Not long after the children of Israel escaped from the Egyptian army through the Red Sea, they confronted a new enemy. In a place called Rephidim, they were attacked by the Amalekites. God told Moses to stand on the top of a hill and hold up his rod—the same rod that he had held over the Red Sea when there seemed to be no escape. (See Exodus 14:15-16, Exodus 17:9.) During the battle, whenever Moses’ hand was in the air, the children of Israel prevailed, but when he lowered his hand, the Amalekites would gain the upper hand. Seeing this pattern, Aaron and Hur had Moses sit on a rock, and they “stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun” (Exodus 17:12).
We all need steadying at times, particularly when we’re working on something that requires sustained action over time. In my current church responsibility, I have two counselors and a secretary, who not only fulfill assignments and lead programs but who also give me valuable feedback and suggestions to keep me steady. Nephi steadied his father during a discouraging time by asking him for advice. (See 1 Nephi 16:23-27.) Ammon steadied King Lamoni by advocating on his behalf. (See Alma 20:17-18.) And Moroni steadied his father by finishing the book his father had dedicated so many years to write. (See Mormon 8:1.)
There are so many ways to steady one another and to support each other in our work. When I think of Aaron and Hur holding Moses’ arms up, I am reminded of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s talk in the October 2007 General Conference of the Church. As Elder Wirthlin, aged 90, began to speak, he locked his knees and soon began to shake. His colleague, Russell M. Nelson, stood beside him and grabbed his arm with one hand and his belt with the other, stabilizing him so he could complete his talk. Elder Wirthlin’s son said: “[Elder Nelson] didn’t make a big fanfare about things. He just stood up and did what was needed” (Sarah Jane Weaver, “A lesson in love and understanding from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin,” Church News, 8 November 2020).
Today, I will find opportunities to steady others as they fulfill their responsibilities. I will also be grateful for my friends who support and sustain me, just as Aaron and Hur supported Moses.