The Savior’s invitation to come unto Him as we are–weary and heavy laden, is repeated over and over in the all the scriptures. Still, the Book of Mormon goes further than invite us. The life stories of prophet after prophet model what it means, what it looks like, sounds like, feels like to “come unto Christ and be perfected in [and through] Him” (Moroni 10:32). The Book of Mormon prophets, one after another, plead with us: Come and talk with Him. Hear Him. Listen to Him. Converse with Him. Just as He promised in John 14:18, the Book of Mormon prophets testify, He will not leave you comfortless. He, Himself, will come to you. He is the good Shepherd. His attendance to His flock is not yet finished, and will not be until He has found and saved every one who will let Him. (See D&C 88:32.)
The Savior’s invitation is repeated over and over by not only the prophets’ words, but by their life stories. Thus it is taught, not only in principle, but by example. How could an invitation be so plain, so often extended, and yet there is so little acknowledgment of it or attempt to accept it?
Our tendency to marginalize Jesus and postpone putting Him front and center in our recovery comes in large part from our being subjected in mortality to Satan’s continual effort to lie to us and entice us to think we must be ashamed and hide from God. Being the arch enemy of God, Lucifer has nothing good to say about God or about us either. He does all he can to convince us that we must rely on our own strength and will-power. The catch-22 is that we don’t have the strength or the power in ourselves to will ourselves better. Any overcoming of the lies that persuade us to marginalize and minimize Jesus Christ’s central, foundational role in our salvation can only come by our stark admittance of our own nothingness and our broken-hearted, contrite acceptance of His offer of at-one-ness with Himself.
Yet, even in our recovery efforts, we stress social action as the main way to serve God. We speak of attending “group.” We stress giving service. Meanwhile, we relegate the personal, individual, private tools of recovery work to a secondary place. Thus, we continue to remain unaware of how essential personal, direct contact with Christ is to each soul’s spiritual development and maturation.
The truth is that only by apprenticing ourselves to Christ can we learn to be “even as He is.” As the times we live in sink deeper into the darkness that reigns when “men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise His words,” each of us must seek this degree of closeness to our Savior. Only in Him will we find the peace of heart and mind that our original first generation pioneers found to sing with conviction, “All is well. All is well.”