This morning I see the first glint of the morning sun spilling across the tall pines outside my window. I came to the mountains this weekend seeking peace and some needed rest for the whirring machinery of today’s life. As I read the words recorded in our scripture, I was reminded of the invitation, repeated oft in the words of the prophets, to enter the rest of the Lord. Is this rest only found as we leave this life, as I have often heard repeated as we honor the passing of our loved ones? Nay, it is available to each of us today and all the remaining days of our lives.

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. (Moroni 7:3)

The phrase, ’entering into the rest of the Lord,’ to me, means leaving the anxieties of the world behind. It means having the hope that we are right with the Lord and that we have had our hearts softened by His word. But the scriptures tell us it is more than just this hope. The rest of the Lord is a state of our being. It is a spiritual cloud that envelops us and speaks peace to our soul.

Therefore, whosoever repenteth, and hardeneth not his heart, he shall have claim on mercy through mine Only Begotten Son, unto a remission of his sins, and these shall enter into my rest.  (Alma 12:34)

We receive, as is told in 2 Nephi, chapter 31, a remission of our sins through the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. This sacred experience is what welcomes us into the rest of the Lord. This baptism of fire should be the goal of each of us. The objective is to expunge from our hearts and our souls all the dross of the world around us. The experience lifts us above the realm of the mortal and gives us but a taste of what awaits us in the kingdom of God.

Those of the true high priesthood have, according to the scriptures, already partaken of this gift from God.

Now, as I said concerning the holy order or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and become high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish. Therefore, they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb. Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God. (Alma 13:10-12)

The purpose that these men were called to this high priesthood was to teach others how to receive the same blessing.

And thus being called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest. (Alma 13:6)

According to the Book of Mormon, high priests are called to teach us how to enter into the rest of the Lord; something that they themselves have experienced. It is a call to set aside the things of the world. It beckons us to soften our hearts and make our spirits contrite and accept the words of Christ. It is how we become the sons and daughters of God. It is how we are sanctified and prepared to enter into the presence of the Lord.  It is the gate by which we enter the strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life. It is the rest of the Lord.

What think ye?

2 Responses to “Entering Into the Rest of the Lord”

  • In most of the church’s teaching materials, we read that “the rest of the Lord” implies an increase in “our knowledge of, and faith in, the reality of Jesus Christ, even to the assurance that He lives and loves us” (Example: http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/02/enter-into-the-rest-of-the-lord)

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    Yet I think we would be remiss if we leave that as the sole definition of this important phrase, for “the rest of the Lord” can also mean entering into the presence of the Lord.

    D&C 84 gives us more illumination –

    23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
    24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his danger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.

    It’s my understanding that Moses “sought diligently” that his people might be purified and enter the rest of God, as did Enoch´s people (D&C 84:23–45). But the people of Noah and (to a lesser degree) the people of Moses “hardened their hearts” (D&C 84:24) and refused to accept the ways of Zion. On the other hand, “the people in the days of Melchizedek” were “made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God” (Alma 13:10–14).

    Both Enoch’s people and Melchizedek’s people had one thing in common: they were both translated. They entered the presence of the Lord — or, conversely, the Lord entered their presence — during their mortal sojourn.

  • Spektator:

    LDS Perfect Day,
    Thanks for stopping by. I hope you don’t mind that I added your blog to my list. It certainly belongs there from my perspective.

    3 Nephi, chapter 12, teaches us that Jesus Christ Himself will baptize us with fire and the Holy Ghost. I believe that is how we come to know Him and how He comes to know us. It is what, sadly, the children of Israel preferred not to do. They preferred to have Moses be the intermediary with God. In the church today, I believe we are taught the same thing – follow the prophet and be satisfied with second hand communication. How sad.

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