Today’s inspiration comes from a captivating talk titled “A Year of Jubilee” delivered by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in October 1999. With the year 2023 quickly approaching, his message resonates deeply, urging us to approach the new year with intentionality and a renewed focus on what truly matters.
The concept of the jubilee year, as outlined in Leviticus 25, holds profound significance. Every fifty years, the Israelites were instructed to let the land rest, allowing it to replenish and become more productive for future harvests. Elder Perry draws a fascinating parallel, suggesting that we too can implement this practice in our lives.
Imagine our lives as fertile fields, teeming with activity and productivity. Yet, just like the land, our minds, spirits, and relationships require periods of rest and rejuvenation. In our fast-paced world, filled with endless distractions and demands, it’s easy to neglect this crucial aspect of well-being.
Elder Perry highlights the challenges of the “information age,” where we’re bombarded with stimuli from television, the internet, and countless other sources. He poses a thought-provoking question: are these pursuits enriching our lives or simply filling them with “worldliness and evil”?
This resonates deeply in our current digital landscape. Social media, streaming services, and the constant influx of news can easily consume our time and attention, leaving little room for the things that truly nourish our souls.
Elder Perry’s message isn’t about advocating for complete isolation or abandoning technology. Instead, it’s a call to action, urging us to take a step back and re-evaluate our priorities. He suggests creating a “jubilee list,” identifying activities that add lasting value to our lives and eliminating those that detract from our spiritual growth and well-being.
This could involve prioritizing family prayer, scripture study, and quality time together over mindless scrolling or endless entertainment. It might mean setting boundaries with technology, carving out sacred spaces for reflection and introspection.
The concept of the jubilee extends beyond personal rejuvenation. It’s also about preserving our heritage and passing it on to future generations. Elder Perry beautifully highlights the importance of sharing the stories of faith and sacrifice that paved the way for our blessings today.
Imagine gathering your family and sharing the remarkable stories of your ancestors’ conversion experiences, their struggles and triumphs in living the gospel. These legacies become precious inheritance, strengthening our own testimonies and inspiring future generations to walk in the footsteps of faith.
Finally, the jubilee year served as a time of liberation for the Israelites, freeing those who were bound by debt or servitude. Elder Perry reminds us that while physical slavery may be less prevalent today, we can still become captive to negative influences and harmful habits.
He emphasizes the importance of our agency, the God-given ability to choose between good and evil. Recognizing this power, we must vigilantly guard against the enticements of sin and the entanglements of the adversary.
As we embark on a new year, let us embrace the spirit of the jubilee. Let us dedicate time to nurturing our souls, passing on our heritage, and breaking free from any burdens that hold us back. This isn’t just about individual renewal; it’s about creating a ripple effect, making the world a brighter, more Christ-centered place.
Elder Perry concludes with a beautiful quote by Harry Emerson Fosdick: “Some Christians carry their religion on their backs. […] But real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight; it is wings.
In this new year, let our faith be our wings, lifting us above the mundane and propelling us toward a life of purpose, joy, and service. Let the light of our good works illuminate the world around us, creating a jubilee not just for ourselves, but for all those who encounter our love and compassion.
Take some time this week to reflect on Elder Perry’s message. Create your own “jubilee list,” identifying activities that nourish your soul and those that might be hindering your spiritual growth. Share your family’s legacy of faith with younger generations. Reach out to someone who might be struggling and offer a helping hand. Together, let’s make 2023 a year of true jubilee, a year of rejuvenation, connection, and spreading the light of Christ in the world. Link to original: A Year of Jubilee
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