Friday, December 11, 2009

Jacob - Chapter 1



I've often pondered what it means to enter into the rest of the Lord.  I think our understanding of life hereafter doesn't preclude work.  According to Moses 1:39, God works.  Perhaps Jacob means rest from temptation.  Maybe it is rest from the labor of sin.  Personal experience bears witness to the fact that sin is very laborious and exhausting.  The perception that approaching Heaven is an effort demanding climb probably comes from the fact that we must climb over the obstacles of mortality.  Many of those obstacles are placed in our path, but in the end the biggest obstacle is overcoming ourselves.  Perhaps if we could get out of our own way the journey along the path of life would approach effortlessness.  Perhaps then, we could rest.  Perhaps the notion that we have to work our way into Heaven is what exhausts us so much.  Maybe entering into His rest means that we must surrender to the Savior and allow Him to rescue us.  Maybe His rest comes in that moment when we finally accept the fact that we are only saved based on His merits and mercy and not upon our own.

There is a great article at Meridian Magazine on this topic.  Read it here.

5 comments:

di said...

Yes, I think that 'rest' means peace of spirit.

My thoughts on this chapter...

17. Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having first obtained mine errand from the Lord.

Jacob didn’t just decide to talk to them because he thought it was a good idea….he went to the temple and ‘obtained’ his errand from the Lord. I often charge ahead with my own ideas without “obtaining my errand” This verse helps me to want to change that behavior.

Candleman said...

Oo, I really like that. I really need it too. I go forth on good ideas way way too much. Sometimes I've even wondered if this project was just a good idea. I needed to learn that I need to obtain my errand from the Lord. I once had a friend who was constantly baking bread, making casseroles etc. and wearing herself out distributing them around the Ward, neighborhood and town. When she nearly collapsed from the service her Bishop counselled her slow down and discover who the Lord needed her to help and to stop flock shooting hoping something hit the mark.

D1Warbler said...

I have a friend with abundant financial resources, as well as a great deal of personal time, who at first wanted to begin a "great project" to help humanity. However, when she took her self constructed "errand" to the Lord, she was told simply to be a "mother" to a young woman in our ward who had a special need for mothering!
Others, in seeking to obtain an "errand" might find their tasks expanding from their original idea; however, asking the Lord for His input into our lives should always be a priority for us.
Another thought I had when Candleman talked about "getting out of our own way" so we can more effortlessly reach our (or the Lord's) goals for ourselves in this life reminded me of a moment after a recent sealing in the Washington D.C. Temple in which the Sealer admonished the young couple -- as they looked into their duel reflection in the mirrors in that sealing room -- that they notice that as you look into those mirrors, it is difficult to see the infinite reflections which represent your eternal posterity because your own image gets in the way of seeing beyond yourself. In fact, the prominence of your image of yourself even makes it harder to see your spouse's infinite images! (Those who have the privilege of Temple service can try this for themselves, as it is very true!)
As the couple observed that phenomenon, he admonished them to remember that metaphor throughout their marriage. He said that if each would just focus on the other (and on their future children) rather than on his or her self, they (and their resulting family) would more easily reach their eternal potential. (I.e., he told them to get out of their own way!) It would be easy to extrapolate this metaphor to focusing on others outside our family circle throughout our lives so that we may more fully help the Lord develop His plan for all of His children, and in the process more completely fulfill His designs for our own selves.

di said...

Candleman
I can imagine that this particular errand is time consuming and requires much effort. For me....it has made a big difference. I come here each morning and I and 'choose' my verse. Then I find what you have 'learned' from the chapter and I get that lesson also. They are seldom the same, even when the chapters are short. This itself is a testimony to me that as we read and liken the scriptures the messages and lessons will stand out to us individually and particularly. I, for one, am very grateful for this effort. I can picture it here for all to experience as it develops over the year....one man's personal revelation through the Book of Mormon. I enjoy your pictures very much. I like the dictionary you provide. But...the most important thing to me is the motivation I have from this to go to my scriptures and think and learn. Thank you.

Candleman said...

You might think The Book of Mormon Today to be some kind of sacrifice. It is however, far more rewarding than demanding. Like you, di, I gain so much from the insights of others. I just wish that some of you who are silent would put in your two bits. I'm sure there is experience, strength and hope that I could learn from that a few comments from others could provide.