Our Own Road to Emmaus
July 2023

“Our Own Road to Emmaus,” Liahona, July 2023.

Come, Follow Me

Luke 24:13–35

Our Own Road to Emmaus

Five simple activities can help us know that the Savior is always near.

Jesus and disciples on road to Emmaus

On the Road to Emmaus, by Wendy B. Keller, courtesy of Havenlight

My father died of cancer when I was 4 years old. I grew up wondering why he had to die. I questioned God and asked why life was so unfair. Ten years later, when I was 14, I met the missionaries. As they taught us, my mother felt that they were teaching the truth and that we should listen. When we joined the Church, the gospel of Jesus Christ and an understanding of the plan of salvation came into my life at a time when I really needed it.

Later, when I was sealed to my parents in the temple, my mother whispered to me, “I feel your father’s presence.” As I thought about the blessings of being sealed, I knew that the Lord was aware of our family and that He had been with us often, even when we were unaware.

Have you ever wondered if the Savior is aware of you? Does He know about your struggles and concerns? What would He say to you if you could walk and talk with Him?

He Walked with Them

Three days after the death of Jesus Christ, two of His disciples were walking along the road to the village of Emmaus, which is about seven miles (12 km) from Jerusalem. They were absorbed in their own thoughts and worries, when they were joined by a stranger.

The stranger asked, “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?”

The disciples spoke of the recent events “concerning Jesus of Nazareth.” They believed that Jesus had come to redeem Israel, but He had been unjustly condemned and crucified. They also said that those who knew Christ best were saying He had risen from the dead.

The stranger told them they were “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” He reviewed what the scriptures taught and how Christ had fulfilled prophecy. This filled the disciples with joy.

When they arrived at Emmaus, the disciples asked the stranger to “abide with [them].” At dinner the stranger blessed bread and broke it. Suddenly, the disciples recognized that the stranger was no stranger at all but the Savior Himself! (See Luke 24:13–32.)

He Abides with Us

We may wonder why the two disciples did not know the Savior was walking with them. And yet how often do we fail to understand that He walks with us? Often we are so focused on the challenges, and even the joys, in our daily lives that we do not see that the Savior is by our side.

We may not see how He stays with us, strives with us, works with us, and cries with us. Even in our saddest moments, if we take notice, we can feel Him with us and hear His words: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, emphasis added; see also Doctrine and Covenants 101:16).

Our Personal Road

We each have a destination to reach in this life. At times on our journey, we may face illness or we may struggle with our own weakness. We may have money problems or the challenges that come from success, wealth, and pride.

As we travel our personal road to Emmaus, we need never walk alone. We can ask the Savior to be with us. Here are five simple activities that will help us draw near to Him.

woman praying

Illustrations by Lovetta Reyes-Cairo

1. Pray Each Day

Prayer should come first in our daily lives. It can help us to receive Heavenly Father’s companionship and guidance. We can ask for strength to follow His Son and for the power of the Spirit, especially in the moments when our thoughts could lead us to sin.

Young Joseph Smith, while pleading with God in prayer for an answer, found the adversary trying to stop him (see Joseph Smith—History 1:16). Like Joseph, we must persist in prayer and trust that Heavenly Father never tires of listening to us. He will help us understand His timing and His answers.

open book of scriptures

2. Feast on the Scriptures

The Savior set an example for us by studying the scriptures. He quoted from them often as He taught. Regular scripture study helps us have a clear and open mind, a receptive heart that treasures the word of God, and hands ready to serve.

As we study the scriptures, the Holy Spirit can fill us with the desire to do good. It will sharpen our vision to see what natural eyes do not see. It will help us to hear the cries of the needy. We will be blessed to follow the Savior’s example of comforting those who stand in need of comfort (see Mosiah 18:8–9). Then as we face the tasks of the day, we will never walk alone. The Savior will walk with us one step at a time.

President Russell M. Nelson

3. Follow Living Prophets

We should follow the counsel of our dear prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, and the other prophets, seers, and revelators. Then we will find that our road to Emmaus will be safe and clear. They will safely guide us and help us to know that the Savior is with us.

two hands reaching toward each other

4. Invite Him to Abide

As we learn about Jesus Christ and as we obey His commandments, we invite the Savior to be with us. We learn to recognize His influence in our lives.

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus walked with the Savior, spoke with Him, and felt their hearts burn within them (see Luke 24:32). Their plea to Him, “Abide with us” (Luke 24:29), should also be our plea.

When the disciples recognized the Savior, He suddenly vanished from their sight. The disciples immediately returned to Jerusalem and testified to the Apostles that the Savior had risen. While they testified, the Lord again “stood in the midst of them” (Luke 24:36). We can also feel Him when He is in our midst.

sacrament water tray

5. Renew Covenants Regularly

The ordinances and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ can change our nature. President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “Our worship and application of eternal principles draw us closer to God and magnify our capacity to love.”1 For example, baptism allows the Lord to cleanse us. And if we are faithful and obedient, temple covenants and ordinances prepare us to live someday in the presence of both the Father and the Son.

The sacrament helps us remember and allows us to renew our covenants, to repent, and to try again. When we take the sacrament, we signify our willingness to take the name of Jesus Christ upon us and recommit to remembering Him and keeping His commandments. We are then promised that His Spirit will always be with us. (See Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79.) We should always remember the ordinances and covenants we have made.

Jesus reaching out to others

The Savior Will Be Near

On our own road to Emmaus, the Savior lovingly invites us to come unto Him and rejoice in Him. As we pray each day, feast on the scriptures, follow the living prophets, invite Him to abide with us, and renew and honor our covenants, He will be near us. We will then come to know, as the disciples on the road to Emmaus came to know, that Jesus Christ is risen and that He truly lives and loves us.

I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He is eager to be with us and to guide us safely on our way.