My Journey: Part III

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Finding His Rest

"Come unto me all ye who 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." Matthew 11: 28-30

"The words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." 2 Nephi 32:3

"The ability to quality for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life." Julie Beck (And upon my Handmaidens in those days will I pour out my Spirit)

Many times throughout the scriptures Christ asks us to keep His commandments. He does so for numerous reasons a few of them being when we keep His commandments we prosper, we abide in His presence, we receive protection from enemies, we are delivered from bondage, enemies have no power over us, we will be led by God, we receive promised blessings, we will be kept and preserved, the list goes on. One of the most repetitious blessings offered is that by keeping His commandments we are not cut off from the Lord's presence, but that we live within His presence. And within His presence the mind and will of God is found.

As a teenager I tried to compile a list of the 'commandments' we were to keep. I wanted to make sure I was keeping them all so I would be "righteous". My list became longer and longer. As I looked down the list I felt I could check most of them off. Wow I was so righteous! (or so I thought). The problem with this method of checking of a "commandment list" is that it is easy to become critical and accusatory of others who are not 'keeping the commandments', as well as assuming a false personal righteousness. 

Further in my studies I read in Mosiah were King Benjamin says that he cannot tell us all the ways that "ye may commit sin, for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them"(Mosiah 4:29). And I thought then there must also be so many ways to obey and be righteous that they cannot be numbered! 

In a Greek class, taught by a retired BYU greek professor, he said that a more adequate translation of "Keep my commandments" would be "Stand watch as a sentry, awaiting my every instruction." A Sentry is a guard, or a watchman. And we are to be diligent like that guard, awaiting Christ's every instruction to us. What comes to mind is a person driving to church on Sunday morning and they get the feeling to go check on sister so and so. But they are keeping the commandment to go to church, and that is righteous. But no, go check on sister so and so. So what do they do? Obviously follow the personal instruction. The way to navigate the confusion that is out there is to hold to the Iron Rod. And what is the iron rod? The Word of God. Christ is the Word of God. We are to hold fast to him and what He instructs us to do that we will receive of His Love, His mighty love that saves and sustains. 

The general commandments are guidelines that keep us from harm. But they are not the end all. The scribes and pharisees were stuck observing these outward commandments. What they lacked was a personal relationship with Christ, a willingness to do what He asks. They lacked this entirely that they could not even recognize who Christ was, they could not recognize His teachings or message. If we are to follow Christ I believe it begins with following His instruction, and doing so will lead us to where He is. It will lift us to be as He is. 

The imagery of The Good Shepard is priceless. Christ leads the sheep away and out of the grasps of the strangers, the thief's and robbers. And how does He do this? With His voice. 

"the sheep here his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before the, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. "(John 10:3-5)

When in the chaotic moments that come to all of us, I have experienced how when I listen and follow the Saviors voice within my heart He leads me to a portion of salvation or rest that may be experienced as soon as we are willing to let Him lead. He has saved me from anger, frustration, unforgiveness, resentment, deep fear, physical pain, emotional pain, and the list can go on and on. He is come that we might have life more abundantly (John 10:10). I have found this to be very literal. He is come that  His life may flow through us. When that flow of life is blocked or cut off from our sinful states, it creates chaos within. Turning to Christ, willing to receive His every instruction will free us from that inner chaos and we will have life more abundantly with in us. I believe Christ asks us to keep His commandments that we may enter into His rest. He not only wants us to abide the general commandments,  but more importantly he is wanting us to connect directly to Him, and let Him guide us back into the presence of the Father where we may partake of the Love of God. 

Back to John 15:10 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love" shows the pattern of coming to the powerful Love that is also shown in the vision of the tree of life beginning in 1 Nephi 8. Hold to the words of Christ, the voice of Christ, the instruction of Christ and it will lead to Gods Love, and here in this Love, all things are overcome. This is His rest. 

All my experiences considered, the process and the sacrifice required for me to come to a personal knowledge of of how to enter into the rest of the Lord each moment was deeply worth it.  Coming out of the deepest pain in my life brought me to an understanding that only personal knowledge of Gods love can satisfy the longings within and overcome the incredible darkness we have or will face. Following Christ voice to  is the only way out of the darkness and pain. Following His voice is coming unto Him, and when we really come to Him He blesses us with a mighty blessing, that is worth every sacrifice imaginable. 

All that is required of us is a willingness, and openness to be led by Him. 
D&C 64:34 "Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days. 

I made it my mantra that "No matter how difficult, awkward, uncomfortable, or inconvenient, I will listen and cheerfully follow the voice of the Lord." Doing so has opened an unbelievable amount of Gods salvation, love and joy into my life in every circumstance that I have been faced with.  Jesus is the Savior, and He makes it possible for us to find satisfaction and respite within. 

Part I here
part II here


  1. Thank you for sharing your journey and spiritual insights. It was so uplifting and edifying to me. So beautiful. I'm glad you are sharing it.

  2. I love your mantra. Adopting it!

  3. Thank you ladies! I pray that in my recording my thoughts and experiences I can connect to others who are in need of a little hope, as well as connect to those who have been through similar paths.