W. Justin Dyer Making Burdens Light in Religious Education


In his devotional address, W. Justin Dyer, a professor of religious education at BYU, discussed the concept of making burdens light. Drawing from his experience teaching the Eternal Family course, Dyer emphasized the importance of understanding and embracing religious burdens as followers of Jesus Christ. He highlighted the positive impact of religious practices on mental health, community involvement, physical health, and family relationships. Dyer also addressed the connection between religion and mental health within the LGBT community. He clarified that his research aims to help people comprehend the benefits of religion and how to best serve others.

The Power of Religion in Easing Burdens

Community of Covenant Caring

Dyer acknowledged that religious communities provide a unique support system for individuals facing various trials. He emphasized that true religion calls for individuals to lighten each other’s burdens and create a caring community. While some members may not always treat others well, Dyer emphasized the importance of embodying the true principles of religion by supporting and uplifting one another.

An Eternal Perspective

Religion offers believers an eternal lens through which to view their current hardships. Dyer explained that suffering becomes doubly heavy when individuals cannot see beyond their immediate struggles. By embracing an eternal perspective, individuals can find solace and hope in the knowledge that their current trials are temporary and will ultimately lead to greater blessings.

Divine Patterns of Living

Dyer highlighted the role of divine patterns of living, such as following the Honor Code at BYU, in easing burdens. While adhering to guidelines and commandments may initially appear burdensome, Dyer argued that they ultimately alleviate other hardships and help individuals become their true selves. Choosing to embrace these divine patterns of living allows individuals to align their lives with the teachings of Jesus Christ and experience the blessings that come from following His example.

Understanding the True Nature of God

Dyer emphasized the importance of understanding the true nature of God in order to perceive religion as a source of light rather than heaviness. When individuals view God as compassionate, personal, sympathetic, and near at hand, their religious experience becomes more meaningful and their burdens become lighter. Dyer encouraged individuals to live the Gospel patiently, recognizing that God has an infinitely loving nature and desires their success.


In conclusion, Dyer testified of the worthiness and significance of taking on Christ’s burden. He emphasized that bearing His name is a choice that allows individuals to have faith in Him and yoke themselves with the one who bears their burdens, sins, sorrows, and griefs. Dyer highlighted the choice to allow Christ to carry them on eagles’ wings and bring them home. He encouraged individuals to recognize the blessings within religion, despite the imperfections of its followers, and to rejoice in the knowledge that Christ’s Church has come. With faith and trust in Christ, burdens become light, and individuals can find peace, joy, and ultimate salvation.

This article was written by Emma Butler and is based on the devotional address given by W. Justin Dyer, a professor of religious education at BYU. The original address can be found at https://experience-wellbeing.com.