“The Lord Did Strengthen Them That They Could Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease”

Brant Gardner

This verse contains a great lesson in the way in which the Lord assists us. While we might pray for the removal of the burden, the Lord rather increases our capacity for the burden. Bruce Hafen sees this example as part of what he terms “the endowment of hope:”

“This is the spiritual endowment of hope-of perspective, of patience, of an inner serenity, a sure inner sight, that is ”not weary in well-doing.“ (D&C 64:33.) Such hope is bestowed by the power of the Holy Ghost, ”which Comforter filleth with hope.“ (Moroni 8:26.) It is the hope of which Nephi wrote in explaining the process that follows our entry by baptism into the straight and narrow path: ”Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and of all men." (2 Nephi 31:20.)

It is the hope that Mormon recognized as a sustaining, God-given source of strength in the maturing stages of spiritual development: “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… . My brethren, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men.” (Moroni 7:3-4.) Not perfect, not frantic; not pessimistic and not artificially cheerful. The walk of those who walk with the endowment of hope is “peaceable.”

The practical effect of the endowment of hope is illustrated by the Lord’s blessing to Alma and his followers, who were in bondage and were made to carry heavy physical burdens. Alma and his people pleaded with the Lord for help, and he responded: “The burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease.” (Mosiah 24:15.) The Lord intervened in this way, “that they might know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.” (Mosiah 24:14.)

It helps us see the place of hope to know that our development toward spiritual maturity is a process, not an event. It is a distance race, not a sprint. It is thus no race for the short-winded" (Hafen, Bruce C. The Broken Heart. Deseret Book 1989, pp. 183-4).

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon