While climbing up and down a mountain with some ladies from my ward, I chatted with one about how she saw the world. She mentioned how perplexed she felt that in a community of women, sisters, how often we carry burdens alone. She lamented that in today’s society, our lives are public, but usually, our deepest fears, insecurities, and troubles remain clutched to the soul. She’d decided women want to maintain an air of having it all together.
She longed for a community where she could share her fears and troubles and be loved and comforted by other women seeking the same community.
I heard her voice in my mind throughout the rest of the day. Why do we think we have to trudge along alone?
I’d been slated to lead a Relief Society discussion on the Atonement of Jesus Christ the next day.
As I started the discussion, I mentioned my discussion with our friend. I asked the women, why can’t we share with others? I hoped all of them would come into the room sharing their happinesses and would feel safe coming into the room sharing their sadnesses, too.
During Sacrament Meeting, I felt prompted to ask Relief Society sisters to finish this statement: “It’s hard for me to apply the Savior’s atonement because—” Some of their answers about applying the Savior’s atonement also answered the question about why so many carry their burdens alone.
*I’m not always willing to admit my weaknesses.
*I feel my trial is so minuscule and I try to work it out for myself.
*There are forces trying to stop me.
*I feel ashamed of my imperfections and feel like I should be able to do things on my own.
*I feel like I have to do it on my own.
We Don’t Have to Go It Alone
The Lord’s Gospel creates the framework for the community my friend sought. In the very first covenant we make, we testify that we:
are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life.
Souls who learn to stand with others during trials, weaknesses, and sorrows find redemption, first resurrection, and eternal life. The Savior’s grace makes standing together not a burden and, ultimately, if we’re willing, He removes our personal burdens from us.
Paul taught the importance of that kind of united effort. He wrote to the Colossians,
That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.
Hearts knit together leads to assurance and understanding of God the Father and Jesus Christ.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Satan not only seeks to isolate today’s women by whispering that we need to suffer in trials, weaknesses, and sorrows alone, but also drives wedges in relationships to keep us so distracted that we fail to enlarge our souls to see and respond to the needs of others. In that distraction, we also fail to recognize our own need for the Savior and others in our lives.
To build that community of Saints, we need to be vulnerable in acknowledging personal limitations, and mighty in rising to help others with theirs.
Lucy Mack Smith shared the vision of this community most perfectly, and I hope we can all remember her words as we move forward in faith to establish Zion.
“We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction that we may all sit down in heaven together.”
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.