This week was weird and will continue to be weird until we are settled. Still, I was able to study the sermon, Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease by David A. Bednar. All quotes are from this talk unless otherwise noted. I've learned a lot from the wisdom of this man and his ability to synthesize God's word and doctrine. This sermon is no exception.
"Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints....Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness. Because our individual load needs to generate spiritual traction, we should be careful to not haul around in our lives so many nice but unnecessary things that we are distracted and diverted from the things that truly matter most."
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Matthew 11:28–30.
"A yoke places animals side-by-side so they can move together in order to accomplish a task...Making and keeping sacred covenants yokes us to and with the Lord Jesus Christ. In essence, the Savior is beckoning us to rely upon and pull together with Him, even though our best efforts are not equal to and cannot be compared with His. As we trust in and pull our load with Him during the journey of mortality, truly His yoke is easy and His burden is light."
"the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam and make possible the remission of our individual sins and transgressions, but His Atonement also enables us to do good and become better in ways that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities...It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to the earth to die for us. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to enliven us—not only to guide but also to strengthen and heal us."
"the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power."
"study, pray, ponder, and strive to learn more about the Savior’s Atonement as you assess your individual load...the load provided the traction that enabled my friend to get unstuck, to get back on the road, to press forward, and to return to his family. The unique burdens in each of our lives help us to rely upon the merits, mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah."
“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs,” Mosiah 24:14.
“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,” Mosiah 24:15.
When my children were young, I noticed how much happier everyone was with a schedule: meal times, church, FHE, wholesome family recreation, chores, educational responsibilities, etc. If I got lazy and lightened my expectations (their loads), they became contentious and disobedient. Sometimes I too let things go, and chaos ensued. So... most of the time, we worked and planned activities to keep everyone too busy for trouble. I can't say I was perfect or had perfect results, but harmony happened with a stead load. One child brought home the importance of high expectations, a consistent load, and guiding to strengthen and enliven.
S went to play with his friend J. When he got there, he learned he was the reward. J wasn't allowed to play with S until he finished cleaning his room. J was storming and raging about the requirement. After maybe an hour of this silliness, S said he would teach J how to clean his room. Just like I did with him, he directed J to pick up this thing and put those clothes in the hamper. In no time, they were done and playing. S came home and told me how silly he thought it was that J wasted so much time with all the drama. After all it takes so much more time to worry about the work than it does to actually do it. We often made a game of beating the timer. I would put on the timer and let the children race against their best time. I taught the younger ones the Mary Poppins Principle: Find the element of fun, and snap, the job's a game. While a young mother and further during the my mission, I realized that deciding to find the joy or fun in my life's current work was a lot better than murmuring or raging over it. So...I don't hate housework or gardening or teaching or whatever the next thing Heavenly Father directs me to do. It'll be fun.