Saturday, April 28, 2012

EASING OUR BURDENS

Canary in a coalmine
Cody F Miller
Mosiah 24:8-9;12-15
8 And now it came to pass that Amulon began to exercise authority over Alma and his brethren, and cause that his children should persecute their children.
9 For Amulon knew Alma, that he had been one of the king’s priests,and that he believed the words of Abinadi and was driven out before the king, and therefore he was wroth with him; for he was subject to king Laman,yet he exercised authority over them, and put tasks upon them,and put task masters over them.
12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to lift them up in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them on your backs, even while you are in bondage; this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I the Lord God do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
Have you ever had a bad day? (Duh!!) You know those epic bad days that usually start a few days prior. Some days I have felt like a pack animal. You know those poor donkeys and horses who have carry around “stuff” that is so heavy it’s a wonder their legs don’t buckle under them. You know those days right? I have those days but sometimes, and I feel that maybe I deserve them, maybe because I slacked for a few days. So I didn’t pray about those days because I didn’t want to bother God with my self imposed “whining”. Oops, did I say that?
So yesterday was a good day, but not just a good day but a day I chose not to be” acted upon”. 
2Nephi 13 And if ye shall say there is no law,ye shall say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall say that there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be  no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment or misery. And if these things are not, there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore all things must have vanished away.
The brethren of Alma made a righteous decision when they chose to repent of their sins and be baptized. Because they remembered the terms of the covenant of baptism that they had entered into, they were desirous that they would be able to perform them.
Mosiah 16:8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold here are the waters of Mormon(for thus they were called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light.
9 Yea and are willing to mourn with those that mourn, yea and comfort those that stand in need of comfort; and to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places that ye may be in, even unto death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life.
So in perspective, the brethren of Alma had to endure the chastisement of the Lord. They had to endure the forced servitude of Amulon, who was such a bully and a lousy example even to his children. But instead of murmuring, or even acting as if they deserved this treatment for their own past sinful behavior, they decided to take a stand. It reminds me of the peaceful protests of African Americans during the civil rights movement. The counsel given to those who would stand up for their rights as citizens, was to not ask for the stumbling block to be removed but to ask to be led around it. So the brethren of Alma prayed to God in their hearts, in their secret closets, because Amulon had forbade them to pray out loud. The Lord rewarded them in the “open”, by not removing their task masters, or even removing the task. But the burden was made easier, so that psychologically, the people could bear it and even change their attitude toward their oppressor. They could in turn pray for those who despitefully used them and oppressed them. They were able to comfort each other. They could look forward to the future with a brightness of hope. Maybe they felt that this was just for a small moment. It was.
So I had a good day yesterday because I listened to the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I look at my job as a “dead end”, but I suppose that it dead ends only by my actions toward it and how I choose to perform. So I cleaned my desk. It was a mess, papers every where, tons of paper clips, long lost pens, and dust every where. People are always coming into my office for various reasons. I am not comfortable so I know they are not . So I took the “time” that I usually spend checking emails and answering voice mails and used it for good.
After I was done, I felt like my burdens had been lightened. I was able to work more efficiently and be more cheerful to all of our clients, who depend on us to help them. My boss says that we should greet everyone with a smile in our voice. Indeed.
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