Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Universally Disobeyed Commandment

From Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Come Unto Me," Ensign, April 1998:

Nothing in this world is more burdensome than sin—it is the heaviest cross men and women ever bear.
. . .

The Lord has probably spoken enough . . . comforting words to supply the whole universe, it would seem, and yet we see all around us unhappy Latter-day Saints, worried Latter-day Saints, and gloomy Latter-day Saints into whose troubled hearts not one of these innumerable consoling words seems to be allowed to enter. In fact, I think some of us must have that remnant of Puritan heritage still with us that says it is somehow wrong to be comforted or helped, that we are supposed to be miserable about something.

Consider, for example, the Savior’s benediction upon his disciples even as he moved toward the pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary. On that very night, the night of the greatest suffering that has ever taken place in the world or that ever will take place, the Savior said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

I submit to you, that may be one of the Savior’s commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord’s merciful heart. I can tell you this as a parent: as concerned as I would be if somewhere in their lives one of my children were seriously troubled or unhappy or disobedient, nevertheless I would be infinitely more devastated if I felt that at such a time that child could not trust me to help or thought his or her interest was unimportant to me or unsafe in my care. In that same spirit, I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands or trust in his commandments.

Just because God is God, just because Christ is Christ, they cannot do other than care for us and bless us and help us if we will but come unto them, approaching their throne of grace in meekness and lowliness of heart. They can’t help but bless us. They have to. It is their nature. 

I just love Elder Holland. And I needed this counsel. I am so prone to doubt myself and my capacity, to carry guilt for every failing past and present, and to fear for how I will fail in the future. I doubt myself when I don't receive an answer I hope for or understand the answer I receive, and I feel inadequate to live up the the blessings that I have received so abundantly. What an unnecessary load to carry! I need to unburden myself more regularly and more fully and to trust more in the Savior whose love I have felt so often and should know better.