Where Can I Find Relief?

The world is a chaotic place. Between work life, family life, religious life, and other areas, we are constantly under pressure. Sometimes we can feel as though it is too much. What we need is relief, but where can we find it? In “Jesus Christ Is Relief“, President Camille N. Johnson helps us understand that the Atonement of Jesus Christ gives us the avenue to receive relief in this life.

Definition of Relief

Sister Johnson references and quotes Webster’s Dictionary and Dictionary.com to provide us the definition of relief. “It is the removal or lightening of something painful, troubling, or burdensome, or the strength to endure it. It refers to a person who takes the place of another. It is the legal correction of a wrong. The Anglo-French word comes from Old French, the word relever, or ‘to raise up,’ and from the Latin relevare, or ‘raise again.’”

Relief is not the always the complete removal of the pressures of life. Sometimes, it is the relieving of some of the pressure. Other times it is the strengthening of the person to withstand the pressure. Often, it is someone taking the pressure upon him or herself thereby removing the pressure from us. Finally, it can be the correction of a wrong that gives us relief.

When a pressure is eased we are then raised. Imagine a helium balloon held down by an anchor. When that anchor is lightened or removed, the balloon will rise higher. In a similar way, we feel lighter when our pressures have been relieved.

Raising Lazarus

In John chapter 11 we read of Jesus’s raising of Lazarus from the dead. This event in the ministry and life of Jesus shows us how relief can be found in him. Lazarus’s sisters Martha and Mary send word to Jesus that he is sick. Jesus tarries in the place he is at which may seem odd as the scripture specifically states that Jesus loves Lazarus. You would think that Christ would immediately go and heal his friend. But Jesus explains after finding out that Lazarus is dead that “I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent that ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.” Jesus knew that Lazarus’s illness would lead to his death, however, there was a greater purpose in store for not only Lazarus and his family, but the apostles and disciples of Jesus.

As Jesus draws near to the home of Lazarus, Martha comes out to meet Him. Here is the beginning of Jesus providing relief to Martha and Mary. Martha greets Jesus and states her faith in Him that if He had been there, Lazarus would have been healed. She even states that if Jesus would ask, God would give unto Him what He would. Jesus tells her that Lazarus will “rise again” and Martha states her faith in the resurrection. Then Jesus states that He is “the resurrection and the life” which I believe strengthened Martha’s faith and provided relief in that her brother would live again.

Martha then calls Mary and Mary runs to Jesus. Mary falls down at Jesus’s feet and basically repeats what Martha stated that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died. Mary had left the house quickly and those in the house followed her out thinking she was going to the grave to grieve for Lazarus. This means that there were several people now gathered around Jesus.

Jesus, beholding the grieving of Martha, Mary and the others then “groaned in the spirit, and was troubled”. He asks where Lazarus has been entombed and upon arriving at the spot “Jesus wept.” The gathered people were astonished and recognized that Jesus truly loved Lazarus. Those gathered then wondered why Jesus had not come and healed him right away. This caused Jesus to groan again. This also is where Jesus continues to provide relief.

He asks for the stone to be taken away from the tomb. This allows others to help ease the burden of Martha and Mary and participate in providing relief. Martha interjects that Lazarus has been dead four days and that it might not be pleasant if the stone is removed. Jesus tells her “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?”. He reminds her that He has the power to relieve her suffering.

The stone is removed and Jesus commands Lazarus to come forth. The crowd waits and soon sees movement. It is Lazarus coming forth out of the darkness of the tomb. Lazarus has been prepared in funeral clothing “bound hand and foot” with a mask over his face. Jesus asks that he be unbound and the mask removed. Imagine the relief that Martha and Mary feel at this moment. Imagine the relief of those that mourned with them. How much relief did Jesus provide in this instance? I don’t think you could measure it.

This event shows how we can receive relief from the pressures of the world, as well as provide relief to others. Christ works with us and through us so we can not only receive relief we need, but provide relief to those who also seek it.

Receiving Relief

As I mentioned in the opening, life is chaotic and there are a lot of pressures that weigh us down. True relief of these pressures comes through Jesus Christ.

A few years ago I was playing soccer and was afforded an opportunity to receive relief. I received the ball on the left side of the 18-yard box and moving to my right took a shot. I have no idea where the ball went. This is due to the fact that after taking the shot with my right foot, I felt like my knee collapse. It was a compaction that I had never felt before. I took myself out of the game and foolishly (I would find out later) kept walking and moving so it wouldn’t freeze up. I thought it would go away in a day or two, but when it didn’t, I went in to see my doctor. I have known him for several years and this was the first time I had ever seen him panic. He sent me immediately for an MRI and to get a knee brace fitted. He told me he feared I had a tibia plateau fracture and would need to see a specialist.

I wasn’t sure why that caused such a panic in him. I came to find out that that injury could have caused a problem that could have been life threatening. I got the knee brace, the MRI, and scheduled an appointment with the knee specialist. I was very worried about my knee at this point and didn’t know what would happen. I got to my appointment and the specialist looked at the brace and asked “why do you have that on?” I told him that my primary care physician ordered it and so I was using it. He then proceeded to tell me that I didn’t need it and that the MRI showed a slight fracture. He did state that if it were worse he would have been wheeling me into immediate surgery. However, I just needed physical therapy and all would be well.

WHAT A RELIEF! I had a true scare with this injury and yet it turned out to be ok.

In a similar manner, Jesus Christ provides us with relief and reassurance that all will be well. Looking at my story I am able to draw some analogies to the process I went through to get relief.

When the pressures of the world, family, or sin press upon us we seek the help of a doctor. In this case, we should be seeking the guidance of the Holy Ghost. He, like my doctor, can help analyze the situation and provide us with strength (a knee brace) and guidance (getting an MRI and seeing a specialist). Then we should appeal to Jesus (The Specialist) to help relieve the pressure weighing us down. Jesus does a further analysis and provides the relief we require through relieving the pressure in a number of ways. Relief can include strengthening us (physical therapy), forgiving our sins (e.g., removing the pressure sin causes), or lessening the burdens we feel (e.g., calming our anxieties). At the end, when The Specialist tells us everything will be ok, we can be assured that it will be so.

Giving Relief

We can also be deliverers of relief to others. As in the story of raising Lazarus, we can remove the stone of the tomb, or help unbind others so they can be free of their burdens. We do this through the two great commandments of loving God and loving our neighbor.

Sister Johnson states, “And because we love God and have covenanted to serve Him, we can partner with the Savior to help provide temporal and spiritual relief for those in need – and in the process find our own relief in Jesus Christ.”

We had a neighbor that was going through some hard times. The husband recently had a stroke and was limited in what he could do. The wife was working a lot of hours and constantly busy. As a result, their yard wasn’t as tidy as they usually kept it. I noticed this one day as I was trimming my own yard. I decided to also do a quick trim on theirs to help them out. I wasn’t expecting any praises or even recognition for my actions.

A couple of days later we were outside and they were just coming out of their house. The wife saw us and rushed over and gave us both big hugs. They expressed their gratitude and the relief they felt as they didn’t know what they were going to do with their yard.

When we give relief to others by serving and loving them, we also receive relief. I remember feeling very happy and some of the concerns that were on my mind fled as I was thanked for trimming the neighbors yard. Providing relief to others therefore also provides relief to us. We forget about our own worries and pressures for a little while and can rejoice that we have helped others burdens become lighter.


We live in a chaotic world that can feel overwhelming at times. The weights and pressures put on us can seem monumental. However, there is relief. We can be relieved of the pressures by looking to Jesus Christ, obeying the commandments, and keeping our covenants. We can also be providers of relief to others and participate in Christ’s work. Anyone who has ever felt relief knows its elevating power and how it can raise us up to be better.

Tips for Teaching

When teaching this talk you may want to:

  1. Relate the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead and how relief was provided to Mary, Martha, and the people who witnessed the miracle
  2. Ask the class to relate times that relief has been provided to them
  3. Ask the class to relate times where they have participated in providing relief for others






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