Living Water is a familiar phrase to all students of the Bible and especially to Christians who well-remember the Savior’s teaching to the woman at Jacob’s well.
- He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee.
- And he must needs go through Samaria.
- Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
- Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
- There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
- (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
- Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
- Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
- The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
- Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
- Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
- But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
- The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.John 4:3–15
Living water is “a symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings. As water is essential to sustain physical life, the Savior and His teachings (living water) are essential for eternal life.” Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught, “By living the gospel of Jesus Christ, we develop within ourselves a living spring that will quench eternally our thirst for happiness, peace, and everlasting life.”
- What is the most valuable substance or commodity in the world? We might initially think that gold, oil, or diamonds have the greatest worth. But of all the minerals, metals, gems, and solvents found on and in the earth, the most valuable is water.
- Life springs from water. Life is sustained by water. Water is the medium required to perform the various functions associated with all known forms of life. Our physical bodies are approximately two-thirds water. Whereas a person can survive for many days or even weeks without food, an individual will usually die in only three or four days without water. Most of the world’s great centers of population are situated near sources of fresh water. Simply stated, life could not exist without the availability of and access to adequate supplies of clean water.
- Given the vital role of water in sustaining all forms of life, the Savior’s use of the term “living water” is supernally significant.
- The living water referred to in this episode [the story of the Savior teaching the woman at the well] is a representation of the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel. And as water is necessary to sustain physical life, so the Savior and His doctrines, principles, and ordinances are essential for eternal life. You and I need His living water daily and in ample supply to sustain our ongoing spiritual growth and development.
He further taught that the “scriptures contain the words of Christ and are a reservoir of living water to which we have ready access and from which we can drink deeply and long.”
Elder Bruce R. McConkie defined living water as “the words of eternal life, the message of salvation, the truths about God and his kingdom; it is the doctrines of the gospel.” He also explained, “Where there are prophets of God, there will be found rivers of living water, wells filled with eternal truths, springs bubbling forth their life-giving draughts that save from spiritual death.”
Elder Wirthlin noted the world’s need for living water.
- These latter days are a time of great spiritual thirst. Many in the world are searching, often intensely, for a source of refreshment that will quench their yearning for meaning and direction in their lives. They crave a cool, satisfying drink of insight and knowledge that will soothe their parched souls. Their spirits cry out for life-sustaining experiences of peace and calm to nourish and enliven their withering hearts.
- Indeed, “there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.” Let us work with all our heart, might, mind, and strength to show our thirsty brothers and sisters where they may find the living water of the gospel, that they may come to drink of the water that springs “up unto everlasting life.”
Presiding Bishop H. David Burton spoke of offering living water of Jesus Christ to others through our example, service, and sharing of His gospel.
- It is this living water, freely offered by Jesus Christ, that we all seek to quench our own spiritual thirst and that is critically needed to end the gospel drought that continues to plague mankind. As His disciples, we are the primary distribution system for delivering the living water from its everlasting source to His cherished children in need. We largely determine who will receive the water as we, by our service, control the irrigation system headgates. We preserve the purity of the water as we reflect to the world the value of the living water in our own lives. If we irrigate when the living water is required, rather than when it is convenient for us, we determine its vitality. It is only the living water of Jesus Christ that can and will bring a happy, successful, and everlasting life to the children of men.
- References to living water are also found in Isaiah 12:3; Jeremiah 2:13; Zechariah 14:8; John 7:37–38; Revelation 7:17; 1 Nephi 11:25; Doctrine and Covenants 10:66; Doctrine and Covenants 63:23; and Doctrine and Covenants 133:29.