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Luke 14:25-27, 33
He knows that having put his hand to the plow he must not look back, because when we are looking back, we are also holding back.
Neal A. Maxwell | The Man of Christ April 1975
Mike Wallace [voiceover; footage from the church film “The First Vision”]: Here is how a church film portrays it. And what began with God, Jesus, and a single farm boy [footage of General Conference] has now become a worldwide religion with more than 9 million members. But more than a religion, Mormonism is a lifestyle, an island of morality, they believe, in a time of moral decay.
President Hinckley acknowledges it is not easy to follow the Mormon faith. He calls it the most demanding religion in America.
[Gordon B. Hinckley interview]
Gordon B. Hinckley: It is demanding. And that’s one of the things that attracts people to this church. It, it stands as an anchor in a world of shifting values.
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ requires obedience and sacrifice.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and ask a student to read it aloud:
“Nets are generally defined as devices for capturing something. In a … more important sense, we might define a net as anything that entices or prevents us from following the call of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
“Nets in this context can be our work, our hobbies, our pleasures, and, above all else, our temptations and sins. In short, a net can be anything that pulls us away from our relationship with our Heavenly Father or from His restored Church. …
“It is impossible to list the many nets that can ensnare us and keep us from following the Savior. But if we are sincere in our desire to follow Him, we must straightway leave the world’s entangling nets and follow Him.
“… Our lives are so easily filled with appointments, meetings, and tasks. It is so easy to get caught in a multitude of nets that sometimes even a suggestion of breaking free of them can be threatening and even frightening to us.
“Sometimes we feel that the busier we are, the more important we are—as though our busyness defines our worth. Brothers and sisters, we can spend a lifetime whirling about at a feverish pace, checking off list after list of things that in the end really don’t matter.
“That we do a lot may not be so important. That we focus the energy of our minds, our hearts, and our souls on those things of eternal significance—that is essential” (“Follow Me,” Ensign, May 2002, 15–16).
If the fish, nets, and boats the fishermen left behind represent their temporal concerns, what things might the Savior require you to set aside in order to follow Him?
Why are temporal concerns sometimes hard to leave behind?
How can an individual recognize if he or she is caught up in the type of entangling nets Elder Wirthlin spoke of?