Monday, September 24, 2018

Elder David A. Bednar on the burdens we bear that can bless our lives

Elder David A. Bednar (born June 15, 1952) was serving as the president of BYU–Idaho when he was called and sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2004.
"Each of us also carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints. Two guiding questions can be helpful as we periodically and prayerfully assess our load: 'Is the load I am carrying producing the spiritual traction that will enable me to press forward with faith in Christ on the strait and narrow path and avoid getting stuck? Is the load I am carrying creating sufficient spiritual traction so I ultimately can return home to Heavenly Father?'
"Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness. Because our individual load needs to generate spiritual traction, we should be careful to not haul around in our lives so many nice but unnecessary things that we are distracted and diverted from the things that truly matter most."
- David A. Bednar, "Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease," General Conference April 2014
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Elder Bednar began this talk with a story of a friend who got his pickup stuck in the snow, and was able to free it once he had filled the back with firewood—giving the truck a heavy load that provided traction to help it get free from its position. He then discussed the loads that we bear in life. Sometimes loads are imposed on us as we assume the roles and responsibilities of our lives, and they can include both positive and negative things; at times we choose consciously to add to the load.

Elder Bednar discusses "spiritual traction" that comes as we bear loads appropriately in our lives. Some loads add to the spiritual traction and some do not. It's important for us to assess and evaluate our loads to make sure that we are able to move forward appropriately on the path that will take us home to our Father.

I think it's pretty common to make this mistake: happiness comes when we have no load to bear. Elder Bednar corrects that thought; we must bear a load in life in order to find true happiness. But understanding our load is so very critical! We must not be "distracted and diverted" by things that matter less, those "nice but unnecessary" aspects of our lives.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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