12 Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.
13 And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest.
What does it mean to enter into the rest of the Lord? I think Alma is referring to something more profound and durable than simply having a break from our work and responsibilities. I think he’s talking about being able to overcome the anxieties, the irritations, and the disappointments of life, all of which weigh down our souls and prevent us from being truly happy:
And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall give thee rest,
- from thy sorrow,
- and from thy fear,
- and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve
I think that entering into the rest of the Lord means to become settled in our hearts (Luke 21:14), so that we are not easily disturbed, distracted, or shaken (Ephesians 4:14). As Elder Per G. Malm taught:
To find rest unto our souls includes peace of mind and heart, which is the result of learning and following the doctrine of Christ, and becoming Christ’s extended hands in serving and helping others. Faith in Jesus Christ and following His teachings give us a firm hope, and this hope becomes a solid anchor to our souls. We can become steadfast and immovable. We can have lasting inner peace; we can enter into the rest of the Lord. Only if we turn away from light and truth will a hollow feeling of emptiness…occupy the innermost chambers of our souls, and we even might attempt to fill that emptiness with things of no lasting value (“Rest unto Your Souls,” General Conference, October 2010).
Today, I will humble myself and repent, so that I can also “enter into that rest.” I will seek for the companionship of the Holy Ghost and strive to do God’s will, knowing that the peace of the gospel will help me face the challenges of life without becoming depressed, apprehensive, or agitated.