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That They May Be Light

By Heather Herrick

Kathy Soper’s article Greater Good from the Spring 2006 edition of Segullah has really been resonating with me.  She references the scripture from Mosiah, where Alma is inviting the people to enter the waters of Mormon to be baptized. He says:

as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light, mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort

that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life

Greater Good recounts several experiences Kathy had with a young woman in need of someone to share her burdens.  When this young woman was finally able to release some of her suffering Kathy writes, “As I stood in the sacred space of her trust, my ignorance and inadequacy loomed large.  I searched my magic bag of answers for something to make both of us feel strong.  But she wasn’t seeking answers that night—just a resting place.”

There have been many times in my relationship with a particular friend when he has chosen to share his burden with me and I have felt that same inadequacy.  Sometimes I feel strong and inspired, like the Spirit is filling my mouth with words of comfort, but more often I search my “magic bag” and find myself empty handed.  Recently the things he’s chosen to share have left me feeling burdened myself.  A couple of years ago I opted to withdraw from our friendship rather than share a burden that I felt was more than I could bear.  We kept in touch, but just to chat about the weather and school classes.  However, there was a turning point when the Spirit spoke firmly and I knew that not only did my friend need me to do more, but I had made a sacred covenant to do more.

The only way to do this and not get over-burdened myself is to access the Savior’s infinite atonement.  As we share the burdens of our Father’s other children we have need of Christ’s strength and grace; it compels us to turn to him in a deeper way and seek understanding, truth, comfort, answers that we may not have needed otherwise.  Sometimes His help is more accessible than others.  And that has to do entirely with how hard I have been working at my relationship with Him.  But my weaknesses aside, the way our Father’s plan works for the greater good of His children amazes me.

What strengthens you most when you are in need of our Savior’s help?

About Heather Herrick

Heather currently lives in the center of the universe (she’s not being egotistical, it’s true—ask any other New Yorker). She loves NYC, but misses the mountains of Utah where she grew up. Heather and her husband are glad that the baby from her poem now sleeps alone; baby two spoils her mama by having the cutest dimple ever, and hopefully will not become a kicker like her sister.

2 thoughts on “That They May Be Light”

  1. I puzzled over that question for years. I couldn't figure out what "Let go and let God" looked like in any practical sense. As one of my friends puts it, "Well, I call tell God I'm giving up my problem of feeling overwhelemd at home, but does that mean He's going to send the Army of Helaman to fold my laundry?" But I think I'm finally starting to get it. For me the difference is whether I choose to take His yoke upon me. The scripture that says His yoke is light is so true. But to experience that lightness, I have to do two things. First, make the choice to take off the heavy yoke of my own problems and my own inability to solve them and give it to Him. Second, take His yoke. That is done through faith and obedience–remembering Him through prayer, scripture study, keeping the commandments, and following the promptings of the Spirit. When I find myself obsessing about how it doesn't work or doesn't make any sense, inevitabily I have stopped doing one of those simple things.

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  2. I burdens begun to be greatly relieved when I realized that not only did I not have to be perfect, it was requisite that I am not perfect. The redemption and the very word "salvation" themselves have no power over a perfect person. I have need to be redeemed and saved.

    So the mandate to work toward perfection has changed in meaning for me. I have let myself use forgiveness and find strength in the atonement. I have found that having a constant and running conversation with the Lord throughout my day has brought the Lord into my home in ways unpreviously found.

    I certainly cannot fill the vacuum of needs that exist in the world (or even in my neighborhood), but I can meet some needs. I can fill a part of the void, and that's alright too.

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