The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years before they were ready to enter the promised land. God was ready to help them enter that land long before they were ready to receive His assistance. One of the psalms quotes God looking back on that time:
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.Psalm 95:10-11
After the Nephites arrived in their promised land, the prophet Jacob continued to urge them to repent. He said that he and other church leaders “labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest” (Jacob 1:7). Their physical journey was over, but they were still en route to the full blessings of God.
When Jacob’s son Enos later received an assurance from God, he stopped worrying. He knew that God would keep His promises. “Wherefore,” he said, “my soul did rest” (Enos 1:17).
Alma urged the agitated inhabitants of Ammonihah to humble themselves and repent, so that they could also enter into God’s rest (Alma 13:13).
In an 1832 revelation, the Lord clarified that His rest is “the fulness of his glory” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:24). Elder W. Craig Zwick explained that the doctrines of the gospel give us hope, which enable us to enter the rest of the Lord in this life, so that we can later rest with Him in heaven. (See “Enter into the Rest of the Lord,” Ensign, February 2012. See also Moroni 7:3.)
Today, I will remember that God can help me find stability and peace in my life if I am willing to humble myself and receive His help. He promises rest both now and in eternity, and we can find that rest as we turn our hearts and our minds to Him.
As I look over these Book of Mormon verses about “rest” it’s probably no coincidence that they all refer, in some way, to covenants and ordinances. Perhaps Enos 1:17 being the best example wherein he knows he can find rest because of the covenant he had made. I know the more I reflect on my covenants, the more I am able to repose in my knowledge of the goodness of God.
Great observation! Even in our daily activities, we feel less anxiety when someone reliable has promised to do something for us. There is no one more reliable than God, and when we trust His promises to us, particularly the promises we receive formally by making covenants with Him, we can feel peaceful even in turbulent times. Thanks for the comment!