Think of a time when you’ve really been in need and someone was there to help you. Was it a friend or a stranger? Maybe you made a new friend that day as they attended to you to succor you in your hour of need.
From Webster’s 1828 dictionary, the word succor means, “Literally, to run to, or run to support; hence, to help or relieve when in difficulty, want or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering.”
This gives us a sense of the urgency which the word implies. It’s not merely to reach out and comfort someone, but as soon as we see a need, we run to and meet that need.
I am reminded of several touching stories I have heard over the years of people in distress, and “good Samaritans” who have run to help those in need. The yellow-shirted “helping hands” and other organizations who similarly run to help those in need. A disaster strikes and people use vacation days at work to go help those people. What a great example of love for fellow man and following the commandment to succor the weak and those in need. We all find ourselves in need of help in one form or another from time to time.
My own family has gone through some very challenging struggles and what a blessing it’s been to have someone step in and help when we didn’t know how we were going to get through. There is a difference as well between organize help like a planned service project, and then the next level which is following the promptings of the spirit to bless someone who may be crying out for help but doesn’t even know where to turn but to plead to God that he will send someone to help. I sometimes experience the spiritually painful realization that I may have rejected a prompting to help someone and perhaps prolonged their suffering. This guilt is a spiritual pain that helps remind me to act faster and with greater sensitivity the next time. I believe this is a planned experience for us as God shapes us into the servants he desires us to be.
There is a real need for both physical, emotional, and spiritual injury and pain in life. Each injury awakens us to a level of reality we wouldn’t recognize without suffering. Physical injuries (separation of something in our body) and pain may require physical therapy, emotional (separation from others) may require emotional therapy, and spiritual (separation from God), spiritual therapy. Injuries can be devastating in a variety of ways and there are various modalities available to deal with injuries and pain to bring relief and comfort.
Spiritual pain gets relief from the comforter. Some ignore the comforter and rely on the arm of flesh and their own wisdom to see themselves through the challenges of life, failing to believe there is anyone there capable of succoring them, yet we see in the scriptures, that Christ suffered for us specifically to succor us in our needs.
For the righteous, spiritual pain works in us to soften our hearts until we are finally at the point that the addict community calls “rock bottom”. The point where we call upon a higher power to reach down and lift us up and get us out of the pit of despair we find ourselves in. Till then, like the addict, we don’t admit we have a problem, even when we do. We are all addicted to sin, the natural man, and living life the way we want until we give it up willingly and forcefully. I’m reminded of the song “Beautiful History” by Plumb which contains the line: “I’ve wasted so much time, doing what I wanted to.” God is helping us write a beautiful history, though we can’t often recognize it in life’s challenges. Check out the beautiful song here:
The greatest challenge we face in life is giving up what we want to do, rejecting the natural man, and living the life Christ did to succor the weak and weary and provide comfort to others as he would do. Lets get into the scriptures now.
This will pull in both the British version of the word used in the King James version of the Bible (succour), and the American spelling used in the Book of Mormon, and remove the reference to the place “Succoth.”
The word succor is used a few times in the Old Testament but always in reference to larger groups of people. However, in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, we see an individual use of the term.
Decide if you want to remove the Old Testament verses or not, and then create a collection note. Also look for where it’s appropriate to add previous or next verses like Alma 4:13 should have verses 12 and 14 added to get the context of what verse 13 is saying, and the promise contained in verse 14.
Copy/paste the definition of succor into the master note area, and then review each of the verses.
As you review the small set of verses, keep in mind the urgent nature of the word succor.
Copy/paste these questions into your master collection note and then answer them as you read the scriptures.
In what ways does Christ succor us?
In what ways are we to succor others?
When does the Lord not succor us?
What are the blessings that come from succoring others?
Please share one of your impressions in the comment section below.
(image from Wang Shuang © 123RF.com)
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