This subject is one I feel particularly strongly about. I have a sincere, deep testimony that the Atonement is real, that the Savior feels all that we feel, and that through the atonement we can be healed. It is the most important part of my testimony, and the thing I feel that I know is true.
Elder Kent F. Richards’ talk covered all that I feel is true about the Savior’s atonement. We feel a lot of different kinds of pain in this life. “Pain is a gauge of the healing process.” And healing comes through the atonement. The purpose of this life was to experience pain and loss so that we can “know good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” (Moses 5:11)
Elder Richards quoted Elder Rober D. Hales who said, “Pain brings you to a humility that allows you to ponder. It is an experience I am grateful to have endured. …I learned that the physical pain and the healing of the body after major surgery are remarkably similar to the spiritual pain and the healing of the soul in the process of repentance.”
There are three different sources of pain. The first is the pain we experience simply because we live in an imperfect world. This would be physical pain that happens simply because it happens – pain caused by natural disasters, pain caused by health problems, and so forth. The second pain is pain caused by the actions of others. And the third is pain that we bring upon ourselves due to our sins.
No matter the source of our pain, no matter the severity, the Lord’s atonement will cover it. “The Savior is not a silent observer. He Himself knows personally and infinitely the pain we face.” When we truly believe that the Lord intimately knows our pain, I think we are more likely to come to Him for healing and saving. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 – emphasis added) I love the word “boldly” in this scripture. We do not need to be timid when coming unto the Savior. When we have faith the the Lord knows our pain in a complete and personal way, we can come to Him boldly, and partake in His grace, and be healed.
When the pain is caused due to our own sins, we may fall into Satan’s trap and think that atonement cannot (or maybe should not) heal us. But the Elder Richards’ testifies, “For this pain too there is a cure that is universal and absolute. It is from the Father, through the Son, and it is for each of us who is willing to do all that is necessary to repent. Christ said, ‘Will ye not now return unto me … and be converted, that I may heal you?’”
When are we done repenting? When have we been fully healed? “Perhaps His most significant work is in the ongoing labor with each of us individually to lift, to bless, to strengthen, to sustain, to guide, and to forgive us.” Until the judgment day, we are never done. The Lord is working on us every day until the perfect day.
This year as we studied the New Testament in Gospel Doctrine class, I was struck profoundly by the reminder that Christ chose to suffer for us. “He could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience.” (President Henry B. Eyring) No one made Him do it. Sure, he was foreordained for the atonement, but He still had to make the choice. “During His mortal life Christ chose to experience pains and afflictions in order to understand us. Perhaps we also need to experience the depths of mortality in order to understand Him and our eternal purposes.” I never thought of the second half of this statement – that perhaps our mortal experience is to help us understand Him. How can we ever understand the Savior? Perhaps by passing through the trials of mortality we can begin to understand the Savior and our eternal purpose.
As we approach the Lord for healing, it would be good for us to remember that sometimes the healing comes in a way we don’t expect. “Our mortal circumstances may not immediately change, but our pain, worry,suffering, and fear can be swallowed up in His peace and healing balm.” But it is significant to also remember that “All souls can be healed by His power. All pain can be soothed.”
I testify that through the atonement of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we can be healed – not matter the cause of our pain. He did, indeed, feel all our pain. He will heal us.
Have you experienced the Lord’s healing power? Do you boldly approach the Savior for healing? How patient are you in waiting for the Lord’s healing power?