In starting off today’s prayer, I reflected upon yesterday’s choice experience with Joy and thanked Heavenly Father for it, all the while knowing that Joy’s and my perspectives were and are fundamentally different. Our spiritual experiences are always disparate. I thanked Him for those gifts I have received, and pondered/wondered/questioned why Joy was not able to enjoy the same. I pondered how Father has bestowed different gifts upon us. I now better understand the responsibility these carry to bless and serve others.
Joy and I have been married for thirty five years now and from the very beginning — the v e r y beginning — we have never felt equally yoked. We have always desired to be. Numberless prayers, fasts, and tears shed individually and together not just confirmed, but amplified that certain, palatable separation. One that we have never been able to close. The metaphor of yoking is applicable here, when one considers that it is quite impossible to yoke two beasts together if they are not in proximity.
Q: Today I asked specifically why. Why is Joy denied the gift of being able to know in her heart and in her mind truths confirmed through the Holy Ghost, a gift promised to all who are worthy, when she has sought so earnestly and I believe righteously for it?
A: Foremost, I must first demonstrate a willingness to carry her burden, to deny myself, pick her up, and bring her back home. So, it’s all about me? Well, no.
Said differently, I need to be her gift. Implicitly, I need a change of heart. I need to be born again. I need to quit thinking how nice it would be for me to have her by my side, pulling along with me. I need to put her first and lay aside my selfish desires. Having additional insights into the character of our Heavenly Father helps deepen my understanding (see prior post: I Finally Get It ) and further emphasize a desire to bow under the weight of others’ burdens. If I see another in need (in this case Joy), I need to do more about it than praying that Heavenly Father will bestow a gift upon them. While it may be important to teach someone to fish, perhaps first one should relieve starvation.
…bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light…. (Mosiah 18:8)
I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. (Numbers 11:17)
“Come unto me, all ye that labor, 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” (Matt. 11:28–30).
A: On her part, Father said that she needs to learn to have faith in me, to trust in me and to trust me. So, she gets a burden also.
That can’t truly happen unless I am trustworthy. I must be faithful, and not just for myself. Thus the burden is thus amplified. The burden grows greater yet when this concept is extended to include wider circles: children, family…. How did the Savior do this? How did Avraham, Moses…?
Perhaps there is a spiritual equivalent to Newton’s law(s) of conservation: spiritual burdens cannot be destroyed, but they may be transferred to another. Maybe this is part of what Avraham understood when he sought after the right to be a father.
…finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers. (Abraham 1:2)
Dear Father, give me a willing heart and the strength commensurate to my deepened understanding.
- Priesthood vs Priestcraft
- Receiving the power of God (and why it is more generally withheld)
- Contingencies implicit in ordinances (according to faithfulness)
- Who’s glory : Praise God!
Note (10/13/2016): see https://www.celestial.life/2016/10/that-thy-burdens-may-be-light-redux/