The image of sitting at Christ’s feet during the time of his ministry is a wonderful place I like to visit in my spiritual mind. Do you ever do that? Do you ever imagine you were there? The people stopped what they were doing to see him; some traveled for miles, even days, just to hear the voice of the Savior. Nothing else mattered—everything could wait. They knew how important his message was and they made the sacrifice to hear it.
At times in my life when I realize I need to slow down, I imagine being at his feet, not worrying about anything else that’s going on in my life—just listening to him. The story of the loaves and fishes is one of my favorite stories to remember and to learn from. When the people grew hungry, the apostles were concerned there was not enough food to feed them before they could travel back home. Jesus asked for any food to be brought up to him and he would bless it. They collected only five loaves of bread and seven fishes. The miracle occurred when Christ blessed and broke the meal—there was enough to feed the entire group of five thousand, plus have twelve baskets left over.
Christ knows us individually. He knows our needs and the needs of our family. While we may struggle with what to prioritize during stressful times, he promises us that if we remember to put Him first, he will bless us with all that we need. If we give him our best, he will provide the rest, and more. The meager offering of loaves and fishes could never have fed the entire crowd without Christ’s blessing. Our meager offering to the Lord each day in prayer, in scripture study, and in keeping his commandments will bless us in ways we desperately need. He can help us organize, prioritize, and make sure the important things in life are well taken care of—first. And true to his nature, he will provide for us even more than we think we deserve.
Simplicity in the Answer—an answer that everyone can obtain
“The search for the best things inevitably leads to the foundational principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ—the simple and beautiful truths revealed to us by a caring, eternal, and all-knowing Father in Heaven. These core doctrines and principles, though simple enough for a child to understand, provide the answers to the most complex questions of life.
“There is a beauty and clarity that comes from simplicity that we sometimes do not appreciate in our thirst for intricate solutions.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Of Things That Matter Most”, October 2010, General Conference).
I, too, marvel at the simplistic nature of the answers that bring about happiness. But doesn’t that make sense? If the answers were complex, then only highly educated people of the world would find the truth of the gospel. A loving Heavenly Father is not exclusive—all his children are loved equally, and all are invited to follow Christ and come back to live in His presence. Therefore the gospel message of truth should be simple; it must be simple—simple enough that the most humble can find it. Humility is not a virtue that necessitates advanced education, status, or wealth to attain.
Keep your eye single to the glory of God
“My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most.” .” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Of Things That Matter Most”, October 2010, General Conference).
In my last article I wrote about my friend who was stopped by the police officer for driving too fast for the current conditions of the road. Often times I think of my friend and the beautiful gift she was given when the officer gave her only a warning. It saved her money, but it may have even saved her soul. What a blessing it is to recognize the spiritual angels whom God places at the crossroads of life, keeping us on track, helping us when we least expect it. And yet while there are many times when situations turn out tragic rather than favorably, the Lord is there to give us what we need in order to hold on—even for a moment, a day, a lifetime, and ultimately for an eternity. In the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all things will be made right again.
“Brothers and sisters, let us be wise. Let us turn to the pure doctrinal waters of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us joyfully partake of them in their simplicity and plainness. The heavens are open again. The gospel of Jesus Christ is on earth once more, and its simple truths are a plentiful source of joy! (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Of Things That Matter Most”, October 2010, General Conference).
I invite you in the coming weeks before Christmas to find a quiet moment where you can imagine yourself at the Savior’s feet, pondering his message and allowing his spirit to fill your weary heart. It will help settle your mind, refocus your priorities, and give you more time and energy to handle the driving hazards ahead.
About Nanette ONeal
Nanette O'Neal loves the gospel and is very happy to share her testimony on LDS Blogs. She is a convert to the church and still feels the spirit burn strong within her heart. She graduated from Mason Gross School of the Arts with a degree in music education and has taught children and adults in the private and public sphere for over twenty years. Nanette continues to study the gospel and the art of writing. She writes weekly inspirational articles on her blog and is currently working on an LDS fantasy novel series, A Doorway Back to Forever. You can find her at NanetteONeal.blogspot.com. Nanette has a wonderful husband, talented son, and three beautiful dogs.