Come Unto Me
“Then spoke Jesus, saying, Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavily loaded, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. And you shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 6:8 RE; Matt. 11:28-30 LE) The Lord has asked us to “Come Unto Him”, what does He mean by that?
I think sometimes it is easy to believe the Lord is being figurative in His invitation, however, when reading the following excerpt from the Teachings and Commandments we gain a little more clarity. “The Book of Mormon is to convince the gentiles, and a remnant of Lehi, and the Jews, of the truth of the words of my ancient prophets and apostles, with all the records agreeing that I am the Lamb of God, the Son of the Father, and I was sent into the world to do the will of the Father, and I am the Savior of the world. All must come unto me or they cannot be saved. And how do men come unto me? It is by faith, repentance, and baptism, which bring the holy ghost, to then show you all things you must know.
If the gentiles, unto whom the Book of Mormon was given, had hearkened unto the holy ghost, they would have come unto me in Hyrum and Joseph’s day. But they did not hearken, and would not allow me to abide with them in word, and in power, and in very deed.” (T&C 157:21-22)
The Lord instructs us to “come unto me” through “faith, repentance, and baptism, which bring the holy ghost, to then show you all things you must know.” What do we need to know? Perhaps it is to know how to hearken to the Holy Ghost so that we can allow the Lord to abide with us in word, power and very deed. Those in Joseph and Hyrum’s day were given what the Lord wanted them to do, and to be, but they would not hearken, therefore missed the opportunity presented to them to build Zion.
The Lord further instructs us: “Be of one heart, and regard one another with charity. Measure your words before giving voice to them, and consider the hearts of others. Although a man may err in understanding concerning many things, yet he can view his brother with charity and come unto me, and through me he can with patience overcome the world. I can bring him to understanding and knowledge. Therefore, if you regard one another with charity, then your brother’s error in understanding will not divide you. I lead to all truth. I will lead all who come to me to the truth of all things. The fullness is to receive the truth of all things, and this too from me, in power, by my word, and in very deed. For I will come unto you if you will come unto me. “ (T&C 157:53) If we can somehow at this time listen, do and be what the Lord is instructing us we have the opportunity to receive the fullness, to receive the truth of all things, and to have Him abide with us in power, word and deed. In order to have Him come unto us individually and collectively we need to turn toward Him and each day walk in His path and think His thoughts while letting go of the distractions of this world.
I think sometimes we have overlooked the word “deed” in the scriptures. A deed is an action, something that you do. I think the Lord is telling us that He will abide with us in person. So when He says “in very deed”, I think He means right there with us physically.
“And behold, I have given unto you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you and the law is fulfilled. Therefore, come unto me and be ye saved. For verily I say unto you that except ye shall keep my commandments which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” (3 Nephi 5:23 RE; 3 Nephi 12:19-20 LE) The Lord has given us all that we need. I think as soon as we as a covenant people can listen and obey what He has given us we will then be eligible to receive more. But it may be a vain effort to want and ask for more until we are humble and contrite and are individually received into His presence.
Let’s take a look at how the phrase “come unto me” is used in other situations. Perhaps that will give us some additional insight into what the Lord is really asking us to do. In 1st Nephi we see how Lehi used the phrase to beckon to his family to partake of the fruit that was “desirable above all other fruit”. “And as I partook of the fruit thereof, it filled my soul with exceeding great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also… I beheld your mother Sariah, and Sam, and Nephi, and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go. And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come unto me and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit. And it came to pass that they did come unto me and partake of the fruit also. And it came to pass that I was desirous that Laman and Lemuel should come and partake of the fruit also; wherefore, I cast mine eyes towards the head of the river that perhaps I might see them. And it came to pass that I saw them, but they would not come unto me and partake of the fruit.” (1 Nephi 2:9 RE; 1 Nephi 12:18 LE) Lehi wanted his family to come to the place where he was standing. We sometimes think that we may be able to be in Christ’s presence sometime in our existence but the Lord means for us to be in His presence now.
“And they brought unto him also infants, that he might touch them; but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them and said, Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God. (Luke 10:9 RE; Luke 18:15-16 LE) What do we learn? The Lord is inviting us just as He did the little children, to come unto Him that He may bless us and physically touch us and be close to us.
Elsewhere in the book of Corinthians we see Paul talking to those in Corinth expressing his desire that they welcome Timothy if he comes to their town and then assist him to come to where Paul would be. “Now if Timothy come, see that he may be with you without fear, for he works the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man therefore despise him, but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me, for I look for him with the brethren. (1 Corinthians 1:17 RE; 1 Corinthians 16:10-11 LE) These invitations from Lehi, Jesus, and Paul are directives to come to where they are in the flesh and personally. Obviously we cannot just go stand in the Lord’s presence we must be invited. However, by faith, repentance, baptism and then doing as the Holy Ghost directs us, we demonstrate our readiness and willingness to be in His presence.
In section 93 of the T&C (also section 93 in the D&C) the Lord has instructions for us: “It shall come to pass that every soul who forsakes their sins, and comes unto me, and calls on my name, and obeys my voice, and keeps all my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am…” Later in the same section He clarifies: “I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fullness,…” (T&C 93:1,7; D&C 93 1:19 LE) Throughout the scriptures the Lord is pleading with us to come to Him in thought and very deed. I think I would like to explore some of the depth on section 93 of the T&C in my next blog.