“He did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power in all cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him” (Mosiah 29:20).
There are a few parts of this scripture that really stand out:
He did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him…”
What I like about this is the word “deliver”. The Lord delivered the Nephites out of bondage when they cried mightily unto him and when they put their trust in him. So, if I do the math, one of the main ways they put their trust in Him was to cry mightily to him, which is also a sign of true humility: they weren’t praying to be seen of men, they weren’t worried about what others thought, they wanted true forgiveness and to be relieved and delivered from bondage.
I just searched on LDS.org for the scripture about “…burdens were made light…” and found a great talk by Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the presidency of the Seventy. It’s titled: “That Your Burdens May be Light“.
This talk is perfect in a lot of ways. It talks about different reasons why “burdens” are given to us:
In a general sense, our burdens come from three sources. Some burdens are the natural product of the conditions of the world in which we live. Illness, physical disability, hurricanes, and earthquakes come from time to time through no fault of our own. We can prepare for these risks and sometimes we can predict them, but in the natural pattern of life we will all confront some of these challenges.
Other burdens are imposed on us by the misconduct of others. Abuse and addictions can make home anything but a heaven on earth for innocent family members. Sin, incorrect traditions, repression, and crime scatter burdened victims along the pathways of life. Even less-serious misdeeds such as gossip and unkindness can cause others genuine suffering.
Our own mistakes and shortcomings produce many of our problems and can place heavy burdens on our own shoulders. The most onerous burden we impose upon ourselves is the burden of sin. We have all known the remorse and pain which inevitably follow our failure to keep the commandments.
No matter the burdens we face in life as a consequence of natural conditions, the misconduct of others, or our own mistakes and shortcomings, we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, who sent us to earth as part of His eternal plan for our growth and progress. Our unique individual experiences can help us prepare to return to Him. The adversity and afflictions that are ours, however difficult to bear, last, from heaven’s perspective, for “but a small moment; and then, if [we] endure it well, God shall exalt [us] on high.”1 We must do everything we can to bear our burdens “well” for however long our “small moment” carrying them lasts. (bold added for emphasis)
Elder Clayton also talks about the story of Alma and his people when they flee from King Noah:
Through it all, the Savior offers us sustaining strength and support, and in His own time and way, He offers deliverance. When Alma and his followers escaped from the armies of King Noah, they established a community named Helam. They began to till the ground, build buildings, and prosper.12 Without warning, an army of the Lamanites brought them into bondage, and “none could deliver them but the Lord their God.”13 That deliverance, however, did not come immediately.
Their enemies began to “put tasks upon them, and put taskmasters over them.”14 Although they were threatened with death for praying,15 Alma and his people “did pour out their hearts to [God]; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.”16 Because of their goodness and their obedience to their baptismal covenants,17 they were delivered in stages. The Lord said to them:
“I will … ease the burdens (not take them away right away) which are put upon your shoulders, that … you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
“And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
“And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.”18
Mercifully, the Son of God offers us deliverance from the bondage of our sins, which are among the heaviest of all the burdens we bear. During His Atonement He suffered “according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance.”19 Christ “suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.”20 When we repent and keep the commandments, forgiveness and relief from our burdened conscience come with the help that only the Savior offers, for “surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy.
This is amazing stuff!
Becky and I talked a little more tonight about how things have been going. I talked with her about wanting to “go on vacation” when we went to Wisconsin, that I felt I didn’t want to have to worry about things.
The opposite became true, however. Because of my “spiritual vacation” (aka – doing my own will instead of God’s will), I’ve had to “worry about things” even more and put myself in even more bondage because of my decisions.
I read a quote to Becky from Step 3 about submitting my will to God:
“Perhaps the greatest discovery of my life, without question the greatest commitment, came when finally I had the confidence in God that I would loan or yield my agency to him — without compulsion or pressure, without any duress, as a single individual alone, by myself, no counterfeiting, nothing expected other than the privilege. In a sense, speaking figuratively, to take one’s agency, that precious gift which the scriptures make plain is essential to life itself, and say, ‘I will do as you direct,’ is afterward to learn that in so doing you possess it all the more” (Elder Packer, Obedience, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Dec. 7, 1971], 4).
The more I submit my will to God, the more free agency I’ll have and the happier I will be.
I believe this, now I just need to DO IT!
I feel really good about this study tonight.