Fasten Your Seatbelt (No. 5)
From his talk Overcome the World and Find Rest
Part of the President Nelson Series
All blue quotes by President Russell M. Nelson (unless otherwise noted).
We have a real-time prophet today. His tender, effective words about surviving the madness around us are one of life’s great gifts!
President Nelson sums up most of the core, critical challenges we face in these few quotes today. I pulled them out and made a list, so don’t worry about mentally keeping track of them. Instead, as you read this first quote — perhaps contemplate most on the Divine intention to develop you. As in the best version of YOU there can be.
The first paragraph is a powerful reminder of where our daily meditations and thoughts need to focus. And where we can reach to build peace and confidence in a place and time that doesn’t promote or encourage such luxuries.
Because the Savior, through His infinite Atonement, redeemed each of us from weakness, mistakes, and sin, and because He experienced every pain, worry, and burden you have ever had, then as you truly repent and seek His help, you can rise above this present precarious world.
So much said in so few words! First, the world is precarious.
precarious: hazardous, insecure, dicey, problematic, slippery
It is by Divine design that you wade through a precarious world. You’re not crazy; you’re not a misfit. The world was scheduled to be emotionally, spiritually, and physically precarious at this point in time. It was scheduled to not really accept you or particularly like your spirituality or your niceness, or your hard work, or your wholesomeness. Selfishness, cruelty, jealousy, anger, and spite are everywhere. Light and reason are not everywhere (unfortunately, sometimes this is true even at Church). Instead, we have a refiner’s fire, which produces the purest, most beautiful gold.
A more golden YOU is possible under the present circumstances.
The Savior gets you. He gets right where you are at. He understands the internal doubts you’ve developed about yourself. He understands your people problems (deserved or not). He comprehends your self-defeating behaviors. He is keenly aware of your addictions and poor habits. He understands your pain and fear. He understands your fatigue. He understands life’s setbacks and misfortunes. The beautiful message is He is deeply empathetic with all of that in personal, loving ways and invites you to join Him and rise above them. One small step at a time. One small issue at a time.
Keep a prayer journal! Write inspirations down. It may surprise you to document how much the Spirit reaches to you and tries to work with you.
Back to President Nelson
You can overcome the spiritually and emotionally exhausting plagues of the world, including arrogance, pride, anger, immorality, hatred, greed, jealousy, and fear. Despite the distractions and distortions that swirl around us, you can find true rest—meaning relief and peace—even amid your most vexing problems.
Here is the list of what Christ is willing to help you overcome, both in yourself and the burden imposed by others:
- every burden
- vexing problems
Only one effective doorway exists that permits us to overcome these plagues and licenses the Savior to bless us (abundantly). That doorway is ==> self-reflect, repent and approach the Savior. You may think, “wait!” It’s other people’s actions that plague me – what does repentance have to do with this? Answer: Everything. Repentance has everything to do with upgrading and empowering your life – including the effects brought on by the actions of others.
Sometimes repentance isn’t this heavy-duty, sackcloth and ashes kind of thing. Sometimes it is simply an acknowledged need for change or an upgrade. Be humble enough to admit we all need those.
.As you read this, something will come to mind. Something you need to stop doing or start doing or both. Writing that piece of inspiration down might be a good idea – power is added to you when you write, ponder, and review. President Nelson taught us to write things down during the last General Conference. (See the previous picture of prayer journals above.)
The Word “More”
President Nelson uses the word “more” (i.e., care more, trust more) to point out where we spend our time, our habits, thought space, efforts, and energy.
What does it mean to overcome the world? It means overcoming the temptation to care more about the things of this world than the things of God. It means trusting the doctrine of Christ more than the philosophies of men. It means delighting in truth, denouncing deception, and becoming “humble followers of Christ.” It means choosing to refrain from anything that drives the Spirit away. It means being willing to “give away” even our favorite sins.
The Better List
Don’t you love how President Nelson put that?
“It means overcoming the temptation to care more about the things of this world than the things of God.”
We are constantly tempted to care more about the things of this world (and the actions of others) through our appetites, insecurities, and passions.
Our lack of temperance, patience, and poor responses to others is evidence of caring more about the things of the world and less about the things of God. That’s something I’m profoundly contemplating as I write.
Let’s list the things President Nelson said we dearly need to “repent” of – or perhaps it is better said, get rid of:
- care more about the things of this world than the things of God
- trust the philosophies of men more than the doctrine of Christ
- neglect the pursuit of truth (as opposed to delighting in it)
- tolerate deception (as opposed to speaking up and denouncing deception)
- being preoccupied, proud, loud followers of something rather than becoming humble followers of Christ
- tolerate things that drive the Spirit away rather than get rid of them
- your favorite sins
Something on this list probably nudged you. We all need a little nudging here and there. Please, please take the time to write down your impressions right now. The power of engaging in written inventory and keeping track of spiritual promptings will change your life. Writing down the ideas that immediately come to you after prayer is probably the most powerful habit of all.
Prophets are the watchmen on the tower. They see further ahead and have a more complete view of the horizon. President Nelson’s counsel is a gift that we get to unwrap or ignore. But life is much better studying his words on a regular basis. Writing this post has blessed my life immensely. I hope it offers something useful to you. Godspeed.
For teaching helps – please see “5 Highlights for “Overcome the World and Find Rest” by President Nelson.