Monthly Archives: August 2015

How the Atonement of Jesus Christ Helps Me In My Darkest Hours

Today’s scripture study took me to this scripture about Jesus Christ:

“And l, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.” Mosiah 3:7

Which took me to this marvelous quote by Neal A. Maxwell:

“Imagine, Jehovah, the Creator of this and other worlds, ‘astonished’! Jesus knew cognitively what He must do, but not experientially. He had never personally known the exquisite and exacting process of an atonement before. Thus, when the agony came in its fulness, it was so much, much worse than even He with his unique intellect had ever imagined! No wonder an angel appeared to strengthen him! (SeeLuke 22:43.

“The cumulative weight of all mortal sins—past, present, and future—pressed upon that perfect, sinless, and sensitive Soul! All our infirmities and sicknesses were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement. (See Alma 7:11–12;Isaiah 53:3–5; Matthew 8:17.) The anguished Jesus not only pled with the Father that the hour and cup might pass from Him, but with this relevant citation. ‘And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me’ (Mark 14:35–36).

“Had not Jesus, as Jehovah, said to Abraham, ‘Is any thing too hard for the Lord?’ (Genesis 18:14). Had not His angel told a perplexed Mary, ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible’? (Luke 1:37; see alsoMatthew 19:28; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27).

“Jesus’ request was not theater!

“In this extremity, did He, perchance, hope for a rescuing ram in the thicket? I do not know. His suffering—as it were, enormity multiplied by infinity—evoked His later soul-cry on the cross, and it was a cry of forsakenness. (See Matthew 27:46.)

“Even so, Jesus maintained this sublime submissiveness, as He had in Gethsemane: ‘Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt’ (Matthew 26:39)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1985, 92; orEnsign, May 1985, 72–73).

And that marvelous quote made me think back on those moments when I relied on the atonement to get me through my darkest hours.

Many ask HOW – 

HOW do we apply the atonement in times of great grief or pain?

For me, in those unbearable moments when one wonders if they can even breathe and the weight of grief on the heart threatens to tear you asunder, I pray. I pray and pray, pleading for help and some how, as though rays of sun forcing themselves through the thickest, darkest storm clouds, a calm and peace settles in my heart and mind, and I know God is with me, taking in his hands my burdens. And I turn myself over to him, accepting His will, no matter how agonizing it may be, because I trust Him. I believe Him. I believe His promises of eternal families, and that with Him all things are possible.

I remind myself each day that as I allow the spirit to comfort my heart and to feel the peace He is trying to pour into my soul, that I am strong enough, somehow, some way, to make it through the storm. And I look, I look for those bits of light and the more I look, the more I see, until hope shines upon my face with the full brightness of the sun, and in that moment, I know. I know the atonement is working in my heart and life.

And the amazing thing is, the more I open my heart, the more peace He pours in. The pain isn’t gone, it is still there, but the peace He gives, wraps it and buffers it until is is manageable. And hope – one of the greatest gifts of the atonement, because it pushes us to keep going, to keep trying, even when we fear all is lost or impossible.

So, back to HOW?

1-  I believe. I believe His words and promises are meant for ME!

2 – I pray – pleading and begging for relief.

3 – Just as the Savior did, I must accept God’s will – only then will the healing come.

4 – I strive to see the peace and open my heart to the Spirit. I allow myself to be comforted and filled with love and hope from the Savior. Sometimes this is so hard – it’s easy to miss – sometimes that peace might feel so fleating, or like a weak flickering candle in a vast darkness, but every time I grasp onto it, that peace grows as long as I am willing to let it into my heart.

It is a deeply personal and unique process and experience. It is most likely very different for others. But to me it is beautiful and each day, time, moment that I apply it in my life I feel my love and connection with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ increase. My faith increases and my soul is filled with an overwhelming hope that all will be fine in the end and that our family will be together for eternity. And, while the days feel long until I see my Lizy again, I know I will see her. And I know I have a loving Savior and Heavenly Father who will help me through the hard times until that day comes.

How greatly we are blessed. How much I have learned and grown. How much I still have to learn and grow. I love this beautiful plan that Heavenly Father has created for us.

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In the eyes of a seven-year-old

Today we took the family up to Indianapolis to see the new temple (for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Before a temple is dedicated there is an open house where the public is able to walk through the various rooms of the temple to see and enjoy the beauty and to learn more about them. We were all so excited to go and we had a wonderful experience. I think for me, the best part was after we came home. We wanted the children to write their experiences in their journals.

James and Jacob (7 and 10) asked for help (Robert I am just going to have him draw some pictures in the morning, etc) in getting their thoughts onto paper. I didn’t tell them what to say, just let them talk to me and I wrote their words for them.

Jacob’s was neat and mentioned things like “I felt loved when I went into the temple”, “the Celestial room was white and bright and the stained glass windows made little rainbows on the floor”, and “we walked down the hallway filled with pictures of Jesus’ life”.

James’ however, especially for his young age of 7, astounded me. With his permission, I share with you his words:

“Today I went to the Indianapolis Temple Open House. In the temple I saw the baptismal font and the celestial room. We saw an instruction room with beautiful paintings on the walls from floor to ceiling. We saw the other instruction room and it was bright. I saw the room that people get married in. I saw the mirrors and when you look in them they go forever and ever. I saw the women’s locker room and where the front doors and recommend desk are. I saw the chapel and beautiful chandeliers.

We didn’t speak in the celestial room. I felt warm. I felt the spirit. I touched the side of the temple. I liked all the beautiful paintings. Outside there was a beautiful fountain. We also saw the bride’s room.

I was so excited to go and I am so happy I did!

There were beautiful stained glass windows too. I really, really felt the spirit. I saw the lightning stick on top of Angel Moroni. I learned families can be together forever. Even when we die they go forever and ever like the mirrors.”

 

I don’t think I could share any more or any better – so simple so beautiful.  I love seeing things through the eyes of a child.

Below is a video of a virtual tour of the Indianapolis temple so you can see and enjoy the same beauty my boys and the rest of our family did.

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