Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We Are Never Alone

A recent ward challenge has caused me to start pondering on the topic of the Christ's suffering in the atonement. But not only in the traditional payment of our sins, but also the personal pain He must have felt. As many of us go through, Christ must have felt so alone. His friends fell asleep while he suffered in the garden. Even Peter denied him three times.

Many prophets have had similar cries. I think of Job who was called a "perfect man", or of Joseph Smith who cried out "O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?" I love how this question is put in Psalms 116: "The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul." Even Christ offered a similar prayer to his father in Gethsemane, "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." As with the prophets, we know after Christ said these words an angel appeared and comforted him. This is the Father I've come to know in my life, the one who sends that reassuring hand when we reach our darkest moments.

What amazes me is to then consider what happened to Christ on the cross. Here, in the ninth hour, he cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Throughout all scripture, God always appears to help His servants in their most desperate moments. Here, the most righteous of all - in mankind's most desperate moment - suffered all alone, without the help of His Father and our Father.  He truly suffered alone. 

There are many times where we feel this same way.  Where we feel that because of sin we are unworthy of God's presence and love.  While we are of course wrong because our Father never leaves us comfortless, what we feel matters.  And even in our worst pains, our Savior understands.  He knows how it feels to be truly alone, and to be left comfortless.  He has feel that agony personally, not just at our side in empathy.

So at any time we feel alone and that we need comfort, I know He is willing to come.  He suffered much more then just for our sins.  He suffered personally so he could know how each of us feel, and how I feel in my darkest moments.  How I am thankful.

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