Are we increasing other people’s burdens or lightening them? That’s a pretty good heuristic for many of the decisions we make.

Jacob and his family thrived in Egypt, with the support of his son Joseph, who was governor over the land, second only to Pharaoh. (See Genesis 41:40-41.) But a few generations later, a new Pharaoh made their descendants miserable. He “did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens” (Exodus 1:11).

God took notice. “I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt,” He told Moses, “and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows” (Exodus 3:7). He called on Moses to bring his people “out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” (Exodus 6:6-7).

Alma and his people had a similar experience. The man who was appointed by the king to rule over them “put tasks upon them, and put task-masters over them” (Mosiah 24:9). The Lord eventually helped them escape, but He first strengthened them “that they could bear up their burdens with ease” (Mosiah 24:15).

It’s significant that Alma’s people had previously made a covenant “to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light” (Mosiah 18:8). Little did they realize, when they made that promise, the nature and the scale of the burdens which they would help one another to bear.

Today, I will consider the impact of my decisions on other people. I will strive to decrease others’ burdens and make their lives a little easier, rather than adding to their burdens.

2 thoughts on “Taskmasters

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  1. Can’t help applying these insights to the taskmaster of the Ukraine war,
    which has certainly burdened not only the refugees but also those who
    have been displaced in-country.


    1. I agree. What’s happening in Ukraine is unconscionable. The invasion appears to have been motivated by a desire to subjugate the Ukrainian people. As the Ukrainians defend their country and their freedom, I’m reminded of the armies of Captain Moroni, who fought “for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all” (Alma 43:45). Surely we ought to do all that we can to support people who are giving their lives to defend their freedom from an oppressive neighbor!


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