Finding Rest in Jesus Christ

March: Matthew 11-12; Luke 11

As a mom of twelve children, I have often sought a life of rest. For decades, sleep has been a scarce commodity in my life. Waking up to children’s cries in the night, waking up for early morning seminary, staying up late to help finish a homework assignment, or staying up late waiting for a teenager to return home from a date – all made my ability to rest difficult. But the Savior promised: “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.”1 Because of this scripture, I can rely on my Savior to help me find rest in this life, if I rely on Him.

In these three short verses, the Savior asked us to do three things: (1) come unto me, (2) take my yoke upon you, and (3) learn of me. If we do these three things, we are promised rest from this world. President Russell M. Nelson taught us about overcoming the world and finding rest: “The reward for keeping covenants with God is heavenly power—power that strengthens us to withstand our trials, temptations, and heartaches better. This power eases our way. Those who live the higher laws of Jesus Christ have access to His higher power. Thus, covenant keepers are entitled to a special kind of rest that comes to them through their covenantal relationship with God. … Despite the distractions and distortions that swirl around us, you can find true rest—meaning relief and peace—even amid your most vexing problems…. As we strive to live the higher laws of Jesus Christ, our hearts and our very natures begin to change. The Savior lifts us above the pull of this fallen world by blessing us with greater charity, humility, generosity, kindness, self-discipline, peace, and rest.”2

Now this kind of rest may sound like work rather than rest, but Pres. Nelson also taught us the truth that “it is much more exhausting to seek happiness where you can never find it!”3 When we try to find happiness in worldly pleasures rather than spiritual fulfillment, we will not find rest, but weariness of soul. Elder David A. Bednar reminded us that “making and keeping sacred covenants yokes us to and with the Lord Jesus Christ.”4 If you have ever put a yoke upon an animal, the initial putting on of the yoke may take time and effort. But once it is on the animal, the work of the one is strengthened by the other. You cannot hop in and out of a yoke. Once you are yoked, you must stay that way until the job is done. If you leave the yoke, it will take time and work to become yoked once more.

Staying yoked with the Savior sounds like a BIG deal, but the small things we do each day strengthens our bond and yoke with the Savior and can make a difference in our lives. Elder Larry S. Kacher explained, “In our day-to-day actions, it is often the small and simple things that will have a long-lasting impact. What we say, how we act, and how we choose to react will influence not only ourselves but also those around us. We can build up, or we can tear down…. When we learn to handle the small and simple daily things in a wise and inspired way, the result is a positive influence that will solidify harmony in our souls and build up and strengthen those around us.”5

So, each time I read my scriptures, I have made it up one rung of the ladder. When I do not, I may go down a rung. Each time I am kind and loving to another, I go up the ladder of faith, but when I get angry and blame others for my own failings, I go down the ladder of faith. My words and actions reflect what is in my heart. As I turn my heart to Christ, my eyes become full of light, rather than darkness, and I can see things as they truly are.

If you have walked in the dark at night, you understand what I mean. You cannot determine what a mound is, whether it is a rock, or a bush, or know who a person is, whether the person is a friend or a foe, in the dark. But if you illuminate the mound or the face of the person, you can see clearly and determine which way to proceed. The light from our Savior can illuminate our every move and allows us to see clearly how to maneuver all of life’s challenges ahead of us.

But it is not enough for us to find His rest and His light. Instead, we must share our light with others. As we come unto Christ, we must bring others along with us. Elder John A. McCune told us: “This invitation to ‘come unto Christ’ has specific implications for Latter-day Saints. As members of the Savior’s Church, we have made covenants with Him and have become His spiritually begotten sons and daughters. We have also been given the opportunity to labor with the Lord in inviting others to come unto Him.”6

As we come unto Christ, we come to know Him – His love, His glory, His doctrine. The cunning of craftiness of men do not deceive us and we keep yoked with Christ walking in a strait and narrow course to eternal life. President Joseph F. Smith taught, “The man who has reached that degree of faith in God that all doubt and fear have been cast from him, he has entered into ‘God’s rest.’”7

May we stay yoked with our Savior and move forward with Him by our side so that we may find rest to our souls and light and illumination along our way so that we need not fear the obstacles that strewn our path.

1 Matthew 11:28-30

2 Russell M. Nelson, Overcome the World and Find Rest, GC Oct. 2022.

3 Russell M. Nelson, Overcome the World and Find Rest, GC Oct. 2022.

4 David A. Bednar, “Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease,” Liahona, May 2014, 88.

5 Larry S. Kacher, “Ladder of Faith,” GC April 2022.

6 John A. McCune, “Come unto Christ – Living as Latter-day Saints,” GC April 2020.

7 Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 56.

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