Thursday, November 9, 2017

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland on bearing one another's burdens

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (born December 3, 1940) served as Church Commissioner of Education from 1976-1980, as the president of BYU from 1980-1989, as a Seventy from 1989-1994, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1994.
"To be called His people and to stand in His Church, we must be 'willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; yea, and [be] willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things' (Mosiah 18:8–9).
"For me, bearing another’s burden is a simple but powerful definition of the Atonement of Christ. When we seek to lift the burden of another, we are 'saviors on mount Zion.' We are symbolically aligning ourselves with the Redeemer of the world and His Atonement. We are 'bind[ing] up the brokenhearted, … proclaim[ing] liberty to the captives, and … opening … the prison to them that are bound' (Isaiah 61:1). ...
"We learn very quickly that our best and most selfless services are often not adequate to comfort or encourage in the way people need. Or if we succeed once, we often can’t seem to repeat it. Nor are we superheroes at avoiding regression in those we care about. All this is why we must ultimately turn to Christ and rely on Him. (See 2 Nephi 9:21.)
"Often enough we can’t help—or at least can’t always help, or can’t sustain help, or can’t repeat it when we do sometimes succeed. But Christ can help. God the Father can help. The Holy Ghost can help, and we need to keep trying to be Their agents, helping when and where we can."
- Jeffrey R. Holland, "Bearing One Another’s Burdens," from Speaking Today on the website
Click here to read the full article

This is a wonderful article by Elder Holland that was posted on the Church website. No source for the article is mentioned, implying that it may have been written independent of any speaking assignment. A link was posted to the article from Elder Holland's Facebook page in June of this year, so perhaps it was written just for that purpose.  It deserves a wider distribution and a careful reading by all disciples of Christ.

The covenant usually associated with baptism (Mosiah 18:8-9) is all about how we treat one another and interact to support and bless those around us. Elder Holland considers that sacred mandate to "bear one another's burdens" and encourages us to be more sensitive and more serving. There are many around us bearing burdens that we can't comprehend. But as we strive to help in a spirit of true charity, we link ourselves to the Savior in a sacred way:

Elder Holland goes on to point out that our efforts will always be insufficient unless they are linked to the eternal and unending power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We are only agents of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost as we strive to share in their work. One of the most important things we do in that work is to bring others to Them for ultimate support and blessing.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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