I was reading in Moroni chapter 7 in the Book of Mormon today and had cause to pause and reflect as I read verse 3:
Wherefore, I would speak unto you that are of the church, that are the peaceable followers of Christ, and that have obtained a sufficient hope by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord, from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in heaven.
In this chapter Moroni is quoting the words of his father which were spoken to Christian church members in ancient America. What struck me as I read was his statement about entering the Lord's rest "from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in Heaven." That statement implies that the people entered into the Lord's rest while they were yet on earth.
"What does that mean?" I wondered.
Entering The Lord's Rest
To satisfy my curiosity, I first turned to my wonderful wife who remembered a quote which talked about the Lord's rest meaning "not being tossed about by every wind of doctrine." She thought it was from Elder Bruce R. McConkie. I did a search at www.lds.org and found the following quotes -- one from Elder McConkie, and one from the prophet Joseph F. Smith.
The rest of the Lord, where mortals are concerned, is to gain a perfect knowledge of the divinity of the great latter-day work.
Bruce R. McConkie, as quoted by Craig. W. Zwick, Entering into the Rest of the Lord, Ensign, February 2012.
It means entering into the knowledge and love of God, having faith in his purpose and in his plan, to such an extent that we know we are right, and that we are not hunting for something else; we are not disturbed by every wind of doctrine, or by the cunning and craftiness of men who lie in wait to deceive.’ It is ‘rest from the religious turmoil of the world; from the cry that is going forth, here and there—lo, here is Christ; lo, there is Christ.’ …
Joseph F. Smith, as quoted by Craig W. Zwick, Entering into the Rest of the Lord, Ensign, February 2012.
These two quotes greatly helped me in my understanding of the term "Lord's rest" as pertaining to this life.
First, we find rest when we gain a solid testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Second, after gaining that solid testimony, or knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel, as we live the gospel, we will have inner peace, in spite of what may be going on in the world. We won't be blown about on every wind of doctrine because we'll be planted firmly on the foundation of Christ, "which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall," (Helaman 5:12-BOM).
How grateful I am for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have a testimony of its truthfulness. I also know that as I strive to live the gospel I find inner peace, even amidst the turmoil that is going on in the world around us. Am I perfect? No. Do I have inner-peace every minute of every day? No. But having the knowledge I do have, I know I can turn to a loving Heavenly Father in prayer, asking for forgiveness of my weaknesses and my inability to live perfectly, and pleading for greater strength to do better. He hears and answers my prayers and I am strengthened and lifted. I feel peace and know I can continue forward because He is at my side.
Randy McNeely is a father of five, an aspiring author as well as a singer/songwriter. He has written several patriotic songs, children’s songs and multiple religious hymns, including Oh Jesus, Savior of Mankind, which won a Special Recognition award in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 2008 Music Submission contest.
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