And now it came to pass that the burdens
which were laid upon Alma and his
brethren were made light;
yea, the Lord did strengthen them
that they could bear up their burdens
with ease, and they did submit cheerfully
and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
Cheerfulness has never been equated with burdens in my book. The vision I have of a cheerful life is not one piled high with excessive misery. But maybe I have the wrong view of how we should expect to live here on earth.
There is a dear friend of mine who has endured many years of painful suffering at the hands of a mysterious affliction. Doctors, chiropractors and other types of healers have been called in to help, all to no avail. The faith of her family has reached out to God and others for help in her time of need – still she endures constant pain, untold loneliness from loss of associations, and unyielding remorse for the things that have been taken from her life.
She is a good woman – better than most in my opinion – and her lot seems unfair to those of us who watch from the theatre seats of life.
Why does she not find some relief?
When will her day of respite come?
Can we do nothing to ease her misery?
Then I read the quoted verse from the Book of Mormon.
And I am reminded of the great strength this powerful woman carries in her soul. She seldom grumbles of her circumstances and always looks to lift the hearts of any who are having personal struggles. She is isolated because of her maladies but still reaches out and consoles the downtrodden. And there is cheerfulness in her attitude that belies the challenge she endures.
The lightness of her burdens seem heavy to me but I suspect she has come to grips with the blessing it is to know God through submitting her own will to the experiences she is having at His hands. And that knowledge is doubtless helping to lift the load she is required to carry.
There is strength that comes from bearing up and enduring well. It is a gift of the Spirit that opens new avenues to the realms of godliness.
May we be as patient as she in the trials that will come in the rest of our mortal journey. I doubt she knows the wonderful example she has given but I do love her for who she is and who God knows she will be.
By the way, the following verse addresses the hope that can come from enduring well:
And it came to pass that so great was [her] faith and [her] patience that the voice of the Lord came unto [her] again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage. (Mosiah 24:16)