Could it be that Jesus’ whole mission on earth was to show us that while duality exists, . . . there is a greater wholeness that reduces it to mere illusion? . . . Could it be that nothing but wholeness ever does prevail once we are willing to perceive it? -Glenda Green
A few nights ago, we decided to read my all-time favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon, Moroni 7. After waiting my turn, the first verse I read aloud was this:
Wherefore, 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, from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in heaven (vs. 3).
After I finished, I stopped listening to everyone else and went back and read it silently again and again. By the time it was once again my turn to read aloud, I had no idea what verse we were on because I was still pondering verse 3. Moroni 7 is my favorite chapter in the scriptures. I have read this verse many, many times before. But this was the first time I noticed that the “rest of the Lord” in this verse is not referring to the next life but this life… this time. In that moment, I felt like God was saying, “You don’t have to wait until death to enter my rest.”
Please tell me more, I thought.
Last night I found other scriptures about this rest for the living:
And again, be patient in tribulation until I come; and, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, and they who have sought me early shall find rest to their souls (D&C 54:10).
Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein and ye shall find rest for your souls (Jeremiah 6:16).
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; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).
There was a time when reading those verses in Matthew was painful for me. I was in agony emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, and I so desperately wanted to find rest for my soul. But nothing I did seemed to bring that rest. I pleaded with God, I tried to “come unto” Him in every way I could, but that rest still eluded me. Looking back, I suppose I can see that I wasn’t yet ready for that rest. There was more I needed to learn and more others needed to learn from my journey in the lone and dreary wilderness. There were occasional moments of rest, but it would be a long time before I could read those verses of scripture without my heart aching.
I love the way Paul described this rest as a Sabbath-rest. The KJV translation is quite confusing in my opinion, so I will paste the NIV version here:
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest (Hebrews 4:9-11).
As I pondered those verses, I imagined our spiritual progression on Earth as a mirror of the seven days of creation (interesting that there are also 7 chakras). In this analogy, we will all, eventually, if we seek it, reach our 7th day… the “Sabbath” of our lives in which we will find rest. For some this Sabbath doesn’t come until death, perhaps? For those who “seek Him early,” this rest can come while they are yet alive.
These words from Isaiah also seem relevant:
Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again (51:22).
Perhaps this is what Paul meant in Romans 6 when he spoke of living “under grace” rather than “under the law.” I like the way Adam S. Miller paraphrases these verses:
Offer yourself to God, as one resurrected from the dead, for the sake of the covenant. Live under grace, not under the law. Living under grace and not under the law, should we offer ourselves, again, as slaves to sin? No! Hang on to the freedom you’ve found in grace. Thank God that you’re no longer slaves to sin. Freed from sin, fit yourself to God (Grace Is Not God’s Backup Plan, p. 34).
We speak in Kundalini Yoga about the polarity of our Earth experience. This life is full of polarities, or in Mormon lingo: “It must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11). Light, dark. Day, night. Good, evil. Positive, negative. Perhaps “living under grace” is a state of peace beyond the polarities of opposition. Yogi Bhajan said, “A yogi is one whom the pair of opposites does not affect. He does not obey the law of duality and polarity.” Could this be another meaning of the phrase in the world, but not of the world?
My friend, Felice, has been talking about this for years. I usually lag several years behind her in terms of accepting new levels of spiritual truth. She wrote this in 2013:
When we combine a raised consciousness with the power of sacred ordinances that God has revealed in his Latter-day temples, we can rise to a level of purity and power that is above and beyond maya (the facade of polarity), come into the presence of God and become like God, who does not live in a polarity state. (God has no opposites. He only allows them to exist here for our benefit till we raise to a level where we don’t need them.)
Paul said that we should make every effort to enter the rest of the Lord in this life. I’m only just beginning to understand what this means. I’ll definitely be pondering this.
Do you have insights on this subject? I’d love for you to share them in the comments.