|Photo from LDS.org, used with permission|
by Lindi Salmond
To quote a good friend, life gets heavy. It can be burdensome, tiring, scary, and overwhelming. Sometimes I find myself deep in these feelings. Life feels like just a lot of work.
At some point in my misery, Heavenly Father gently reminds me to return to Him, remember my covenants, and give my burdens to him. If, at this point, I listen to his counsel and find Him through scriptures, prayer, and temple attendance, my days become lighter. It is just like those first rays of sunshine breaking through an overcast sky.
To me, this is especially true with temple attendance: it is the sunshine to my soul. When I find myself in the temple regularly and consistently, my days that used to be so heavy are now filled with light. They turn from the gray days of January to the bright beautiful days of June. It’s not that the hard things have gone away--we still have thunderstorms in June! But focusing on my covenants, which in turn strengthens my relationship with my Savior, my burdens are no longer mine alone.
Covenants do that for us; they yoke us to the Savior and, unlike yoking with regular animals that evenly share the burden, He does most of the heavy lifting! When my days are bright I can, in turn, find others to help on their way.
When we say “rejoicing on the covenant path,” I can’t help but picture myself linked arm-in-arm with my dear sisters walking down the path of life. We are laughing together, serving each other in our times of need, worshiping together, and even crying with each other. That is true rejoicing to me--when we can help others, and in turn, they lift us up as well. Our covenants put us all on the same path, giving us each other. I cannot think of a better gift.
As some of you know, I have Lupus, and with that comes all sorts of different things that I deal with. Most are just nuisances. I had been dealing with a cracking voice for a few months (think teenage boy; it wasn’t my favorite). One day I was sitting in Relief Society, and one of my favorite songs was being sung for our closing song. With the way my voice had been, I couldn’t hit any high notes in songs. Usually, it didn’t bother me--I would just silently skip the parts I couldn’t reach--but I really wanted to sing this song. I pleaded with Heavenly Father to please let my voice work for just this one song.
As we started singing, I was hopeful but as we got to the first high part, my voice failed. I was so disappointed, but that disappointment only lasted a second because as I sat there silent my sisters all around me continued singing: angels were singing to me. I felt as if He was saying to me, "You can’t do it right now, but they can do it for you." The love of my Savior for me was so strong at that moment, and it came through my ward sisters.
What is rejoicing on the covenant path? To me, it is the description of this beautiful life we have been given the chance to live. Staying close to the Savior with the companionship of others as we all strive to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. I am eternally thankful for this truth in my life.