This topic is something very special to my family, and me, especially with some recent experiences in our lives. I have known of the blessings and taught the power of the Atonement while on my mission and to the Primary children, but until recently I have gained an even stronger testimony of the true power of the Atonement.
To start, what is the Atonement?
In the 3rd Article of Faith we read, “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”
Jesus was in Jerusalem celebrating Passover with his disciples, which we know of as his Last Supper. They ate, sang reverent hymns, the Savior taught the ordinances of the sacrament, and the Savior prayed for all that were there. After the prayer was offered, Jesus and his disciples walked to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus asked his disciples to sit and wait, while he went to go pray.
“Jesus knew that he was about to face great suffering. The time of the Atonement had come. He went a short distance from his disciples and began to pray. As he made payment for all our sins, his pain was so great that he pleaded, ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.’
Following the Atonement, Jesus was arrested, tried, and crucified. After hanging on the cross for six hours, he said, ‘It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.’
The Atonement accomplished two things. First, all mankind will be resurrected. Second, those who repent of their sins can be forgiven. Christ revealed to Joseph Smith that, ‘I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.’ “
(The Atonement – The Friend March 1995)
The Savior was willing to experience our pains and afflictions; he showed humility and love towards all of us. When we are going through hard times, or when we feel like there is no one else that has experienced what we are going through – remember that our Savior Jesus Christ did. President James E. Faust taught, “Since the Savior has suffered anything and everything that we could ever feel or experience, He can help the weak to become stronger.
Our lives are filled with struggles, heartaches, and suffering. At some point in our lives we will experience pain in a way we will never be prepared for. It could be from a physical or mental injury, grieving for the death of a loved one, or failure in responsibilities personally, with our family, or occupations.
At times like this remember to do as the Apostle James taught, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10)
The Savior is ready to lift us and give us the strength we need to endure these struggles, heartaches, or suffering. All we need to do is ask.
Many times in the scriptures we hear the Savior declare, “Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.”
In those moments when life gets hard, we can feel like we’re alone, like there is no one who understands what we’re going through. When I’ve felt like this, I turn to the Savior and pray, and think of my favorite scripture in Isaiah 41:10 which reads, “Fear thou now, for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Last summer as Scott and I welcomed our daughter Emma into this world, we knew that things were going to be different. On our way to the hospital we prayed and asked for the peace, comfort, and strength to endure this difficult time we were entering.
It was a time of struggling, suffering and heartache for us, along with our family and friends. We welcomed this sweet girl into this world knowing that our time with her would be very short, due to her early arrival. The time we spent with her was sacred and a time we will always cherish.
When her little heart stopped beating, we knew that she had returned to our loving Heavenly Father and had fulfilled her purpose on earth. It was a sweet, yet heartbreaking moment for us that allowed us to turn to the Savior and the power of His Atonement to heal us.
It was hard. We didn’t understand why this had to happen to us, but looking back now, we see how much we have grown. The Savior lifted us and continues to lift us each and every day.
We turned to our Savior and asked him for the strength to carry on. He gave us the strength. We turned to him and asked him for comfort in such a trying time. He comforted us. We turned to him and asked for peace in our hearts. He brought peace into our hearts.
I know that the Savior is there. He hears and answers our prayers. We may not get the answers when we want them most, but in time, they will come. The Savior suffered everything, for each and every one of us. He knows the struggles, suffering, and heartaches we have experienced or will experience. Turn to Him; ask for his healing powers to bless you. He loves you and wants to help you. Ask for his help and let Him in.
I am beyond grateful for the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that because of the Savior’s atoning experience here on earth, our Savior is able to comfort, heal, and strengthen everyone. My faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement is what soothes my pain during times of trial and sorrow, allowing me to exclaim like the Apostle Paul, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I know I will be with my baby girl Emma again, someday.
I would like to close with Elder Dallin H. Oaks testimony as he shares, “One day all of these mortal burdens will pass away and there will be no more pain. I pray that we will all understand the hope and strength of our Savior’s Atonement: the assurance of immortality, the opportunity for eternal life, and the sustaining strength we can receive if only we will ask, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”