that I am,” but “I will become what/who I will become.”

The definition had New Testament overtones:

To me, “I will become what I will become” means something like:

Someday you will see who I am (1 John 3:2). I am the Redeemer of this whole world. And I gave you these commandments. You were unwilling to come up to the top of a mountain and meet with me, so I gave Moses the Ten Commandments for you.

But they are just the beginning steps. After that, by following the covenant path, you can move forward to become like Me. Thus, I continually invite you to “Come, follow me!”

Ann Madsen Reflects on Isaiah, Jehovah, and the Temple

Jews no longer pronounced “Jehovah” by the time of the New Testament

Jehovah is the God of the Old Testament—and Jesus Christ in the New Testament. “Sometime between the Old Testament and New Testament, the Jews stopped pronouncing the name of Jehovah out loud out of reverence,” said biblical scholar Robert D. Miller II.


A lot happened between the Old and New Testaments

S. Kent Brown is a BYU professor with a powerful legacy. He’s rubbed shoulders with scholars like Truman Madsen, Ann Madsen, and Hugh Nibley while writing books and articles about the scriptures. One of his publications covers the period between the Old Testament and New Testament:

Remarkably, the Jews held onto their scripture which provided the guide for their daily lives. But their brush with Greco-Roman society left an imprint. To avoid receiving that imprint as much as possible, they turned inward and adopted strategies of surviving with their identities still intact. This sort of action meant that they took imaginative steps to hold onto their religious traditions, often changing and adjusting those traditions into something that people a couple of centuries earlier would not have recognized.

Thus, in some ways, they stepped away from some of their moorings just to survive.

We can take lessons from them in how to hold onto what is important and how to adapt to changing influences in our environments.

The Testaments: What Happened in Between?

Canonization of the New Testament

The canonization of the New Testament was a long and complicated process. Most Christians today use the same books, including 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. However, Latter-day Saints are unique in that we have an “open canon”—or an acceptance of ongoing revelation considered to be scripture:

This will always be a partial consequence of our open canon, but the open canon also allows prophetic speech into the conversation.

Thomas Wayment, How Was the New Testament Canonized?

Herod the Great Claimed to Be a Messiah

King Herod is perhaps known for the infant of the massacres portrayed in the Gospel of Matthew. But archaeological evidence of his tomb suggests that Herod the Great wanted to be know as something else: a Messiah:

Literary traditions about the Herodians support the possibility that some ancient Jews accepted Herod as the Messiah. The mountain of Herodium, which bears Herod’s name and was planned as his final resting place and everlasting memorial, is a visual expression of these claims and the closest we come to hearing directly from the man himself.

Jodi Magness, Did Herod the Great Claim to Be the Messiah?

Fun fact: The “Herodians” mentioned the Gospels were prominent members of the Jerusalem elite associated with Herod’s court. However, there are some scholars who believe the Herodians considered Herod the Great—or possibly Herod Antipas—to be the Messiah.


Early Christians read scriptures out loud

Thomas Wayment says that early Christians looked with suspicion upon those who privately read the Bible:

Instead, they felt that the text should be read out loud, and in some cases performed. It was a living text, and there was power in hearing it read out loud. They didn’t have chapters and verses, but instead, they had weekly reading blocks that were read out loud to them in worship services.

New Testament Scholar Thomas Wayment
Early Christians didn't study scriptures like we do in Come Follow Me. Instead, they read the New Testament out loud.
Early Christians didn’t read scriptures in the same way that we study Come, Follow Me today. Instead, they read the New Testament out loud.

Mary Magdalene may have killed by Romans

Historian Bruce Chilton believes that Mary Magdalene continued to live in Galilee after the death of Jesus—and that she likely died at the hands of the Romans:

The Roman invasion of Galilee in response to a revolt centered in Jerusalem resulted in the total destruction of Magdala, the enslavement of the young, and the extermination of the elderly.

Then in her sixties, Mary Magdalene was probably among those whom the Romans eliminated.

Bruce Chilton, Who Was Mary Magdalene?

Josephus rarely mentioned early Christians

The historian Josephus is one of our best sources for Jewish life at the time of Christ. Interestingly, he is relatively silent about early Christian endeavors, and never mentions the Apostle Paul. No one is quite sure why, but the biblical scholar F. B. A. Asiedu suggests it may have to do with prejudice:

I gesture at the end [of my book] that Josephus wished to exclude the followers of Jesus as legitimate members of first-century Jewish society.

Josephus, Paul, and Early Christianity

Ancient Christians sought God

The Christians of antiquity sought to know the nature of God and Christ just like we do today—and for the same reasons. “They wanted to know God, and they wanted to understand the character and attributes of God so that they could know how best to serve God,” said BYU’s Jason Combs.

Combs expounded on why humanity seeks out the nature of God by quoting the fourth-century Christian theologian, Gregory of Nizianzus:

In my opinion [the true essence and nature of God] will be discovered when that within us which is Godlike and divine, I mean our mind and reason, shall have mingled with its like, and the image [of God, you and I,] shall have ascended to the archetype [God himself ], of which it has now the desire. And . . . ‘we shall know even as we are known’ [1 Corinthians 13:12].

Gregory of Nazianzus, as quoted in How Did Ancient Christians Understand the Divine Nature of God?

The New Testament isn’t in the Dead Sea Scrolls

“The Dead Sea Scrolls are Jewish religious texts, not Christian ones,” said BYU’s Dana Pike, in an interview about the New Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls. “A few scholars have claimed that some small fragments . . . preserve portions of New Testament texts. But such claims are routinely rejected by most scroll scholars.”


There’s an indirect relationship between John the Baptist and the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls are closely linked with the Old Testament, but there’s less of a relationship with the New Testament. However, Jean-Pierre Isbouts says that there’s a unique connection between the Dead Sea Scrolls and John the Baptist:

Many scholars have looked for parallels between the Dead Sea Scrolls and Jesus or John the Baptist. I believe the most important parallel is the fact that the secular books of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which pertain to some form of rule books of the Qumran Community, speak about the coming of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God in much the same way that John the Baptist did, and to some degree, Jesus as well.

Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?

American Latter-day Saints are unique in their use of the KJV

Very few religions use the King James Version as their official Bible. Even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints often uses other versions in foreign languages. That leaves English-speaking Latter-day Saints as one of the few groups to rely on the 400-year-old translation.

BYU professor Thomas Wayment thinks that may stem from Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Mormon:

As far as I can tell, Joseph Smith cemented the decision to use the KJV when he adopted a KJV style in his English rendering of the Book of Mormon.

By doing so the Book of Mormon and the KJV effectively became cousins—and to the modern ear they sound similar in English.

Thomas Wayment, Why Do Latter-day Saints Use the King James Version?

Doctrine

We don’t know if Jesus was married

No small amount of ink has been spilled arguing whether Jesus was married. Rather than speculate, BYU’s Christopher Blythe says that church leaders have emphasized it’s a question without a revealed answer:

So far as I have been able to find, no general authority has suggested that the Savior was not married. Instead, there has been an emphasis in official and apologetic writings that this has not been revealed to us.

Was Jesus Married?


The Bible may have influenced the temple endowment

Jeffrey Bradshaw has spent decades studying the relationship between Freemasonry and the temple endowment, and his work has been praised by Latter-day Saint scholars like Daniel C. Peterson and Richard Turley. His research suggests that Joseph’s familiarity with the Bible may have influenced the temple ceremony:

Joseph Smith’s long acquaintance with the Bible, including the years he spent working on the Joseph Smith Translation, was the most likely catalyst for aspects of the endowment having to do with the temple-rich stories of Genesis and Exodus.

What is the Relationship Between Freemasonry and the Temple Endowment?

The methodology of miracles

Jesus often used distinctive methods to heal people in the New Testament. His approach to these miracles often seemed to have a similar purpose. As explained in a Bruce R. McConkie quote from 1967, “where some distinct, peculiar thing is done [the] purpose of it is to generate faith in the heart of someone.”


Gospels

The gospels present Jesus’ baptism as an anointing

Christ (literally, anointed one) didn’t receive have anointing ceremony in Jerusalem at the beginning of his ministry. But according to scholars at the Bible Project, the Savior’s baptism performed a similar role:

The Gospel writers treat the baptism of Jesus like an anointing ceremony where God pours out not oil, but his spirit.

The claim of this narrative is that the oil ceremony is a symbol of the original human image of God’s anointing in Eden, where God provides water on the dry land to grow a garden. And then pours out his spirit on a particular lump of the dry ground that is then formed into the shape of a human, but is not yet alive—until it is christened with the Spirit of God.

That’s what Jesus experiences here.

What Does It Mean to Be Anointed in the Bible?

War might have played a role in their composition

The First Jewish Revolt was an attempt by Jews in Judea to liberate themselves from Roman rule. The conflict which began in 66 AD occurred at the same general time as the Gospel of Mark was written. “The Revolt could have been an impetus for Christians to write down more of the accounts about Jesus (like some of the Gospels) so that these teachings could be preserved,” said Jared Ludlow.


Find yourself in the Gospel of John

Latter-day Saint scholar Eric Huntsman says that the Gospel of John is about “encounter and belonging.” In particular, the book is filled with people who encounter Jesus in different ways—and respond to those encounters with varying degrees of discipleship:

The woman at the well and her fellow Samaritans are outsiders who still embrace him fully. And the Bethany family of Martha, Lazarus, and Mary are the only people besides the figure of the Beloved Disciple himself about whom it is specifically said, “Jesus loved them.”

I argue that these different characters represent different types of disciples today—we all come to Jesus differently and our walks of faith may vary, but when we believe we have life through his name.

Reading the Gospel of John with Eric Huntsman

There’s more to the Christmas story

Everyone knows the story of the Nativity. But fewer are familiar with some of the fascinating events leading up to it. For example, S. Kent Brown answers these questions (and more):

  • How did Joseph and Mary’s ancestors end up in Nazareth?
  • Why doesn’t Luke talk about the flight into Egypt?
  • Why was Mary afraid of the angel?
  • How often did priests light incense in the temple?
  • Where was Jesus born?
What Events Led to the Christmas Story in Luke?

Jesus may have been born in December

Most biblical scholars say that Jesus was born between 6 and 4 BC, but they struggle to pin the date down any further. Latter-day Saints may have an advantage due to additional scriptures like the Book of Mormon.

For example, BYU’s Jeff Chadwick believes that Jesus Christ was born in December of 5 BC. He came to that conclusion in part by identifying the approximate date that Lehi left Jerusalem—about 600 years before the birth of Jesus.

A silhouette of the three wise men who visited when Jesus was born.
Latter-day Saints may be able to estimate the date Jesus was born because of access to Restoration scriptures like the Book of Mormon.

There’s a “fifth gospel” in the Book of Mormon

Everyone knows Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The testimonies of the Savior constitute the four gospels. Latter-day Saints treasure each one of them, and also have access to 3 Nephi—a record that’s been called a “fifth gospel.”

Fun fact: Some early Christians thought of Isaiah as a “fifth gospel.”


Grace—and the Parable of the Talents

The Parable of the Talents appears in Matthew 25:14–30 and Luke 19:11–27. It’s often used to emphasize the importance of wisely using God’s blessings. In a BYU Sperry Symposium, Brad Wilcox suggests the parable is also a lesson in how to receive the grace of Jesus Christ.

Teachings like the Savior’s Parable of the Talents are part of our Come Follow Me 2023 Sunday School study. BYU’s Brad Wilcox says that the parable can be a lesson in how to receive the grace of Christ.

Jesus viewed women as individuals

We know very little about the women in the New Testament. However, there are many reasons to suspect that the Savior knew them well:

Jesus seems to have viewed women as individuals—rather than an entity that is not a man. For the Savior, women every bit as much as men were individuals with agency to decipher truth, to follow or reject Him, and to minister to others or not.

Camille Fronk Olson, Women in the New Testament: How Much Do We Know?

He had a scandalous ancestry

Matthew includes four women in his ancestry of Jesus Christ that had at least a hint of sexual scandal in the Old Testament. Camille Fronk Olson resonates with the explanation that Matthew did this to prepare people to hear the story of the virgin Mary:

By remembering how Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba had previously been misjudged, Matthew could prepare his audience to avoid misjudging Mary, a young girl who became pregnant before she married Joseph.

Who Were the Women in the Lineage of Jesus?

Acts–Philippians

Romans

Longest Pauline epistle

The book of Romans is the longest New Testament epistle attributed to the Apostle Paul. It’s also considered by many to contain his most important doctrinal teachings, particularly the roles of grace and justification in obtaining salvation through Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians

Paul spoke about three degrees of glory

The apostle Paul spoke of telestial, terrestrial, and celestial degrees of glory—a concept expounded upon by Joseph Smith in Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants. But some Latter-day Saints also think there are three additional degrees of glory within the Celestial Kingdom.

The idea comes from D&C 131:1, which states:

In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees.

In Joseph Smith’s day, “celestial” was a synonym for “heavenly.” However, a few prominent early Latter-day Saints misinterpreted the meaning and began teaching that the “celestial glory” in D&C 131 didn’t mean “heavenly glory,” but rather, “Celestial Kingdom.”

Bryan Buchanan suggests it resulted in a false tradition:

The Prophet was just restating the heavenly framework from his vision, rather than making another subdivision within the one kingdom.

Are There 3 Degrees of Glory Within the Celestial Kingdom?

Colossians–Revelation

Revelation sheds light on Jesus’ preaching to the spirits in prison

The New Testament describes the Savior preaching to those in spirit prison. The description in 1 Peter 3:18–20 took on a new meaning when Joseph F. Smith received the revelation known as Section 138 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

As Lisa Olsen Tait explains:

[Joseph F. Smith] witnessed that the Lord “organized his forces and appointed messengers” from among the faithful spirits of the prophets and other righteous people who had served him in life. They were commissioned to teach the gospel to the spirits of those who had not received it in life, thus paving the way for all of God’s children to have an opportunity to accept the gospel.

The idea that the spirits of the faithful would be preaching the gospel in the spirit world was not entirely new, but this vision gave a powerful witness to it and shed new light on how it was accomplished. And it was a visionary experience granted to the Lord’s prophet.

Susa Young Gates and the Vision of the Redemption of the Dead

Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST)

The JST combined study and faith

Joseph Smith produced ancient scripture through revelation and his own best efforts. That’s especially the case for Joseph’s translation of the New Testament, according to Latter-day Saint historian Mark Ashurst-McGee:

[The Prophet] understood the Joseph Smith Translation to be the result of both revelation from God and reasoning in his own mind.

How Did Joseph Smith Produce Ancient Scripture?
BYU’s Anthony Sweat, Casey Griffiths, and J.B. Haws talk about Joseph Smith’s translation of the New Testament in this Come Follow Me 2023 lesson help.

The New Testament influenced the “JST” acronym

Church leaders initially planned to call the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible the “New Translation”—or the “N.T.” But, as Kent Jackson explains, the acronym was already taken:

Joseph Smith and his contemporaries called it the New Translation. That is also the term used for it in a revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants (124:89). It’s still a good title for it, but since the late 1970s it has most commonly been called the Joseph Smith Translation.

The origin of that title is interesting.

When the Church was preparing a Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible in the 1970s, Church leaders decided to include excerpts from the Prophet’s Bible revision in footnotes and in an appendix in the back of the Bible. To do so, they needed an acronym for it. The most obvious choice was “NT,” for New Translation. But because “NT” already means New Testament, it couldn’t be used.

Thus, for the sake of an acronym to be printed in the Latter-day Saint Bible, the title Joseph Smith Translation was invented, providing the useful acronym “JST.”

The Joseph Smith Translation: An Inspired Version of the Bible

Inspiration was involved

Joseph didn’t translate the JST like one might translate English into Spanish. Instead, inspiration played a key role. “Explicit statements in the JST manuscripts make it clear that Joseph and his secretaries understood that he was translating or revising the text by inspiration,” said Stephen O. Smoot in an interview about the translation of the Book of Abraham.


Odds and Ends

The New Testament has been cited more than 40,000 times in general conference

Thanks to BYU’s Scripture Citation Index, it’s possible to see every scripture quoted in general conference. In the case of New Testament scripture verses, there are roughly 45,000 references from the time of Joseph Smith to Russell M. Nelson.

A screenshot of the Scripture Citation Index showing that the New Testament has been cited in general conference more than 40,000 times.
More than 10,000 of the 44,025 New Testament scriptures referenced in general conference are from the book of Matthew, according to BYU’s Scripture Citation Index.

The New Testament influenced America’s founders

Early Americans were more likely to have a copy of the Bible than any other book. That goes for the Founding Fathers too. While the Bible wasn’t the only book to influence our nation’s first leaders, it played a key role:

An awareness of the Bible’s place in the political culture of the American founding not only enriches our understanding of the nation’s history but also provides insight into who we are as a people

Daniel L. Dreisbach, The Bible and the Founding Fathers

Thomas Jefferson redacted the Bible

Thomas Jefferson wasn’t among the Founding Fathers who believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ. In fact, he created the “Jefferson Bible”—a redacted version of Holy Scripture that removed all references to miracles and divinity.


Joseph Smith instituted a New Testament ritual cursing practice

The Savior instructed His apostles to shake the dust from their feet as a testimony against those who rejected them in Mark 6:11. Joseph Smith may have been inspired by the New Testament practice when he instituted a similar ritual curse in the early days of the Church.

However, as Samuel R. Weber explains, the practice fell out of favor by the end of the 19th century:

By the 1900s, when missionaries were rejected, most no longer felt that the disbelieving parties had lost their one chance for salvation.

The missionary mindset shifted from one of binding wheat and tares up to the day of destruction to one of returning to homes again and again to give people multiple chances to accept the gospel.

What Did It Mean to “Shake Off the Dust of Thy Feet”?

President Nelson has spoken about the New Testament in general conference

Russell M. Nelson has given 103 talks in general conference, including 38 as a member of the First Presidency alongside Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring.

According to BYU’s Scripture Citation Index. you can find President Nelson quotes that reference New Testament scriptures 810 times:

  • Old Testament: 495 citations
  • New Testament: 810 citations
  • Book of Mormon: 1,116 citations
  • Doctrine and Covenants: 1,109 citations
  • Pearl of Great Price: 232 citations
President Russell M. Nelson talks in general conference about the Savior’s invitation, “Come, follow me.” These three words of the Savior comprise the title of our Sunday School lessons, Come Follow Me 2023.

Temple architecture

Temples have come a long way since Herod’s Temple in the New Testament. A new book imagines what AI temples might look like—or temple drawings created by artificial intelligence


Joseph might have been a widow

The absence of Joseph in the Gospels during Jesus’s adulthood suggests that he had passed away by that point of the story. Interestingly, the number of children he had (five sons and at least two daughters) could indicate that he had a family before marrying Mary:

As another scholar of the ancient Church, Epiphanius, pointed out, this makes it likely that Joseph had been widowed before his relationship with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and brought children into his new marriage.

Bruce Chilton, Was Jesus a Rabbi?

Come Follow Me Lesson Resources

Sunday School general presidency podcast

Mark L. Pace, Milton Camargo, and Jan E. Newman participated in a Church News podcast about Come, Follow Me 2023. The three men who comprise the Sunday School general presidency talked not just about how Come, Follow Me works, but also the lessons we can learn studying about the Son of God in the New Testament:

I look forward to gaining additional insights and additional whisperings of the Spirit as the Lord unfolds exactly what we need to understand at this time as we draw nearer to the Savior.

Mark L. Pace, Sunday School general president

Elder Holland’s New Testament commentary

Jeffrey R. Holland has published a new book called One Day Star Rising: Exploring the New Testament (#ad). He addresses several topics over nearly 300 pages, including faith, continuing revelation, our Heavenly Father, the Holy Ghost, resurrection, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

The book’s title is taken from 2 Peter 1:19:

Take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.

Come Follow Me 2023 BYU Devotionals

There’s an entire BYU Speeches website devoted to devotionals emphasizing the importance of scripture study. Several of the talks have a special focus on the New Testament:

Fun Fact. The titles in Elder McConkie’s Messiah series inspired Jeffrey R. Holland to speak about Jesus Christ as the “inconvenient Messiah” in a 1982 BYU Devotional.


“Life of Christ” bibliography

You can read more than 300 books and articles about the Messiah thanks to BYU’s New Testament Commentary. It has published an online bibliography of the life of Christ, including publications by apostles and Latter-day Saint scholars, such as:

Apostles

Latter-day Saint scholars


Truman Madsen tapes

Truman G. Madsen is perhaps best known for his Joseph Smith lectures. However, the Latter-day Saint scholar has also spoken on audiotape and video about the life of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.


The Eternal Christ

Truman Madsen’s DVD series was filmed on site in the Holy Land and divides the life of Christ into eight sections (#ad):

  1. A Savior Is Born
  2. The Man of Galilee
  3. Thou Art the Christ
  4. The Window to the Soul
  5. Treasures in Heaven
  6. Justice and Mercy
  7. Thy Will Is Done
  8. A Royal Embrace

Fun fact. Truman Madsen loved studying about Joseph Smith because he viewed the Prophet as a window through which he could see Jesus Christ:

It is fascinating enough to study the window; I myself have not resisted the temptation. But that is not what I [want to dwell on]. I [want to dwell] on what one may see through the window.

Who Was Truman G. Madsen?

Jesus of Nazareth

Madsen’s four-volume audiobook series about the Messiah covers many topics from the Savior’s life, and is still available on CD (#ad):

  • The Shepherd and the Lamb
  • Healing on the Temple Mount
  • Ascent and Transfiguration
  • The Passover and the Sacrament
  • Bethlehem–The City of David
  • Youth in Nazareth
  • Baptism and Temptation
  • Cana, the Cleansing, Jacob’s Well
  • The Sermon on the Mount Part 1
  • The Sermon on the Mount Part 2
  • The Light that Shines in Darkness
  • Three Parables of Our Time
  • Introduction to the Final Week
  • On the Mount of Olives
  • Looking East from the Mount of Olives
  • Looking West from the Mount of Olives
  • The Last Supper
  • Jerusalem Viewed from the South
  • The Dung Gate
  • The Garden of Gethsemane
  • The Dungeon
  • Via Dolorosa
  • The Garden Tomb
  • Dominus Flevit—the Lord Wept—and Conclusion
Truman Madsen’s New Testament lectures in the Holy Land shed light on the Eternal Christ studied as part of Come Follow Me 2023.

The “Messiah” series by Elder McConkie

Bruce R. McConkie is probably most well-known for writing Mormon Doctrine. However, he wrote many other books—including an entire series devoted to the life of Jesus Christ:

  • The Promised Messiah
  • The Mortal Messiah, Volume 1
  • The Mortal Messiah, Volume 2
  • The Mortal Messiah, Volume 3
  • The Mortal Messiah, Volume 4
  • The Millennial Messiah

Latter-day Saint translation of the New Testament

Thomas Wayment translated The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints after seeing how modern translations helped his BYU students. The translation isn’t meant to supplant the King James Version. Rather, Wayment says that he was inspired by a Brigham Young quote:

If [the Bible] be translated incorrectly, and there is a scholar on the earth who professes to be a Christian, and he can translate it any better than King James’s translators did it, he is under obligation to do so, or the curse is upon him.

If I understood Greek and Hebrew as some may profess to do, and I knew the Bible was not correctly translated, I should feel myself bound by the law of justice to the inhabitants of the earth to translate that which is incorrect and give it just as it was spoken anciently.

Is that proper? Yes, I would be under obligation.

Brigham Young

Come Follow Me Lesson Schedule

All of these resources are available under the “Come, Follow Me” tab of the Gospel Library app:

January

February

March

April

May

  • May 1–7: Luke 12–17; John 11
  • May 8–14: Matthew 19–20; Mark 10; Luke 18
  • May 15–21: Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12
  • May 22–28: Joseph Smith—Matthew 1; Matthew 24–25; Mark 12–13; Luke 21

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Previous years

  • 2022: Old Testament
  • 2021: Doctrine and Covenants
  • 2020: Book of Mormon

Next year


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Come Follow Me 2023 Lesson Helps

By Kurt Manwaring

Writer. History nerd. Latter-day Saint.

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