Today I just want to keep it simple and testify of my Savior. I know that He is real and that He lives still today. I know that He loves me and knows me even better than I know myself. Whenever I receive answers to my prayers that I don’t really like or don’t understand, I still do my best to do as He asks because I know He’s asking me to do something that will make me happier than I could ever be if I were to choose to do whatever I wanted to do. I know that He died for me and that He made it possible for me to overcome more than just my sins. The Atonement of Jesus Christ doesn’t cover just sins. One of my favorite scriptures of the Atonement is Alma 7:11-14. It says:
“11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 12 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 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. 13 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. 14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.”
Interestingly enough, Christ suffering for our sins isn’t even mentioned until verse 13. The things listed first as to what He suffered for are pains, afflictions, temptations, death, and infirmities. Our sins are only a small part of our suffering, though sometimes, that may be the only reason for our sufferings. Christ knows we’re not perfect. He knows our tendencies to give in to temptation and make mistakes and to get hurt emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Yet despite all those tendencies, I know He will ALWAYS be there, never looking away from me and never saying I’m not good enough or that I’ve made too many mistakes and there’s no saving me after all that. Instead, I know He’ll choose to say “I know you’re not perfect but I love you anyway because I know who you can be. I’ve given a gift to take away all the pains and mistakes you’ve ever experienced and I’ll never take it away. But I’m just asking you… Please, don’t throw away My gift.”
One of my favorite talks is called “His Grace Is Sufficient” by Brad Wilcox who spoke of his understanding of the love of our Savior. When he was younger, he always imagined that if he didn’t live a righteous life and wasn’t worthy to enter into the kingdom of God, Judgment Day would be himself pleading with God to just let him into the Celestial Kingdom and forgive him of all he’d done wrong. As he’s come to understand the love of God, he’s realized that it won’t be like that at all. It will more likely be Jesus Christ pleading with each of us to take His precious gift – the Atonement – and be made clean so we can enter into His Kingdom. I know that to be true. If we choose to forsake Him and turn away from Him in this life, it will still be us doing the same in the next. He will never stop pleading for us to come to Him, no matter how much we choose to turn away.
Just above my desk in my room, I’ve hung a picture of the Savior. Next to it is a piece of paper made by my seminary class when I was a sophomore in high school. We were studying the New Testament, specifically Matthew 15:15 when our teacher had asked us to write words to describe who Jesus Christ is. In each of the answers from the students is a testimony and a witness of who Christ is and always will be. Here’s what 14-18 year old high school students said in reply to the question “But whom say ye that I am”:
“Jesus Christ is for me.”
“He is my Savior, my Brother, an example and the Son of God.”
“Jesus Christ is the Savior, Redeemer and He is perfect.”
“He is my Savior and Redeemer. He is my best friend and He will never hurt me. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the ultimate Hero, my Big Brother and someone who cares so much that He suffered and died for ALL mankind.”
“He is my best friend that sets the best example and who I try to follow.”
“He is the one who died for me. Who cares. Who’s there.”
“Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Great Redeemer and our Savior.”
“He is the Savior, the one who will save us from wickedness.”
“Jesus is our Savior, Brother, Friend, Creator, Teacher and Example.”
“Jesus is my Savior. He is perfect, clean and pure.”
“Jesus Christ is the Savior and a Friend. He is the Creator of the Earth, my Witness before the bar of God and my Redeemer.”
“He is the Savior and the Father’s Only Begotten Son.”
“Christ is the Son of God, my Savior and Redeemer, the King of Kings. He is my brother who dwells in heaven, and He is the person I want most to be like. He is the one I look up to. He is my brother who protects me, who loves me and cares for me.”
I don’t know which one was mine. I can’t remember what I wrote because I know that all of those descriptions are true. I love my Savior. I know how much He loves me and I can’t wait to be able to wrap my arms around Him and thank Him for all He’s done for me. Until then, though, my thanks will have to be manifest through my thoughts, words and deeds. If I can exemplify Him through all I say and do, then I know that will be thanks enough for Him.
I feel my Savior’s love
In all the world around me.
His Spirit warms my soul
Through ev’rything I see.