Music & the Spoken Word: To join Him in His yoke

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given Nov. 14, 2021.

Sometimes we feel like pilgrims on a sea of strife. A pilgrim is one who has journeyed far from home, and that journey can leave us feeling wounded, lost and weak. But a pilgrim isn’t a lost or aimless wanderer. As pilgrims, we journey with a purpose. We know that this unsettled world — with its strife and pain and disappointment — is not our true home. So we set off in search of heaven’s strength and grace. When all else fails around us, we search in faith for something secure to hold onto, someone we can rely on, someone who will never let us down.

Where do we find it? These words of holy scripture guide us: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; … and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).

It might seem strange to offer a yoke to someone seeking rest from life’s labors. How does a yoke help when we are heavy laden?

A yoke is a wooden beam fitted to the shoulders of a beast of burden, such as an ox, and hitched to a load to be pulled. It is designed to maximize the ox’s pulling strength.
A yoke is a wooden beam fitted to the shoulders of a beast of burden, such as an ox, and hitched to a load to be pulled. It is designed to maximize the ox’s pulling strength. Credit: marco – stock.adobe.com

A yoke is a wooden beam fitted to the shoulders of a beast of burden, such as an ox, and hitched to a load to be pulled. It is designed to maximize the ox’s pulling strength. Interestingly, a yoke is most often used to harness two animals so they can pull the load as a team. Even if one ox is smaller and weaker than the other, the yoke unifies their efforts. In this way, the stronger one can help carry the load without dragging the other ox along. The full potential of both oxen is harnessed.

By inviting us to join Him in His yoke, the Lord is not promising to make our burdens disappear. Instead, He offers to carry them with us — to heal us in our heartache, to comfort us in our sorrow. None of us is as strong as we’d like to be. We need help from Someone greater than us all. When our journey makes us weary, He can help us find what we’ve been searching for — rest in Him.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, ksl.com, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoiratTempleSquare and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.com/viewers-listeners/airing-schedules.

See the Church News’ archive of ‘Spoken Word’ messages