This hymn has been one of those that has always sat on the edge of like vs dislike. I guess I just don’t really like how it is normally sung. The message, however, is remarkable. Here’s this rendition from the April 2013 LDS General Conference performed by a BYU choir. It is wonderful and is definitely one of the versions I truly enjoy:
So a few thoughts….
I was chatting with Laurel earlier today about resisting temptation and overcoming addictions and so forth. This hymn came to mind as part of that conversation. One scripture that seemed to be everywhere this last week in lesson preparations is Alma 17: 11-12. Speaking of Christ, the scripture reads:
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
That word “succor” is not one that is very common in English. It has Latin roots, though, and as any speaker of a Romantic language would tell you, the word succor means “to help or to aid.” Another way of saying that is rescue. Christ went through all of that not so that He could comfort us, though He certainly does. He went through that so that He could rescue us. Literally save us from the pain, temptation, hurt, or whatever it is that we’ll face in life. Knowing that brings a rich new power to the idea of coming unto the Savior and his invitation to “Come unto me.” It also paints a different picture than if He only comforted us in our pain and trials.
It’s been interesting to watch how often (as in always) the answer to the problems and hurts of life is to look to the Savior. And maybe it shouldn’t surprise me when we think about it. The very nature of our existence is one that is designed to give us the opportunity to “learn of [Him]; for [He is] meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matt. 11:28-29).”
And it all starts with us making a choice to reach out for that help.
Enjoy the song.