Give Us This Day

Only two more days until the 184th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! In preparation, today’s “countdown message” is about life, challenges, and bread.

When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, he included that we need to ask God for daily physical sustenance, as well as daily help & guidance:

"Give Us This Day Our daily Bread" Matthew 6:11

“Give Us This Day Our daily Bread” Matthew 6:11

When an apostle of Jesus Christ recently addressed a group of college students, he gave the following wisdom about “daily” living:

I do not minimize in any way the importance of thinking and planning ahead. Thoughtful planning and preparation are key to a rewarding future, but we do not live in the future—we live in the present.

It is day by day that we work out our plans for the future; it is day by day that we achieve our goals. It is one day at a time that we raise and nurture our families. It is one day at a time that we overcome imperfections. We endure in faith to the end one day at a time. It is the accumulation of many days well lived that adds up to a full life and a saintly person.

– D. Todd Christofferson, Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

As a child, whenever I felt overwhelmed by a homework assignment or practicing the piano (either one pretty much a daily guarantee for meltdown) my mother would say “You don’t eat an elephant in one bite!” She would then help me “break it [my metaphorical elephant] down” into smaller goals and tasks spread out over several hours, days or even weeks.

In his speech, Elder Christofferson described this coping strategy similarly:

Asking God for our daily bread, rather than our weekly, monthly, or yearly bread, is also a way to focus us on the smaller, more manageable bits of a problem. To deal with something very big, we may need to work at it in small, daily bites. Sometimes all we can handle is one day (or even just part of one day) at a time.

Here is a video inspired by this talk!

I don’t know about you, but I’m a big worrier. I need a [constant] reminder to take life one day and one step at a time, which always makes me breathe a little easier. Instead of being crushed by the giant of any problem, it helps me to focus on the choices and routines of my day.

Breaking our problems into “small, daily bites” takes on a deeper meaning when we remember that our Savior referred to Himself as the living “Bread of Life“:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

I am that bread of life…

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

[John 6:35, 47–51]

While I was pondering today’s subject of “daily bread” and “Bread of Life”, I thought of the sacramental bread and water which members of our church partake of each Sunday “in Remembrance” of our Savior’s atoning sacrifice (representing his body and blood). sacrament-bread-and-waterWe eat and drink these tokens as a renewal of our baptismal covenant to keep His commandments, follow and “always remember Him“. And in return, He promises His Spirit to to be with us. (D&C20:77,79)

I like the idea of the bread being broken down into bite-sized pieces. Perhaps these weekly pieces of bread can stand as a gentle but powerful reminder that He really is in the very smallest details of our daily lives. When things start to feel overwhelming, we have been promised that He will get us through it one bite at a time, “always“. – MoSop

Come feast on more Daily Bread at General Conference! Broadcasting LIVE and tape delayed Saturday and Sunday, October 4 and 5, 2014 from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Check out a list of all options to enjoy Conference HERE.

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