Week 12 is scheduled for study March 13-19, 2023. If we want the rest that can only come from God, we must do those things that produce His rest. At times it may seem difficult, but compared to the burdens we carry from the demands of the world, the rest God offers is a blessed relief.

Day 1

President Dallin H. Oaks taught: “The scriptures, which are the revelations of the past, cannot be understood without openness to the revelations of the present. … A study of the scriptures enables men and women to receive revelations” (“Scripture Reading and Revelation,” Ensign, Jan. 1995, 7).

Matthew 11:28-30 – Jesus Christ will give me rest as I rely on Him.

28 ¶ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

I know we all know these verses, but I feel compelled to include them anyway. You can use them as a quick reference.


Here are a couple of articles I wrote on the topic of being yoked to Christ. I think you will find them helpful.


Recently we discussed the stormy sea, and Jesus sleeping peacefully in the back of the boat, while everyone else on board scrambled to keep from dying. My wife and I considered why Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. Beyond being protected by his Father, I think the lifestyle he lives provides confidence and security in an eternal way. This reminds me of the story of President Russell M. Nelson and the falling plane.

Men’s Hearts Shall Fail Them

The nature of mortality is that everything is temporary, so our real focus needs to be on what will last for eternity. His yoke, the covenants we make with him, the commitments we make to him, and his promises in return, provide us with that sense of eternal security that cannot be found anywhere else in mortality.

One who is meek is one who suffers, and does it with dignity and honor. There is, of course, more to the definition than just suffering, but that seems to be a big part of the word’s meaning. Christ almost always refers to himself as meek and lowly of heart. Those are the two main virtues required for him to fulfill the earthly part of being the Messiah.

How do you think being more meek and more lowly of heart can help us obtain the peace that comes from Christ?

Compared to the weight of earthly cares, how are the cares Jesus puts upon our shoulders different? Do you think they weigh more or less than what the world would have us carry?

Day 2

President Dallin H. Oaks taught: “The scriptures, which are the revelations of the past, cannot be understood without openness to the revelations of the present. … A study of the scriptures enables men and women to receive revelations” (“Scripture Reading and Revelation,” Ensign, Jan. 1995, 7).

Matthew 12:1-13 – Do well on the sabbath days.

The power of the Pharisees, with their rules, rules, rules, rules, has lasted down through the centuries and has even affected how Christians think of the Sabbath day. That is a pretty potent prescription for control! In the absence of the prophets, a class of elitists (Pharisees) appointed themselves as the de facto definers of the Mosaic law. Because they were well educated in their own religion, and they had social standing to begin with, they were able to convince everyone in the masses that their definition of living the law of Moses was the correct one.

One by one the Pharisees added more and more rules to the law, making it more and more prescriptive and difficult to live comfortably. Even today an oven that is supposed to conform to the law of Moses isn’t supposed to burn a pilot light on the Sabbath day. They actually have made stoves that are Sabbath day compliant. Amazing!

Jesus, who was Jehovah, the giver of the law of the Sabbath, as far back as Adam, was just another citizen as far as the Pharisees were concerned. They didn’t recognize him as being the actual person who gave the law of the Sabbath all those millennia ago. So watching what Jesus and his disciples did on the Sabbath is very instructive for us. It shows us just how far off track the Jews were with the laws they had been given.

The Pharisees, who had added countless rules of conduct down to the number of steps you were allowed to make on the Sabbath or how far you were allowed to carry a chair, then took the approach that people were supposed to bend themselves to the rules of that day. Acting as the arbiters of the rule set for Sabbath worship, the Pharisees were able to maintain control over the people. Jesus, who actually instituted the Sabbath in the beginning, tried to teach the disciples that the Sabbath day had been made for the benefit of people, not the other way around.

Back in the Old Testament do you remember when the prophet Samuel told King Saul to kill every living thing when they went to war? The Lord had commanded it be done. So imagine Samuel’s surprise when he arrived to offer the sacrifices for the people and heard the sound of many animals in the distance. They were all supposed to be dead! The lesson Saul failed to learn was that God preferred obedience to His commandments over greater numbers of animals to sacrifice. The point was not to do the sacrifices, but to obey the word of God.

This is the general point the Pharisees missed as well. God made the Sabbath day to bless mankind, not to enslave them with rules. By tethering the sacredness of the Sabbath to observances rather than kindnesses and obedience, the whole point of the Sabbath was missed and twisted to serve the desires of the Adversary. God is the one who decides how the Sabbath is to be observed. Mercy, kindness, and doing good should reign supreme on this day. If we are still worrying about checklists, things prohibited by custom, or lists of does and don’ts then we have missed the purpose for which this day was given. When the Pharisees claimed it was unlawful to heal on the Sabbath, Christ asked if it was also unlawful to do good (well) on the Sabbath. Usually, such conversations were followed with a healing, a forgiveness of sins, and subsequent rejoicing by all present, except the Pharisees.

Day 3

President Dallin H. Oaks taught: “The scriptures, which are the revelations of the past, cannot be understood without openness to the revelations of the present. … A study of the scriptures enables men and women to receive revelations” (“Scripture Reading and Revelation,” Ensign, Jan. 1995, 7).

Matthew 12:34-37; Luke 11:33-44 – My words and actions reflect what is in my heart.

It is not easy being pure of thought and deed. Look at Paul the Apostle as an example. Before his conversion he honestly thought that persecuting and even having Christians killed was what his religion required. He was devoted to God, and really believed that such behavior on his part was what God wanted him to do. So we can’t honestly accuse all Pharisees as being hypocrites in a deliberate sense. Over the centuries they had built their order up into a religion of its own. They had their own schools, their own social hierarchy, everything! There were active hypocrites among them, but there were also those who were innocent of the hypocrisy they were living.

We are deliberate hypocrites only when we are aware that what we do and what we say is not in keeping with what we believe or feel. When those things are at odds then we have a problem. One of the results of taking upon us the yoke of Christ, his covenants, is that we learn to behave in Christlike ways. Our thoughts and actions over time become more like the kinds of thoughts and actions we would see coming from our Savior. This is where we gain our peace, and receive of his rest.

The behavior and teachings of Jesus were at one with what he actually felt and believed. There was no duplicity in him. His actions were always in concert with his own teachings. This is not an easy thing to achieve, but something we strive for as disciples of Christ. Because our behaviors are the outward display of our inward feelings and views, the more we learn to see life as Jesus sees life, and think of others as Jesus does, the more often our language and behavior will be at one with each other as we live our life of Christlike service.

FHE/Personal Study

Luke 11:33-36 – Full of light

I don’t claim that the following comments are all doctrine. I am expressing my impressions about the concept of what it means to be full of light. I have puzzled over the scriptures when they state that our eye must be single to God’s glory. That is not exactly something we hear every day in this world. So what might it mean to have our eye be single? The Lord puts a lot of stock and store in that condition. He wants us to have our eye single to His glory so our bodies can be full of light. Sometimes I have thought that the scriptures were talking in circles. But I just found this verse in the footnotes (Joseph Smith – History 1:46).

I am gathering from this verse that to have my eye single to God’s glory means that I should have no other object motivating my behavior than pleasing and obeying God. I believe He is looking for a singlemindedness to how we approach our service and in how we obey His commandments. Reference yesterday’s lesson on being pure of thought and deed.

Have you ever pondered the quantitative difference between a lighthouse beam and a laser beam? The lighthouse beam can be seen a long way off, but a laser can reach the moon. If you take the diffused light of the lighthouse and focus it down to just a fraction of an inch across, that beam has power now that it didn’t have before. That isn’t how you make a laser, but you get the idea of the difference between the two beams.

To make something as powerful as a laser, light must be generated in an organized and focused way. When you get light being produced and bounced back and forth between mirrors, the light sets up a regular wave length that when released is completely in tune with itself and coordinated with all the other light particles around it, making a straight beam that has the power to go great distances. In other words, this kind of focused beam doesn’t scatter like a flashlight beam. And in some cases the laser has tremendous power to cut through things in its path. We’ve all seen examples of things etched or cut with lasers.

My point in this pseudo science lesson is this: When we start out in life our thoughts are often random and not directed in any useful or meaningful way. But as we focus our attention and feelings on Christ and our Father, our motives become more pure and in tune with each other. It is this focusing of our inner light, our thoughts and our intentions, that brings the power we see in those who have learned to be single minded about their service to God. There is no confusion, no scattering of intentions. Everything we do demonstrates that our intentions are to please God and to do His will. This focus in our life brings power that can come in no other way. We just have to learn that in order to receive God’s blessings we must learn to do what we know is right, and for the right reasons. If we do what is right, but for the wrong reasons, we will never receive the blessings we say we really want.

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NT12-2023 – I Will Give You Rest

Week 12