Last night I watched an interview that Sheri Dew did with Elder Bednar and his wife. I can’t tell you how much I loved this. Sheri Dew and Elder Bednar are two of the people I most want to emulate, and so to have both of them in one video is almost too much for my little fan girl heart to handle!
I recognize that the run time of almost an hour will probably mean that most of you won’t watch it, though it is well worth your time if you choose to. In the video Elder Bednar shares the experience he had with a newlywed man who was diagnosed with cancer in an advanced stage. Elder Bednar visited the couple in the hospital and in preparation to give the man a priesthood blessing he asked them this question “Do you have the faith NOT to be healed?”
Although this story is contained within one of his books it didn’t really affect me when I read it, but last night in my heightened emotional state it hit me in a way that it hadn’t before. I have the faith for my burdens to be removed. I know it can happen even though the “how” of it is unknown. I have to believe a miracle is possible or I think I would drown in the feeling of overwhelmingness (I know, not a word, I’m using it anyway). It is so much harder for me to have faith enough for them not to be removed.
On the “They May Be Light” Facebook Page I am joining with many others in a 30 day experiment to take a question to the scriptures and find answers. (Click here to see or join the event and read more about it) The scriptures that have stood out to me as my answers have been teaching me that it is possible to live, survive, and even thrive without a removal of the burden. This is something that I knew, and had faith in, but with the faith that it was a temporary situation, not permanent to my mortal state.
Context: This is when the people of Alma are enslaved and being taxed heavily by the Nephites. It’s a part of the same we love where they could no longer feel the burdens on their backs.
But Alma went forth and stood among them, and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but that they should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them.
Therefore they hushed their fears, and began to cry unto the Lord.
Alma is telling us not to be afraid of living with a burden on our backs. Again, this is not a new lesson, but looking at it as a permanent mortal life fixture instead of something I will be delivered from brings a new power to it. I do not need to be afraid if it is not removed.
Context: Paul (you know, Saul who was such a persecutor and repented and was completely converted on the road to Damascus) has just been told that if he goes to Jerusalem he will be bound and people are trying to persuade him not to go.
“Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.”
Paul’s example shows me that following the will of the Lord is far more important than the constraints that may be placed on us. Again, something I can do when I have faith a miracle could occur at any moment and I could be freed from my constraints. Do I have the courage to continue my journey, ready not only to be bound, but to die (literally or figuratively) for the name of the Lord Jesus?
I don’t know if I have the faith to NOT have my burdens removed, but I do know that I want to. I yearn to have that kind of faith. I know how to turn them over to Him. I’ve said before that I know that the weight I feel from my burdens has more to do with my relationship with the Savior than it has to do with the actual weight of the burden. I need to believe in my own strength. I need to have faith in my own testimony. I need to have faith that the time frame doesn’t matter as long as I’m doing God’s will.
Whether my burdens are ever removed or not, I know that the Lord has a plan for me and I know that I can thrive and be His servant in all things. When I put them in perspective, and I remember who is truly carrying them, I can see that they are merely a temptation of distraction in my mortal life. I recognize that all burdens can be eternally temporary. No matter how long they are placed upon us in this life our burdens will not continue with us in the next life if we allow our Savior to carry them for us. That last part is key! We can still carry our own burdens for eternity if we really insist, but if we want the Lord to carry them for us we have to choose in our mortal life, where it requires faith, to turn them over to him. I want the Lord to carry my burdens. It’s not like he’s going to get tired and dump them back on me! He can carry them for long as they are there.
I can have faith strong enough not to be healed because I have faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ.