He loves me infinitely. Therefore, the help that He offers me will be perfectly fitted to my needs, my abilities, and my circumstances. How profound are those words. The injunction to take His yoke upon us is coupled with another. And learn of me. What does that mean? It is very simple. To learn of Jesus we must be taught by Him. We must receive what He wants us to know. He tells how to do it.
First, Come unto me. Second, Take my yoke upon you. Learn of me. Here is an interesting related concept. In the scriptures, pride is often described as being stiffnecked.
Think about that. If we are stiffnecked, we refuse to bow our heads, as we do in prayer, which is a sign of submission. And where does the yoke fit, in both animals and humans. On the neck. As you saw in the picture, to receive the yoke, the oxen have to bow their necks so the yoke can be fitted over their heads. A condition closely related to stiffneckedness is hardheartedness.
Because if we are too proud to bow our heads in submission to God, it is because our hearts are hardened against Him. And when we are stiffnecked and hardhearted, we cannot be taught by the Lord. In the Book of Mormon, one prophet directly tied being stiffnecked to learning by the Spirit. And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit Jarom And another prophet tied revelation directly to the condition of our hearts.
Before we can learn of Him, we have to humble ourselves, come unto Him, and be willing to take His yoke upon us. Come, take, and learn. It is simple enough, what He asks. Let us move on to our next phrase. For I am meek and lowly of heart. As I was reading this again the other day, one word there suddenly struck me as it never had before. It is the word for. For is a preposition that is used in many different ways. One of those ways is in the same sense as because. Here is a sentence that uses for in the sense of because. I think that is how the Savior used for in this scripture.
But what does His being meek and lowly of heart have to do with us taking His yoke upon us so we can learn of Him? Let me use a scriptural chain to try and explain what I think He is trying to teach us. First scripture. In the spring of , Joseph Smith was languishing under the most deplorable of conditions in Liberty Jail. Talk about being heavy laden. His people had just gone through the horrors of Haun's Mill and the fall of Far West. They were driven out of Missouri in the dead of winter, leaving footprints in the snow from bare, bleeding and cracked feet.
His own family was among the fleeing refugees. Emma had to cross the Mississippi River on ice, with two children in her arms and two more clinging to her skirts. And all the while Joseph sits helplessly in jail.
The Mavericks - Come Unto Me (CDr, Single, Promo) | Discogs
It is in the Lord's answer to that cry that we gain a marvelous insight about the Savior and His meekness and lowliness of heart. Art thou greater than he? Few of us will ever carry a burden equal to what Joseph Smith did, but even Joseph couldn't say to the Lord. You don't know how hard this is. If You did, You would take this burden from me. There is nothing that we can bring to Christ that He has not personally experienced.
This Quote Is From
There is no sickness, no suffering, no adversity but what He has descended below them. Let me return to my experience as a bishop to help you understand what the Lord is suggesting. My wife and I had been in the ward only about a year, so while we knew who people were, we didn't know them that well. One day I got a call from one of the families in the ward asking if I would come up to the University Hospital and give a blessing to their daughter, Christy. I, of course, said I would be happy to do so, though I had not heard of there being a problem.
When I arrived, I was directed to a room on the third floor. As I got off the elevator, I saw a sign indicating this was the center for Cystic Fibrosis. I didn't give it much thought. I had no idea what cystic fibrosis was, nor did I make the connection to Christy. When I walked into the room, however, a shock awaited me. Christy, who was eighteen at the time, was sitting up in her bed.
Her mother was standing over her and pounding up and down her back with her fists. Christy held a cup and was coughing up bloody mucus into it.
Scripture Song of Matthew 11:28-30
On the hospital tray beside her there were three more cups, all filled with the same bloody mucus. I learned later that cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disease that causes a fibrous mucus to form in the lungs. Regular thumping on the back helps break up the congestion so the individual can breathe. That was my beginning experience with Christy. Over the next three years I was privileged to come to know her very well. We spent many hours talking together and many blessings were given.
She was amazing. She was always cheerful and happy. She desperately wanted to serve a mission. It was not to be. She desperately wanted to be a wife and mother. That was not to be either.
One day, she asked if it would be possible for her to be endowed in the temple, even though she was single. Happily, the stake president concurred with my recommendation, and I was privileged to be with her and her family when she received that sacred ordinance. And less than a year later, I was honored and deeply humbled when she requested that I speak at her funeral. She died not long after her twenty-first birthday.
As I thought about her and her life, I felt guilty. My health has always been good. Why was she given such a handicap? Her life seemed so much purer and more righteous than mine. Yet I got to go on a mission. I got to marry and have a family. I got to run and walk and play without even thinking of the gift of breathing. Unfortunately, a refusal to accept his miracles and his glorious invitation is still seen today. This marvelous offer of assistance extended by the Son of God himself was not restricted to the Galileans of his day. This call to shoulder his easy yoke and accept his light burden is not limited to bygone generations.
It was and is a universal appeal to all people, to all cities and nations, to every man, woman, and child everywhere.
In our own great times of need we must not leave unrecognized this unfailing answer to the cares and worries of our world. Here is the promise of personal peace and protection. Here is the power to remit sin in all periods of time. We, too, must believe that Jesus Christ possesses the power to ease our burdens and lighten our loads. We, too, must come unto him and there receive rest from our labors.
Of course, obligations go with such promises. In biblical times the yoke was a device of great assistance to those who tilled the field.