A yoke is what binds two animals together and allows them to work side by side to pull a load that they wouldn’t be able to pull separately.
I see the atonement of Jesus Christ as the yoke that allows him to work beside us. He has taken our sins, sorrows, and problems upon himself that he may share our burden and in turn lift our souls.
When he says my yoke is easy, I take that to mean that taking his yoke upon us is easy. All we have to do is say that we want his help and he comes and walks beside us without a second thought.
He also says “my burden is light”. This can be interpreted in many different ways. I interpreted it to mean that he has already borne his burden, so now it is light. He went through unbearable trials alone so that all of our burdens would seem light in comparison. His lonely struggle made him strong enough to help us through anything we may go through, and understanding enough that he knows exactly how much we can bear and when to step in and help and when to allow us to keep working.
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest to your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
For those of you who aren’t religious (as well as those who are), this can also be applied to friendships. I’ve always said that I’m grateful for my trials because not only have they made me stronger, but they’ve also allowed me to be able to understand other people’s struggles and help them.
I think friendship is the “yoke” that allows us to pull together, to help each other through this life. Sometimes we have loads that we can’t bear alone, but together we can get through more than we can alone. Our burdens can become light as we share with one another our strengths. Not by sucking up other people’s strength and giving nothing back because that just leaves a bunch of broken people, but by sharing, trusting and mutually helping one another to bear burdens that alone would be overwhelming.
I originally posted this as a note on my Facebook page in 2011 and decided to re-post it here with a few edits.