Following a discussion on the new LDS Presidency, I participated in another Mormon Matters discussion on the meaning of sustaining with Jenne Alderks, Claudia Bushman, Christian Harrison, and Dan Wotherspoon. Sustaining is a powerful principle and practice we can choose to live to hold one another up. Scriptures describe how God sustains us:
“I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.” (Psalm 3:4-5)
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)
“he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.” (Isaiah 59:16)
“forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing;” (Nehemiah 9:21)
God’s patience, grace, listening, strengthening, and lifting in these scriptures should be our model for what sustaining means.
In the discussion we talk about problematic notions of sustaining, where they come from, how they can harm us and others, and ways forward which move us closer to God. As we extend that same patience, grace, listening, strengthening, and lifting towards one another we can invite that spirit into how we sustain in our faith.