I recently read the following story about a little girl:
“Katie Lewis is my neighbor. Her mother, Melanie, is a saint. And her older brother, Jimmie is battling leukemia. Melanie recently recounted for me the unspeakable fear and grief that came to their family when Jimmie’s illness was diagnosed.
She spoke of the tears and the waves of sorrow that Jimmie’s was. But like the faithful people they are, the Lewises turned to God with urgency, faith and hope. They fasted and prayed, prayed and fasted.
One day Melanie came home weary and worried, feeling the impact of so many days — and nights — of fear being held at bay only by monumental faith. As she entered her home, four-year-old Katie ran up to her with love in her eyes and a crumpled sheaf of papers in her hand. Holding the papers out to her mother, she said enthusiastically, “Mommy, do you know what these are?”
Melanie said her first impulse was to deflect Katie’s zeal and say she didn’t feel like playing just then. But she thought of all of her children and the regret of missed opportunities and little lives that pass too swiftly. So she smiled through her sorrow and said, “No, Katie. I don’t know what they are. Please tell me.”
“They are the scriptures,” Katie beamed back, “and do you know what they say?”
Melanie stopped smiling, gazed deeply at this little child, knelt down to her level and said, “Tell me, Katie, What do the scriptures say?”
“They say, “Trust Jesus,’” And then she was gone.
Melanie said as she stood back up, holding a fistful of her four-year-old‘s scribbling, she felt near-tangible arms of peace encircle her weary soul and a divine stillness calm her troubled heart.”
Katie Lewis, “angel and minister of grace,” I’m with you. In a world of some discouragement, sorrow and sin, in times when fear and despair seem to prevail, when humanity is feverish with no worldly physicians in sight, I too say, “Trust Jesus,” Let Him still the tempest and ride upon the storm. Believe that He can lift mankind from its bed of affliction, in time and eternity.
Oh dearly, dearly has he loved!
And we must love him too, And trust in his redeeming blood,
And try his works to do.
There is no greater expression of love than the heroic atonement performed by the Son of God.
Thankfully, Jesus Christ courageously fulfilled this sacrifice in ancient Jerusalem. There in the quiet isolation of the Garden of Gethsemane He knelt among the gnarled olive trees, and in some incredible way that none of us can fully comprehend, the Savior took upon Himself the sins of the world. Even though His life was pure and free of sin, He paid the ultimate penalty for sin — yours, mine and everyone who has ever lived. His mental, emotional and spiritual anguish were so great they caused Him to bleed from every pore (see Luke 22:44).
The Savior later endured the agony of inquisition, cruel beatings and death by crucifixion on the cross at Calvary. No one had the power to take the Savior’s life from Him. He gave it as a ransom for us all. As the Son of God, He had the power to alter the situation. Yet the scriptures clearly state that He yielded Himself to scourging, humiliation, suffering and finally crucifixion because of His great love toward the children of men.
And to those who choose to love the Lord and who show their love and faith in Him by keeping His commandments and qualifying for the full blessings of the atonement, He offers the additional promise of exaltation and eternal life, which is the blessing of living in the presence of God and His Beloved Son forever.
Enoch saw the conditions of these latter days. He and other early prophets knew that only as we accept the atonement in our lives and strive to live the gospel can we meet the challenges of life and find peace, joy and happiness.”
In the moonlit silence of that Palestian night, every acute pain, every heartfelt grief, every crushing wrong and human hurt experienced by every man, woman and child in the human family was to be heaped upon his weary shoulders. But in such a moment, when someone might have said it to him, he rather says to us, “let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
When all else fails, our Lord is there to help us. He has said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
Each of us has burdens. Let the Lord help us in carrying those burdens. He stands ready to help — to help each of us — with every burden.
He was the one perfect man, without blemish, to walk the earth. He was the Savior and Redeemer of mankind. Because of His sacrifice, because of His atonement, all of us will at some time arise in the Resurrection, and beyond that there are marvelous opportunities to go forward on the road of immortality and eternal life. You can cast “all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). These are the promises of the atonement, in this life and throughout eternity Kim A. Halladay is currently serving as the President of the Tooele East Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is the owner of the Tooele Foot Clinic where he practices Podiatry. He and his wife Janet have lived in Tooele for the last 21 and a half years. They are the parents of six children and have been blessed with five grandchildren.