Bear One Another’s Burdens

“Behold, here are the waters… and now, as you desire to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light…”

So it reads in Mosiah 18:8 as Alma begins the characteristics of the baptismal covenant. There are promises to mourn with those who mourn, to comfort those that need comfort, and to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places. All of these things support the first part of the covenant, the bearing of one another’s burdens: and the social message in that covenant is a matter no-one who desires to be one with God should overlook.

Bearing the burden of another is much more than making facial expressions of sympathy and uttering kind and hopeful words. Bearing burdens means getting one’s shoulders under the same yoke as another and helping the brother or sister forward. It means offering up food, shelter, and money along with those facial expressions and kind words. The hard work one does for the benefit of another puts value into those words so that they have the meaning God wants them to have: true promises of support and aid.

What should be more precious to me than the love of God? Or do I hesitate when I have the currency in my hand? Does my heart and eye turn towards the money when it comes time to part with it, that I might better bear the burden of another? If I can let it go and not even think about asking for repayment, then I have the love of God with me and I am honoring my baptismal covenant.

And the answer to any question about what one should do in a particular circumstance is not to ask me or another human about it: ask God what He would have you do. Then, submit to that guidance and do the work of sharing God’s love with all your brothers and sisters, His children.

Just pre-dispose yourself to a response from God in which you are moved to mourn, offer comfort, stand as a witness, and to lift part of the heavy burden from the shoulders of another and bear it with that person, side by side in peace and love.

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