Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Taking His Yoke

In the Book of Mormon, one story that I have read over and over has stuck with me and I constantly think about it. It is in the book of Mosiah, chapters 18-24. In the book of Mosiah we learn about two different groups of people, Limhi's people and Alma's people.

In the story, Limhi's people were slow to remember God just had an absolute miserable time being slaves. That sounds kind of funny, doesn't it? Of course, they are slaves, they are going to have a miserable time! They cursed God, refused to pray, and just in general hated their lives. Slowly, over time, they came to see God's goodness and mercy, humbled themselves, and asked God to deliver them. God was slow at first, but eventually they were delivered, escaped, and were no longer in bondage.

In contrast, the story of Alma's people is also relayed. Alma's people were also made slaves, but they didn't necessarily have a horrible time. Once they were in bondage, they prayed to God for strength. So God came right down and delivered them! Just kidding... what really happened was, God made their burdens light upon their backs. That means, they still had to do all the same tasks Limhi's people had to do.

I had a personal experience with this just last weekend. Cheyenne had gotten up 3 times in the middle of the night, and when at 7am she was finally up for good I was exhausted. I spent the first 15 minutes thinking, "Why me? What did I do that was so bad? I just want some SLEEP." I just kept thinking, "Man, some people have it so easy." Then slowly, it turned to, "I don't have to suffer through this. There is One who can help." I said a silent prayer in my mind, asking for help. And you know what? She was really just as bad as before I said the prayer. But what I felt inside was totally different. I wasn't annoyed, I wasn't mad, I didn't think "I can't take this anymore!" because I knew that I could. I knew someone was lifting me, giving me strength beyond my own.

The number one thing I take away from this story is this:
    If you have a trial, it only makes sense to complain, "endure it," and get it over with.
    But, if you lean upon the Lord, and humbly ask for His help, he will shoulder the burden for you so there's nothing to complain about. You might be thinking, "No Ashley, you have to struggle through things, that's how you get closer to Christ." But Christ already struggled for all of us on the cross. He already atoned for our sins, our weaknesses, and any pain we will ever feel. With that in mind, there's no reason to "get through" anything. Just like the people of Alma, bad things are going to happen to us. It is not fun to do  laundry, the dishes, or take care of a screaming baby. And of course everyone in the world would expect you to complain about any of those tasks. But if you want to be a true follower of Christ, you can "suffer" just like Alma's people did. That is, with your burdens light upon your back. For in the Bible it says, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

I have definitely not perfected leaning on the Lord, and that's why this is a principle I think about a lot. I am very good at finding something to complain about almost anything, so that's why I need this principle the most. I'm so grateful, though, that the spirit of the Lord touched my heart and taught me this principle, so that each day I can get better at it, and maybe even someday, if I work hard enough, teach it through example to my children.

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