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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.

(New Testament | Matthew 11:29 - 30)

Last night I was asked to give a sacrament talk in two weeks on Matthew 11:30. While thinking about it this morning, I came across a possible difficulty. At the moment, I would find it difficult to agree with the proposition that “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When Christ says “my yoke is easy” I’m interpreting this to mean Him saying that living the gospel is easy, or keeping the commandments I have given you is easy. It must be true because Jesus said it, but at the moment, I don’t understand how it is true. I, and probably many others, find that there are times when it living the gospel is not at all easy and that it requires real work and effort. If it was easy, it would not be a growth promoting gospel. I see a major disconnect between what Christ said – “my yoke is easy” and the lived experience of many, many people and I’m not sure how to reconcile this lived experience with what Christ said. For me to feel comfortable giving a talk on this topic, I would either need to find a way to reconcile these two positions, or find a way to give this talk without committing myself to either positions, and of those two possibilities, the former is far more preferable. I acknowledge that living the gospel gets easier the longer we have been in the yoke, but I think that for some people, maybe for all people, there are aspects of the gospel that will always require work and effort and that never really become easy.

So I guess my main question is how do I reconcile Christ’s teachings that his yoke is easy with the lived experience of many people that it is hard?

 

Edited by askandanswer

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After many years of pondering I've come to believe that Christ's yoke was His Atonement. It was something only He could do. Hence, I interpret this verse to mean that if I will take His Atonement upon myself (i.e. change and seek forgiveness), and learn of His love for me, that I will indeed find rest for my soul. And I have, many times. He freely forgives, so His yoke and burden have been easy and light for me. 

Along your thought-line above, I would say that in my life things have been far easier when I have kept the commandments without hesitation or concern, than when I did not. Life is hard. But when I have striven to faithfully follow the Lord's plan for me, those difficulties have seemed to melt away as either unimportant or unworthy of more of my time and concern.

Good luck on your talk!

 

Edited by clwnuke
can't write or spell

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I think there are many facets to this verse, as there seems to be with much of the teachings of Jesus. I like clwnuke's interpretation relating to the atonement. I also think that the term "easy" is relative. This promise is being made to those who "labour, and are heavy laden" so Christ's yoke will feel significantly lighter than what we would labor under otherwise. And it still is a yoke and there still is a burden to be borne so it's not a removal of work or responsibility just not the kind that will weigh us down like sin does. Kind of like the Sabbath being a day of "rest" when it can be filled with so much spiritual work. There's also the promise that "who the Lord calls the Lord qualifies." I think in many instances it is not the work that is lightened but rather it is our strength and ability that has increased that makes the work easy and light. 

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The thoughts that came to my mind:

The yoke of keeping the Word of Wisdom is easy compared to the burden of addiction, cost to support the bad habit/s, withdrawal, staying clean, etc.

The yoke of doing family history work is easy compared to the blessings you get in return = light burden.

The yoke of emergency prep is easy when you consider the peace of mind you have. Being unprepared for what is to come is the heavy burden!

Regarding your statement that the gospel is hard to live - it's harder for those who look at it that way. Maybe Christ saying this is to help us look at things differently since the world/Satan would have you believe otherwise. Also, growth doesn't always have to come from hard work/experiences. There is also growth when you say 'no' to things (ie gambling, tattoos...) and live with integrity and a clear conscience.

Hope this helps a bit and that your talk goes well.

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12 hours ago, askandanswer said:

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.

(New Testament | Matthew 11:29 - 30)

Last night I was asked to give a sacrament talk in two weeks on Matthew 11:30. While thinking about it this morning, I came across a possible difficulty. At the moment, I would find it difficult to agree with the proposition that “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When Christ says “my yoke is easy” I’m interpreting this to mean Him saying that living the gospel is easy, or keeping the commandments I have given you is easy. It must be true because Jesus said it, but at the moment, I don’t understand how it is true. I, and probably many others, find that there are times when it living the gospel is not at all easy and that it requires real work and effort. If it was easy, it would not be a growth promoting gospel. I see a major disconnect between what Christ said – “my yoke is easy” and the lived experience of many, many people and I’m not sure how to reconcile this lived experience with what Christ said. For me to feel comfortable giving a talk on this topic, I would either need to find a way to reconcile these two positions, or find a way to give this talk without committing myself to either positions, and of those two possibilities, the former is far more preferable. I acknowledge that living the gospel gets easier the longer we have been in the yoke, but I think that for some people, maybe for all people, there are aspects of the gospel that will always require work and effort and that never really become easy.

So I guess my main question is how do I reconcile Christ’s teachings that his yoke is easy with the lived experience of many people that it is hard?

On the one hand, I see so many people who think life is hard because of "first world problems."

On the other hand, we are all told that we are to be tested as was Abraham.  That is a tough test no matter who you are in what part of the world.

The Lord did not say that there is NO yoke.  He said it was light. I've not come to a final conclusion to answer your question. But I believe that this statement about the yoke is the place to begin answering the question.

So, how did your talk go?

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My wife and I cringe every time we hear someone at church say "Jesus never said it would be easy, he just said it would be worth it."  because (as far as we know) he never said that.  

A yoke, is was a piece of wood that is fastened to the necks of two animals and then attached to a plow or cart.  It is not the burden itself.  It is the method of uniting two animals together.  

In addiction recovery, we often say "One day at a time."  When I first started, my wife was often upset that I couldn't/wouldn't promise to be clean the rest of my life.  I could promise that today, I will be good.  I start my mornings dedicating the day to the Lord and asking for His guidance and help.  Every morning, I yoke myself with Him and it's easy to do.  There may be difficulties and at times I want to fight or pull away, but when I tie myself to Him, it works out.  

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14 minutes ago, dprh said:

Every morning, I yoke myself with Him and it's easy to do.  There may be difficulties and at times I want to fight or pull away, but when I tie myself to Him, it works out.  

This is my understanding of the scripture as well. He is on the other side of the yoke with us. It is easier to have 2 pulling instead of just 1. Plus, He has walked the path before, so He can guide you along it to where you need to go, and He can help you avoid the pitfalls. Also, His burden is light. The burden you are carrying in the cart that you are currently yoked to will be lighter if you choose to take His burden rather than that of the world.

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3 hours ago, Carborendum said:

So, how did your talk go?

The talk won't be until May 16. I hope to start writing down a few rough thoughts today. I'm starting to think that the answer to my question might lie somewhere in the idea that the Saviour's yoke is indeed relatively easy compared to the adversary's yoke. 

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I think the burden becomes lighter when we learn to love the yoke.  God does not want his children to begrudgingly live the gospel in the kingdom of heaven but wants us to love keeping the commandments and being a righteous person.  The key is to experience a mighty change of heart and then you no longer find it to be a burden but a joy to carry his yoke.  With this change of heart, our burdens become light as we love serving  the Lord and doing his will.  We simply become like him and take on the character of God.

Edited by onefour1
misspelling

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On 5/2/2021 at 10:27 PM, askandanswer said:

So I guess my main question is how do I reconcile Christ’s teachings that his yoke is easy with the lived experience of many people that it is hard?

Maybe he is referring to people who try very hard to do their best and then rely on His grace to make up the shortfall.  This
works-based faith was the mentality of the Pharisees and it is prevalent in various world religions today (where they perform
their own set of good deeds to appease their gods).

Edited by romans8

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46 minutes ago, romans8 said:

 . . . This works-based faith was the mentality of the Pharisees . . .

Actually, it wasn’t.  That’s anti-Semitic claptrap that was invented by Luther and his intellectual heirs to try to gain a moral edge over their Catholic foes.  Jews of the first century CE understood “grace” surprisingly well; they simply saw it as being mediated through scripture itself rather than in the form of God-made-flesh.  In a parallel vein, Christians of the first century were covenant-oriented in a way that would make the modern Protestant cheap-gracers weep piteously.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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3 hours ago, romans8 said:

Maybe he is referring to people who try very hard to do their best and then rely on His grace to make up the shortfall.  This
works-based faith was the mentality of the Pharisees and it is prevalent in various world religions today (where they perform
their own set of good deeds to appease their gods).

The man who praised God every time he won an award and believe he was saved by Christ.

Ping.png.049e3f3b68847cc854ae4a5eea070162.png

Then he died of a drug overdose right after finding out he was HIV positive.

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On 5/2/2021 at 10:27 PM, askandanswer said:

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.

(New Testament | Matthew 11:29 - 30)

Last night I was asked to give a sacrament talk in two weeks on Matthew 11:30. While thinking about it this morning, I came across a possible difficulty. At the moment, I would find it difficult to agree with the proposition that “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When Christ says “my yoke is easy” I’m interpreting this to mean Him saying that living the gospel is easy, or keeping the commandments I have given you is easy. It must be true because Jesus said it, but at the moment, I don’t understand how it is true. I, and probably many others, find that there are times when it living the gospel is not at all easy and that it requires real work and effort. If it was easy, it would not be a growth promoting gospel. I see a major disconnect between what Christ said – “my yoke is easy” and the lived experience of many, many people and I’m not sure how to reconcile this lived experience with what Christ said. For me to feel comfortable giving a talk on this topic, I would either need to find a way to reconcile these two positions, or find a way to give this talk without committing myself to either positions, and of those two possibilities, the former is far more preferable. I acknowledge that living the gospel gets easier the longer we have been in the yoke, but I think that for some people, maybe for all people, there are aspects of the gospel that will always require work and effort and that never really become easy.

So I guess my main question is how do I reconcile Christ’s teachings that his yoke is easy with the lived experience of many people that it is hard?

 

I think His yoke is easy in comparison to pulling our burdens alone (D&C 19: 15-20).

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On 5/2/2021 at 9:16 PM, clwnuke said:

After many years of pondering I've come to believe that Christ's yoke was His Atonement. It was something only He could do. Hence, I interpret this verse to mean that if I will take His Atonement upon myself (i.e. change and seek forgiveness), and learn of His love for me, that I will indeed find rest for my soul. And I have, many times. He freely forgives, so His yoke and burden have been easy and light for me. 

Along your thought-line above, I would say that in my life things have been far easier when I have kept the commandments without hesitation or concern, than when I did not. Life is hard. But when I have striven to faithfully follow the Lord's plan for me, those difficulties have seemed to melt away as either unimportant or unworthy of more of my time and concern.

Good luck on your talk!

 

It is my impression that you have slightly missed the mark equating the yoke of Christ to the Atonement; by looking at a result rather than the cause.  I would suggest that the yoke of Christ is Charity as defined as the pure love of Christ.  With this focus - all else seem (at least to me) to make much more sense - especially the concept of finding "rest for your soul".  When we love others our burdens will be light and how we treat them will be easy - including and especially keeping the commandments and I would add even the choice to suffer and sacrifice one's life for others. 

 

The Traveler

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I think I will finish my talk with a slight pun by saying something like I pray that we might all live in such a way that it may be said of us, the yoke is on you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

I think I will finish my talk with a slight pun by saying something like I pray that we might all live in such a way that it may be said of us, the yoke is on you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Or that you will undercook your eggs to ensure a soft yoke.

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On 5/8/2021 at 1:13 PM, Carborendum said:

The man who praised God every time he won an award and believe he was saved by Christ.

Ping.png.049e3f3b68847cc854ae4a5eea070162.png

Then he died of a drug overdose right after finding out he was HIV positive.

He believed in a false Christ (Michael the Archangel).

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On 5/8/2021 at 9:44 AM, Just_A_Guy said:

In a parallel vein, Christians of the first century were covenant-oriented in a way that would make the modern Protestant cheap-gracers weep piteously.

Are you saying Catholics and Latter-day Saints are similar to first century Christians?

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4 hours ago, romans8 said:

Are you saying Catholics and Latter-day Saints are similar to first century Christians?

Soteriologically, in comparison to other Western sects of Christianity—Oh, heavens, yes.

You should read the link I provided.  It’s hard to swim against five centuries of anti-Catholic propaganda; but many Protestant Biblical scholars are beginning to come around.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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When Christ says “my yoke is easy” I’m interpreting this to mean Him saying that living the gospel is easy, or keeping the commandments I have given you is easy. It must be true because Jesus said it, but at the moment, I don’t understand how it is true.

I see a major disconnect between what Christ said – “my yoke is easy” and the lived experience of many, many people and I’m not sure how to reconcile this lived experience with what Christ said.

Jesus isn't saying that keeping the commandments or living the Gospel is easy. On the contrary, because he IS cognizant of the fact that we're weak individuals and living the Gospel isn't always a walk in the park...he shows us exceedingly love and compassion by offering to take away our burdens! SIN WEIGHS US DOWN.

We also know that the Law of Moses prohibited yoking an ox and donkey together because they weren't the same kind. And here we have Jesus's invitation!...even though we could never compare ourselves to him... He sees our hearts and invites us to take HIS yoke upon us to show us how he truly sees us: Family!

And if THAT is not a perfect example of how we ought too see everyone we meet I don't know what else will. 

Edited by Suzie
typos

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On 5/8/2021 at 1:13 PM, Carborendum said:

The man who praised God every time he won an award and believe he was saved by Christ.

Ping.png.049e3f3b68847cc854ae4a5eea070162.png

Then he died of a drug overdose right after finding out he was HIV positive.

He was HIV positive when he died? Not challenging you, just surprised.
 

I DID know he was a believer in God. He even had a swear jar in his music studio. 

Edited by LDSGator

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1 hour ago, LDSGator said:

He was HIV positive when he died? Not challenging you, just surprised.
 

I DID know he was a believer in God. He even had a swear jar in his music studio. 

That's what it said on https://news.yahoo.com/prince-told-he-had-aids-weeks-before-his-death-104022008.html

https://www.hivplusmag.com/stigma/2016/6/02/prince-died-hiv-stigma-lives

 

If it's on the internet, it HAS TO BE TRUE!!!  :eek:

When it's on both the tabloids and the mainstream news as well as on discussion boards... Yeah, I think he was.  But different sources are getting different timelines.  But it appeared that he decided to OD when he realized the disease wasn't going anywhere.

So much for the formerly known as.  He's now known as the late artist formerly known as... the artist formerly known as ... Prince.

Edited by Carborendum

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6 hours ago, romans8 said:

He believed in a false Christ (Michael the Archangel).

Who are you to judge his faith? 

  • You worship the true Christ so you can sin any way you want as often as you want, and you're still going to be saved.
  • Anyone who pleads Christ that doesn't sin the same way you do is just worshipping a "false Christ"? 

So you get a pass.  But anyone else is doomed to hell.  How convenient.  It must be nice to be able to judge other's eternal destiny with such certainty without ever having to worry about your own.

Edited by Carborendum

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