This last week I was asked to play a musical number in both the Lake Charles wards (Savior Redeemer of my Soul, one of my favorites, accompanied with a harp, so good!) and also to give a talk in sacrament meeting on The Atonement and missionary work, so I figure I'll share a little bit of what I found.
The Atonement was the great sacrifice and burden that Christ endured and completed so that all of us would one day be able to return and live with Him and our Heavenly Father again. He describes his pains in D&C section 19 as being so great that it caused, "even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit--and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink--".Without it, there really wouldn't be much of anything, all of creation would be pointless. As Elder Holland describes it, each of us would be in a never ending free fall.
What I found interesting was that we can feel peace as we take upon ourselves the same burden that Christ took, at least in part. In MathewHe says, "28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
That seems kinda crazy, doesn't it? To take up the same yoke and burden that Christ had sounds more stressful than peaceful! So how do we do it?
Part of the answer I found is in D&C
First, we need to learn of Christ, and listen to his words. As we do this, we'll see that all Christ ever did was serve others, and love them. He never did anything for himself, ever. Second, he asks us to walk in the meekness of his Spirit. This means to do the things He would do, walk the paths he walked, and to do them humbly and meekly. To truly walk in the meekness of His spirit, we need to have the bond of charity, which is the pure love that Christ has for all of us, the greatest of all the gifts we can receive in this life. D&C 88:125 also defines the bond of charity as the bond of perfectness and peace. So there it is! The key to finding peace in taking upon ourselves christ's yoke is to have his pure love in our hearts, then go and do the things that he did. And what did He do? He preached the gospel, he healed the sick, raised the dead, served others, and sacrificed His will to do His fathers.
In essence, He did missionary work! The same kind of work that each one of us who are members of the church have been asked to do. So, if you want to have more peace in your life, put on the bond of charity and then go out and help people! I like this quote that President Hinkley said in a talk he gave to BYU students, "If you are complaining about life, it is because you are thinking only of yourself. There was for many years a sign on the wall of a shoe repair shop I patronized. It read, “I complained because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” The most effective medicine for the sickness of self-pity is to lose oneself in the service of others."
I've definitely come to know, as I've served in my mission, that this is so true. If you want to feel better, just go help others!
But those are a few of my thoughts, hope it's good!
Love, Elder Murdock