Have you paid attention to the Hebrew word President Nelson keeps teaching about? – LDS Living

Posted By on October 1, 2022

I feel like a bit of a detective, except that I wasnt really looking for what I discovered. Mostly by accident, Ive come across three different messages President Russell M. Nelson has given in the past six months in which he referenced the Hebrew word hesed. The more Ive studied the word, the more it makes perfect sense to me that President Nelson might want us to know about it. And on a personal level, while Im no Hebrew scholar, Ive found myself getting almost nerd-level excited about hesed. Because its just, well a really cool word communicating a really comforting truth. First, lets take a look at how President Nelson has used it recently.

The first reference to hesed I noticed was in a footnote in President Nelsons April 2022 general conference talk The Power of Spiritual Momentum. In the talk he says, The Savior loves us always but especially when we repent. He promised that though the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed my kindness shall not depart from thee. 11

And that little 11 will lead you to this footnote: Isaiah 54:10, emphasis added; see also 3 Nephi 22:10. Kindness is translated from the Hebrew term hesed, a powerful word with deep meaning that encompasses kindness, mercy, covenant love, and more.

The next month, President Nelson gave an address to young adults of the Church called Choices for Eternity. In that message he says, God has a special love for each person who makes a covenant with Him in the waters of baptism.22 And that divine love deepens as additional covenants are made and faithfully kept.

And that little 22 will lead you to this footnote: In the Hebrew language of the Old Testament, the word for Gods covenant love is hesed.

While discovering those almost back-to-back footnotes certainly piqued my interest, I realized later they were just the tip of the iceberg. The October 2022 Liahona included a message President Nelson had originally given in a general conference leadership meeting in March 2022. The article is called The Everlasting Covenant, and President Nelsons uses the word hesed a whopping 13 times. Allow me to share some of what Ive learned and see if the beauty of the truth taught by hesed has you ready to join in me in putting on some glasses and signing up for a Hebrew class.

Right after the introduction, the first heading in President Nelsons message in the Liahona is A Special Love and Mercy. The section begins like this:

Once we make a covenant with God, we leave neutral ground forever. God will not abandon His relationship with those who have forged such a bond with Him. In fact, all those who have made a covenant with God have access to a special kind of love and mercy. In the Hebrew language, that covenantal love is called hesed ().

Hesed has no adequate English equivalent. Translators of the King James Version of the Bible must have struggled with how to render hesed in English. They often chose lovingkindness. This captures much but not all the meaning of hesed. Other translations were also rendered, such as mercy and goodness. Hesed is a unique term describing a covenant relationship in which both parties are bound to be loyal and faithful to each other.

A celestial marriage is such a covenant relationship. A husband and wife make a covenant with God and with each other to be loyal and faithful to each other.

Hesed is a special kind of love and mercy that God feels for and extends to those who have made a covenant with Him. And we reciprocate with hesed for Him.

Once you and I have made a covenant with God, our relationship with Him becomes much closer than before our covenant. Now we are bound together. Because of our covenant with God, He will never tire in His efforts to help us, and we will never exhaust His merciful patience with us. Each of us has a special place in Gods heart. He has high hopes for us.

What stands out to me from that is that hesed is a way to describe how our relationship with God is forever changed once we have made covenants with Him. Through covenants, our relationship formally becomes more close-knit. We choose to welcome more of God and His love and His influence into our lives. President Nelson later says, The covenant path is all about our relationship with Godour hesed relationship with Him. When we enter a covenant with God, we have made a covenant with Him who will always keep His word. He will do everything He can, without infringing on our agency, to help us keep ours.

If youve listened to President Nelson over the past few years, then you know that a focus of his teachings has been gathering Israel. And hesed is a central aspect of gathering Israel. As I understand it, it is because of the covenant love that God has for His people, which goes back to the Abrahamic covenant, that He gathers. President Nelson taught, In such a timeless hesed relationship, it is only natural that God wants to gather Israel. He is our Heavenly Father! He wants each of His childrenon both sides of the veilto hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

You may also like: 5 stunning footnotes from Pres. Nelsons devotional for young adults everyone should read

He later says that anything you or I do as members of the Church to help gather Israel is an expression of Gods hesed. But it doesnt only apply to new converts or temple work. Hesed also means that God will never tire in His efforts to help us, and we will never exhaust His merciful patience with us. Each of us has a special place in Gods heart.

Isnt that comforting? Because when we make covenants we are bound to God by these loving ties, He welcomes our repentance and efforts to improve. God loves all of His children, and through covenants we use our agency to embrace more of the love and protection He wants to give us.

So lets recap. The four most important things that Ive learned from President Nelson about hesed are:

So there you have a quick introduction to hesed. If you want to join me in further study, President Nelson included a footnote in his message to a book by Kerry Muhlestein called God Will Prevail: Ancient Covenants, Modern Blessings, and the Gathering of Israel. President Nelson said that in this book we could find a comprehensive discussion regarding hesed and the everlasting covenant. Ive begun studying the book and found myself wanting to copy and paste large sections of it into the notes app on my phone to reference later. Here are a few of my favorite points so far:

After all my study, I am even more excited for the upcoming October 2022 general conference to see if President Nelson will yet again talk about hesed. But whether or not his talks specifically use the word hesed isnt so much the point. More important will be what we do after listening to him speak. Our change in heart and action will be what enables each of us to walk more firmly on the covenant paththe path of hesed.

View original post here:

Have you paid attention to the Hebrew word President Nelson keeps teaching about? - LDS Living

Related Posts


Comments are closed.

matomo tracker