This excerpt originally ran on LDS Living in December 2019.
For decades I’ve loved the counsel recorded in Hebrews 12:1–2. It begins: “Let us lay aside every weight . . .” I remember the first day that scripture spoke to me. I was on vacation with friends but was sitting by myself on a picnic table near a beach. There were many things weighing me down that day. What is weighing you down?
The author continues, “ . . . and the sin which doth so easily beset us . . .” What sin—of omission or commission—keeps wrecking your life? What sin—of omission or commission—is preventing you from becoming the woman or man of God, the true disciple of Jesus Christ you were born to be?
After telling us to lay aside everything that is weighing us down and every sin, the author then tells us how to do that: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.”
Again, this is the one and only solution to every trouble in our lives. This absolute cure-all is so effective that the Savior tells us that as we remember Him, as we look to Him, and as we remember what He has done for us, we will have no reason to doubt or to fear. Jesus Christ says: “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36).
As we truly focus on the Savior, as we truly remember Him and His infinite Atonement, as day after day we think of Him more and more, the heavens will open. Our fears and doubts will decrease. Some will even flee! We will be led along. We will know what to do, step by step. We will learn how to draw upon the power available to us because the Savior atoned for us. We will learn how to access His cleansing, healing, redemptive, strengthening power. And we will experience the freedom to be our true selves as we unyoke ourselves from the world and instead yoke ourselves to the Savior.
Question: How can we diligently, consistently, daily seek to feel the power of Jesus Christ every day of our lives?
• We can study truths about the Savior and His Atonement that we’ve never studied before. At times this might mean reading extensively in the scriptures, but at other times it might mean pondering over just a few verses for hours or days or even weeks. The heavens opened for President Joseph F. Smith on October 3, 1918, when he “sat in [his] room pondering over the scriptures; and reflecting upon the great atoning sacrifice that was made by the Son of God, for the redemption of the world” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:1–2). And the heavens can open for us as we follow that same pattern. As President Smith explained, “The eyes of my understanding were opened, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me” (v. 11). Similarly, the eyes of our understanding can be opened, and the Spirit of the Lord can rest upon us, again as we do what President Smith did: as we ponder over the scriptures and as we reflect upon the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And then, what will happen for us will be exactly what the Lord knows we are ready to experience.
• We can fast in a way that brings forth the kind of blessings of which Isaiah spoke when he wrote Messianically: “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6). Could you, or someone you love, be blessed by having the bands of wickedness loosened or heavy burdens taken off? Is there someone you love, or you yourself, who feels oppressed and longs to be free, who feels constrained by the yoke that is presently upon him or her? Fasting, true fasting the way the Lord has taught, can open the heavens and bring each of those blessings to your life or to the lives of those you love.
• We can pray to be able to think of the Savior more. We can pray and learn to think of Him in whatever we are doing.
• We can make sacrifices of time to the Lord by worshipping and serving in the temple and by finding qualifying information to allow those who now live on the other side of the veil to receive temple blessings. They now know firsthand the necessity and eternal efficacy of making covenants with God and receiving essential ordinances. No wonder they urge us on.
Through these and other experiences, we can celebrate the Atonement of Jesus Christ every day. This most important event in the history of this world—or any other world—will then become the greatest reality of our lives, and the heavens will open for us more than they ever have before!
Lead image from Shutterstock
God speaks to His prophet on the earth today. And He will speak to you, too. That is the powerful testimony of Sister Wendy W. Nelson, wife of President Russell M. Nelson, as she shares her personal witness of truths that will increase our capacity to receive and act on revelation from the heavens. In this volume, she offers a number of ideas for things we can do—and stop doing—in order to understand the Spirit’s direction more clearly. “All I have witnessed, all I have experienced tells me that our Father wants to communicate with each one of His children and will do so commensurate with our desire and earnest seeking,” writes Sister Nelson. This remarkable book will help readers learn how to open that door. Available now at Deseret Book and deseretbook.com.