Thursday, March 28, 2013

For the Benefit of All

I can't believe that Easter is a mere three days away; it really crept up on me this year! Granted, it is earlier this year than usual, but still… time goes so quickly! (Do you know why Easter is when it is? I recently learned that it's determined like this: As a general rule, Easter falls on the first Sunday, following the first full moon after the first day of spring. Now you know!)

I recently used this quote when teaching Sunday school to my class and I thought it was brilliant. It's from David A. Bednar, and I think it points out some valuable things about the Atonement that some people might not understand or may overlook. 

[I know when I read peoples' blogs I usually tend to quickly skim through quotes they use in their posts, especially if they're long, but this one is so good that I definitely  think it's worth taking the time to read.]

The journey of mortality is to go from bad to good to better and to have our very natures changed. Most of us know that when we do wrong things, we need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives. The Savior has paid the price and made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints–for good men and women who are obedient, worthy and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully. We may mistakenly believe that we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves, through sheer grit, willpower and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities, but that is not the case.

The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, “No one understands. No one knows.” No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our lives. He can reach out, touch, succor – literally run to us – and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying on upon only our own power.

I think most people that are familiar with the Atonement know the part about Jesus paying the price for our sins. This part of the Atonement is vital for all of us since we all make mistakes. If there were no way for us to repent and be forgiven, we would all be lost.

There is another side to the Atonement that I don't think is as widely realized or understood. When Jesus suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, He also experienced the pains, anguishes and afflictions that people experience in mortality.

I think this is an invaluable piece of knowledge that everyone in the world would benefit from knowing and understanding. I personally find it easier to face adversity and go through trials knowing that I can "lean on Jesus' arm" and receive Strength from Him when I'm sad, discouraged, in pain or when I feel like no one else understands what I'm going through. Just like the quote said, even if no one else understands what you go through, Jesus does, because He "felt and bore our burdens."

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter as they remember Christ and His selfless sacrifice on our behalf. Have a blessed day!


Elaine said...

Beautifully said, Heather. And Elder Bednar's quote is worth reading regularly. Thanks for posting it. HappyEaster to you and your Mom. Love you both!

Lisa said...

Thanks for the lovely quote. Happy Easter to you and your family!

Tina said...

I love reading your testimony Heather.

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