Save $$$ on Therapy With This ONE Verse

You know how it is when you re-read scriptures – there is always something new. As I have been studying the Doctrine and Covenants, I have found all sort of little things that, to me, are gems. This in one of them. (And it could save you countless hours in, and dollars on, therapy.)

As Joseph Smith waited for months to be freed from his horrible conditions in Liberty Jail, he received and wrote what have now become sections 121, 122 and 123.  Everybody knows 121. (Top 5 list of chapters of scripture, IMHO)  But what I have been thinking about for the past few weeks is the very last verse, of the very last letter, that he wrote to the saints from his dungeon at Liberty.

Section 123:17

“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God; and for his arm to be revealed.”

There it is. Let it sink in and improve your life and help you retain your sanity.

What?  You would like me to delve deeper?  If you insist…

First of all, no, I am not referring to the part about doing things cheerfully. Great advice. It would yield great blessings, and I wish I were better at it.  The part I am referring to is this:

“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God; and for his arm to be revealed.”

More specific?  Here:

“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all THINGS THAT LIE IN OUR POWER and then may we stand still, with utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God; and for his arm to be revealed.”

That is the big secret – to spend out time, effort, and emotion on things that we can impact – things we can fix, change, or do.

Remember, this was written by a prophet who was locked up in a jail, while the people he loved were outside being killed, raped, and hunted. And Joseph was absolutely powerless to do anything about it. Powerless.

How much of your collective stress is caused by things you can’t control? Me? I can’t even read the news without getting upset over something that is going on that I have no control over. People around me frequently exercise their God-given agency in ways that are harmful to me and my family – and I am powerless to do anything to prevent it.

Reinhold Niebuhr got it, (Link here) and his poem was scrunched down until it became known as the “Serenity Prayer.”

There are enough things in my life to worry about that I do have power to affect, that time and energy wasted worrying about the things that are out of my reach becomes self-sabatoging.


“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God; and for his arm to be revealed.”

More specific?  OK:

“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God; and for his arm to be revealed.”

Know what that is?  Faith. Utmost assurance is faith. We have to have faith that if we do all that is in our power, God will take care of the rest.

That is the kind of faith we reach for when we are sitting in hospital waiting rooms, or on our knees wondering what will become of a wayward child – as we wait for God’s “arm to be revealed.” Whether it be a work problem, a family crisis, or anything that causes us to feel powerless, we can choose to be still and wait on the Lord. That is a seemingly difficult choice to make, but it can be emotionally liberating.

The ultimate example of this concept is the very Atonement of Jesus Christ.  We can do everything in our power, but ultimately, we are absolutely, completely, powerless to reach salvation. All we can do – and all we need to do – is what lies within our power, then stand still to see the salvation of God.

With utmost assurance.

About the author


  1. This post shows the value of pondering the scriptures. Your method of high lighting different portions with commentary was very, very instructive. Not only did it teach a concept but a way of processing scriptures. Thank you.

  2. We had a missionary couple serving in our ward, who said, do what you can do, place your needs and faith before the Lord, putting your situation in His hands, and *stand back and watch* as He brings it all together.

  3. People forget under stress that there is always a third option: in addition to option a and b…there’s option c. Waiting for the arm of the lord to be revealed. Takes faith…I agree. Good job not going to that strip club! Ack!

  4. Thanks for that! I needed the reminder. I do think that part of what I can do is pray. Even in my most helpless moments, I can still pray. Part of the waiting is sincerely saying “thy will be done” and with utmost assurance, I know that his will is better than mine. That is a lesson I have had to relearn several times.

  5. I call this verse my NFS…New Favorite Scripture. It’s still my NFS though it has been years since I found it once when reading in the Doctrine & Covenants. I’d never heard it quoted before so it felt like my own personal discovery. Now it guides my life!

  6. I should have read this when you first posted it. You know how things are toddling along quite well and you wonder when the other shoe is going to drop? Well, ours dropped this last month and I have been trying to fix things and then when that didn’t work, trying to have faith that, in the end, things will work out. This post was comforting and a good reminder that I’m not in charge. Darn it.

  7. I can’t tell you how much this scripture and this post means to me right now…it was a literal answer to prayers. It’s amazing how studying ONE scripture and analyzing it can bring countless insights and lessons. It’s my new favorite scripture.

  8. First thought that came to my mind after reading your post was “I stand in awesome wonder”. Love your insight. Thank you. M-cat knows how to share a good thing when she sees it:)

  9. Love this so much, absolutely wonderful. While dealing with infertility we knew what we were supposed to do, even though doctors told us we would need expensive therapies. We were patient, followed our promptings and had faith. It was something we could not control. Totally out of our hands and that was hard, very hard, for a long time. We are now expecting and know the Lord’s time table is not our own. He has a much greater plan in mind for us than we could ever imagine possible.

  10. I have to chime in with the others and say this is very timely and just what I needed to hear. This is why I helped with that whole new computer thing awhile back. Either you have ESP and know what I need to hear, or you are an instrument in God’s hands using your talents as He inspires you to do so. I think I’ll go with the whole instrument thing. I truly appreciate your insights and the time you take to share them on your blog. Thank you for blessing my life and for nourishing my spirit!

  11. I just taught D&C 121 in my Primary class today, and getting down into detail like this is the icing on the cake. Thank you.

  12. How timely! This is what I needed to hear right now as well and that scripture brought me great comfort. Thank you so much for sharing your insight and perspective.

  13. This scripture is my favorite. An anchor that I go to when I’m falling, failing or feel like I can’t do everything (and I can’t). Thanks for breaking it down and helping me realize that I still need to live this every moment. Thanks!

  14. Thank you for this post. Did you write it just for me? I haven’t looked in on your blog for some time, but for some reason had a moment to do so tonight and found this post that is totally, totally where I am at right now. Thanks again.

  15. Great post…honestly I never could have imagined that you would tell a story about a strip club, what an awkward situation that had to have been…Thanks for sharing…

  16. Wow. I know that everyone else is pretty much saying the same thing….but you definitely just HIT me over the head with this post today.

    I kid you not…..I have an appointment at my doctor’s tomorrow to see about getting a “doctor’s note” for the insurance company of the man who hit me with his truck earlier this Spring. I was just standing on a corner waiting for traffic to go by. I was in the hospital, then a wheelchair, and leg brace. I am out of all those three jails now….but still waiting on two more surgeries. I thought I was doing pretty well. I am now suffering from PTS. Post Traumatic Stress.

    I literally laughed out loud when I read your post title here.

    I loved reading every word. Thank you.

  17. I think this is another example of how infinite the atonement is. It doesn’t just apply to our sins. No matter how hard we try, it won’t be enough, there is still so much we can’t control. But that is OK. We can know that the Lord will take care of the rest.

  18. You are a marvel, MMM. This was profoundly deep and thought-provoking, and something I needed to hear. I appreciate you following the Spirit and writing things you are prompted to write. Thank you.

  19. Thank You!!!! I have found in my life that trying to control others is not the Lord’s way. when I began to do what the Lord wanted for ME, I became a better daughter of god.

  20. Well, as someone working on getting my masters in counseling I would appreciate you not sharing something so ‘simple’ & possibly cutting into my future income! =)

    But seriously …. Amen! It’s a universal problem – worrying about things we have no control over. Loved your perspective & the personal story. Keep up the awesome work.

  21. Thank you so much. This is my all time favorite scripture and you have done such a beautiful job of reminding me of the part I need to focus on. Wonderful!

  22. Thank you once again for inspiring posts. My spouse and I recently packed up our things and moved several states away in order to be closer to family. We prayed and fasted for what would work best for us, as I was under considerable stress… the recent death of a close family member and a job that was killing me with stress and overwork. I was far past the point of exhaustion and could see no way out, yet I began receiving reassurance that this move was what was needed… that everything would work out. Well we have put our faith in the Lord and in his reassurances. I was belittled afterwards by my supervisor at the old job (one of the stressers that I needed to walk away from) for doing this “on blind faith”… which, I admit, surprised and upset me. We put our trust in He who loves us and knows us most of all… we had the prompting to move, we had the gentle reassurances (and still do) that all will work out, and that is what we are doing. I haven’t found work yet, and the hubs’ job went from one week of full time down to 8 hours this coming week (eek!) but I have faith that it will work out. I am doing my utmost to find work, and the hubs is looking for something new as well, and I know that if we continue to do our part that the Lord will help us to make it okay. Already the stress and health issues that the old job had built up in me are slowly being released and I find myself beginning to relax for the first time in 6 years. I have lived with this stress for so long now that this release alone was well worth whatever the move brings us. While it brings a financial hardship, I am grateful for this time off to be able to allow my body to heal itself… and maybe the Lord is allowing for that… all I know is that for the first time in a long time I have no fear in what may be… and that is good enough for me.

  23. Yep. That’s my motto: Give your good energy to the things you can control, and let the rest go. Interesting how it applies to work and to raising children. I have three active children and four who will not come. I raised them right, am trying to be a good example, and I don’t change my conversation when they’re around to eliminate “churchy” talk. But I can’t make their choices for them. My charge at this point is to love them and be a happy parent, so they’ll want to return when they’re ready. It’s sad to me, but it doesn’t cripple me emotionally like it did at the start.

  24. I am very grateful that you listen to promptings. Heavenly Father has been wanting me to learn this lesson for a while now and have had a hard week with it but have found comfort in your post today. Thank you.

Add your 2¢. (Be nice.)

%d bloggers like this: