Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ponderize Matthew 11:28-30 (17-23 Jan 2016)

This week I decided to continue the theme of looking for scriptures that invite us to come unto Christ.  Matthew 11:28-30 would be high on anyone's list of scriptures on this topic.  
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
There is popular picture of the Savior with a caption on it that says “I never said it would be easy, I only said that it would be worth it”.   That statement does not align with this scripture.  In this scripture, Christ did say that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.  From a purely pragmatic view, if the yoke you are carrying is not easy, then, perhaps, you are yoked with the wrong person.  

We have a tendency to make living the gospel harder than it is.   One of the most well-known examples is when Elisha directed Naaman to wash seven times in the Jordan river to be healed of leprosy.   Naaman almost rejects the healing because it was too simple.  

The second example is when Moses tried to heal the people who had been bitten by the serpents.  All they had to do was to look and they would be healed, but because it was so simple, they refused to look.  

How much prophetic counsel have we rejected because it seems to simple?  How many times have you heard the general authorities give us direct counsel to read our scriptures and to pray?   They have attached promises of significant blessings to those activities, yet some of us reject the counsel in hope of receiving some greater (harder, more challenging, more significant) revelation.  

Perhaps some of us confuse the path we are on with the weather we are experiencing.  We have all made statements about life being hard.  Yes, life can be hard, but that is a statement about the weather, not the path.  Referencing Helaman 5:12 we know that the storms of life will come on both the wicked and the righteous.  Satan will send forth his mighty winds, even his shafts in the whirlwinds.  The things that make weathering the storms easy or hard is who we are yoked with and the path you are traveling.  If we are on the straight and narrow path, then we have the benefit of  a traveling companion, Jesus Christ.   We yoke ourselves to Christ when we take his name upon us, learn of Him, and become meek and lowly in heart.  

Again, taking a pragmatic view of life, if you feel that your burden is too much to bear, then it may be time to examine both your path and your traveling partner.  Satan will abandon you when the going gets tough (Alma 30:60).  His path may lead to temporary fun, but it will always lead you away from the peace that is found in the rest of the Lord.   The rest of the lord is the fullness of his glory.  

Here are some additional cross references for your consideration:
D&C 84:24 - The rest of the Lord is the fulness of his glory
D&C 54:10 - Be patient.  Those who have sought the Lord early shall find rest to their souls.  
Ether 12:41 - Seek Jesus
Alma 37:46 - Don’t be slothful because of the easiness of the way.  Look and live
Alma 13:6 - Follow the prophet and enter into his rest
Hebrews 3:10-11 - If we don’t know the ways of the lord we can’t enter into his rest.  
John 16:33 - Christ overcame the world and brought peace
1 Nephi 16:2 - The guilty taketh the truth to be hard.  
1 Nephi 17:41 - Because of the simpleness or easiness of the task of looking and being healed many rejected it.  
2 Kings 5:2-14 - Naaman almost rejects Elisha’s instructions to be healed because it was so simple.  

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