I wonder if one of the most common human emotions might be a sense of feeling lost and alone when going through hardship. I have found that the trials in my life tend to come from three different sources. One, bad choices I have made. Two, harmful choices someone else has made. Three, just part of life and the human experience. But regardless of what has caused the struggle, I am almost always beset, at least in the beginning, with this feeling of being lost and alone.
When I was younger, I always thought of the atonement as being solely for cleansing me of my sins so that I could return to my Father in Heaven someday. As I learned more about my Savior Jesus Christ and His loving mercy, what a relief it was to learn that it covers so much more than that. It allows Him to heal us, strengthen us, restore us, comfort us, give us the ability to forgive, and give us hope.
Alma 7: 12-13 says,
“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowls 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. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless, the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.”
It is mind blowing to me that our Lord wanted so badly to understand me and how I am feeling that He would choose to come to earth and experience it for Himself. Through the Atonement, aside from wiping away my sins, He felt all the pain, heartache, sickness, disappointment, and discouragement I would ever feel. And He wanted to feel it so He would know exactly how to help me and heal me.
The word redeem means compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something, atone or make amends for, pay the necessary money to clear a debt, and buy the freedom of. This is exactly what Christ did for each of us. He saw enough value in you to pay the price to free you not only from your sins, but from your weaknesses, sadness, sickness, and fear. What a comfort to know that He is capable of helping us through our hardest times.
One of my mentors, Connie Sokol, describes the Atonement as a toolbelt with many different tools in it to assist us with almost anything and everything we could need help with in this life. Those tools are accessible to us at any time, we just have to learn how to use them better and then practice using them again and again until it becomes natural.
So, even though each trial that comes my way begins with a feeling of being forgotten, through the words of Isaiah and other prophets, I am reminded that I am never really forgotten and never truly alone. The Savior knows me and loves me. He knows exactly what I need and how best to comfort me, I just have to be willing to let Him.
In Isaiah 40, Isaiah teaches us that for those who wait upon the Lord, He “shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”
In that same chapter, we are promised that no matter what we are going through, He will carry us, lead us, give us power and increased strength. He will open our eyes with understanding. He will not let us drowned in our sorrows. He is there for us. He will carry us and deliver us.
In chapter 49 of Isaiah, we read Jesus’s response to Zion saying it has been forsaken and forgotten, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
He chose to be our Savior, to suffer, bleed and die for us. Through His atonement, He redeemed us. He will never forget us. We are His.
The Primary Manual for Come Follow Me is perfect for families with young children!
September Week 4 Lesson: September 19–25. Isaiah 40–49: “Comfort Ye My People” (churchofjesuschrist.org)
Click below to download these coloring pages from Rising Moon Adventures that I created to go with this lesson:
Primary Insights for Come Follow Me videos –
(46) Rising Moon Adventures Scripture Story Time – YouTube
Song 1: Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave
Song 2: Tell Your Heart Beat Again by Danny Gokey