Today’s Talk: Strengthened By The Atonement of Jesus Christ
Lately I have been focused on studying the Atonement of Jesus Christ. What it means, and what it does, and how I can become completely converted to the Gospel by utilizing the Atonement in my life. And having just celebrated Easter, my mind is ever-focused on Him and that great sacrifice. There is so much to learn, so much to know. And while I know that I will never be able to fully comprehend it in this life, I still yearn to learn and grow in my testimony and knowledge of it.
Christ’s suffering for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, His death on the cross, and His triumphant resurrection all have different uses for us in our lives. Christ suffered so that He may know how to be with us in our time of need, He suffered for us so that we might repent in order to live with Him again, He died so that He might take up again His body, so that as He was resurrected we may be also. And there are many, many more ways His Atonement blesses us — now and through the eternities.
Alma explained this about the Atonement:
“And he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12).
Succor means “to run to, to give aid or relief”. How many times in our lives have we felt downtrodden, hopeless, depressed, brokenhearted, anxious, upset, or like a failure? This Earth life is not easy, and so we will all experience these negative emotions. But Christ is there. He is there for me and for you, and He can succor us perfectly, because He has been there. He has experienced the exact pain that you and I are suffering. He has “borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). And if we let Him, if we ask it of Him, He will run to us, and give us the strength to bear those griefs and sorrows.
Christ has borne it all. Not only our emotions, but our physical ailments, our temptations, literally every thing that hurts us, He has borne. He has been through it all. It is amazing and wonderful and terrifying all wrapped up in one. He did this for me, for you, for every single person who will ever live.
Because of Him, we can “do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]” (Philippians 4:13) and we need not fear for as He tells us: “I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed, for I am thy God and will still give thee aid. I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand. Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand” (Hymn 85, see Isaiah 41:10). Indeed, “Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot heal” (Hymn 115).
I bear witness that what Elder Oaks said is true:
Our Savior’s Atonement does more than assure us of immortality by a universal resurrection and give us the opportunity to be cleansed from sin by repentance and baptism. His Atonement also provides the opportunity to call upon Him who has experienced all of our mortal infirmities to give us the strength to bear the burdens of mortality. He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. He will bind up our wounds and care for us. The healing and strengthening power of Jesus Christ and His Atonement is for all of us who will ask. I testify of that as I also testify of our Savior, who makes it all possible.
I add my testimony to his. We do have a Savior and through His strengthening power we can make it through life’s toughest twists and turns. He will bind our brokeness, He will buoy us up, He will give us strength.
Oh sweet, the joy this sentence gives. I know that my Redeemer lives. (Hymn 136)
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
(If you’d like to read and learn more about his principle, please read Elder Bednar’s talk The Atonement and The Journey of Mortality. These two talks together are an amazing resource, and are two of my very favorite talks to study and share.)