Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “That first Easter sequence of Atonement and Resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift, the most excruciating pain, and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of this world. Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could, like lightning in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to eternal life.”
You can also find the podcast on the following platforms (click on the platform of your choice):
Join our study group and let’s delve into the scriptures in a way that is inspiring, expanding and joyful.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “That first Easter sequence of Atonement and Resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift, the most excruciating pain, and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of this world. Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could, like lightning in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to eternal life.
“So today we celebrate the gift of victory over every fall we have ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced—to say nothing of our resurrection from death and forgiveness for our sins.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Where Justice Love and Mercy Meet https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2015/04/where-justice-love-and-mercy-meet?lang=eng .
Welcome to Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me podcast where this week we are studying that magnificent gift the Savior gave to us in the atonement and resurrection. Because we take tour groups to Israel and have done extensive photography there, we have often been to that Mount of Olives where Jesus suffered such agonizing pain in the Garden of Gethsemane for us.
We have walked down that Mount, shared testimony in an olive garden there, but one night stands out as singular. We wanted to photograph an olive grove on that mount in the nighttime to capture, as closely as possible, what that scene might have been like 2,000 years ago. Most visitors who go to the Mount of Olives visit the Church of All Nations, where ancient, twisted olive trees grow that date back more than 1200 years, and some claim to that very time when Christ was there.
Yet for our photographs, we went a little further up the Mount of Olives, since the scriptures describe Jesus as going further into the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the Mount of Olives, that means further up.
We were there for many hours. The din and honking of the traffic gradually subsided to quiet. The crowds had dispersed and we were quite alone in the olive vineyard. Across the Kidron Valley, the ancient wall of the Old City wound its way with an occasional light upon the golden stones. In the quiet and stillness, we could just imagine how it might have been that night when Jesus suffered here so long ago.
We read aloud. We talked. You took hundreds of photographs, battling against some colored lights that cast the wrong glow into those photos. We used to use film when we shot at night, because then we could use exposures of various lengths. The longer the exposure, the more the surrounding light filled in the details of the photos on the film. But this was a digital shoot, and so you battled graininess in the photos in the darkness of that night.
With that time, trying to get the photograph I hoped for, we thought. Not far from here, from this very spot, Jesus came with his apostles to a place they knew well—the Garden of Gethsemane, which means the place of the olive press. Here he would know excruciating pressing himself, crushed. The only place the Lord describes this crushing, Himself, in his own personal words, is in the Doctrine & Covenants, “which caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit and would that I might not drink the bitter cup and shrink” ((Doctrine and Covenants 19:18).
Mark records that Jesus “began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy.” What could cause the mighty Jehovah to be “sore amazed?” Our mortal minds cannot conceive such an exquisite agony, but he said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful unto death…And he said, Abba, [which is the most personal form of calling out to a father, the equivalent of saying, “Daddy] Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Mark 14: 34,36).
That night, we thought, not far from here and on a night maybe something like this, a line of men, carrying torches walked down from the wall of Jerusalem, across the Kidron Valley and to this garden led by Judas, bent on betraying Jesus, whom he had seen with his own eyes heal the blind and raise the dead. “And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, “Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master, and kissed him” (Mark 14: 44,45). Jesus was betrayed by His executors by a friend with a kiss.
A night like this, not far from here, Jesus faced an unjust and illegal trial, where shadowy, contradictory witnesses could not give coherent or convincing testimony, but he was convicted anyway. As for his supporters and disciples, Jesus had warned them, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad,” (Matt. 26:31) and they were, scattering into the night in their fear.
Not far from here, on a morning of Passover, that holy time the Children of Israel had celebrated for centuries to remember the angel of death passing over them because they had painted the blood of the lamb over their door, they would entirely miss the lamb when he stood before them.
So many of us in the world today are no different, searching frantically for peace and relief, when the Lord is right before us with His arms outstretched inviting us into the safety of His embrace.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “When I think of this, I am reminded of the Savior standing before the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate, just a few hours before the Savior’s death.
“Pilate”, Elder Uchtdorf said, “viewed Jesus from a strictly worldly perspective. Pilate had a job to do, and it involved two major tasks: collecting taxes for Rome and keeping the peace. Now the Jewish Sanhedrin had brought before him a man who they claimed was an obstacle to both.
“After interrogating his prisoner, Pilate announced, ‘I find in him no fault at all.’ But he felt he had to appease Jesus’s accusers, so Pilate called upon a local custom that allowed one prisoner to be released during Passover season. Would they not have him release Jesus instead of the notorious robber and murderer Barabbas?
“But the tumultuous mob demanded that Pilate release Barabbas and crucify Jesus.
“’Why?’ Pilate asked. ‘What evil [has] he done?’
“But they only shouted the louder. ‘Crucify him!’
Elder Uchtdorf said, “In one final effort to satisfy the mob, Pilate ordered his men to scourge Jesus. This they did, leaving Him bloodied and bruised. They mocked Him, placed a crown of thorns on His head, and clothed Him in a purple robe.
“Perhaps Pilate thought this would satisfy the mob’s lust for blood. Perhaps they would take pity on the man. ‘Behold, I bring him forth to you,” Pilate said, “that ye may know that I find no fault in him. … Behold the man!’
The Son of God stood in the flesh before the people of Jerusalem.
“They could see Jesus, but they did not truly behold Him.
“They did not have eyes to see.
“In a figurative sense,” he said, “we too are invited to ‘behold the man.’ Opinions about Him vary in the world. Ancient and modern prophets testify that He is the Son of God. I do this too. It is significant and important that we each come to know for ourselves. So, when you ponder the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, what do you see?
“Those who find a way to truly behold the Man find the doorway to life’s greatest joys and the balm to life’s most demanding despairs.
“So, when you are encompassed by sorrows and grief, behold the Man.
“When you feel lost or forgotten, behold the Man.
“When you are despairing, deserted, doubting, damaged, or defeated, behold the Man.
“He will comfort you.
“He will heal you and give meaning to your journey. He will pour out His Spirit and fill your heart with exceeding joy.
“He gives ‘power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.’
Elder Uchtdorf promised, “When we truly behold the Man, we learn of Him and seek to align our lives with Him. We repent and strive to refine our natures and daily grow a little closer to Him. We trust Him. We show our love for Him by keeping His commandments and by living up to our sacred covenants.
“As you accept His sacrifice, become His disciple, and finally reach the end of your earthly journey, what will become of the sorrows you have endured in this life?
“They will be gone.
“The disappointments, betrayals, persecutions you have faced?
“The suffering, heartache, guilt, shame, and anguish you have passed through?
“Forgotten.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Behold the Man” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2018/04/behold-the-man?lang=eng
We seek to “behold the man” and learn line upon line to truly understand the sacrificial and profound gift of the Lord to us. We spend our lifetime seeking to see Him more clearly, implant His sacrifice more deeply in our hearts because he is the only one who truly sees us.
My heart is breaking, my knees are slacking in despair. He says, “I see you.”
My weaknesses keep me in bondage, repeating the same patterns that have chained me before. He says, “I see you.”
My soul is withered under disappointment. My hope is slacking. He says, “I see you.”
We may cry like the Psalmist, “My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me…and horror hath overwhelmed me…Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then I would fly away, and be at rest…I would hasten my escape from the strong, stormy wind and tempest.” (Psalm 55: 4-8).
We do have wings like a dove to fly away and be at rest. Those wings are the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who strengthens us, comforts us, feels with us, enlightens and expands us. He can do this because He sees us clearly. He sees the goodness in our hearts, our best intents. He knows that we are better than we sometimes seem. Like the words of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, say, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” He knows that we don’t want to wander. He knows how to bring us back. He knows how to help us “come to ourselves.”
He sees who we’ve always been before this world was. He sees who we will be stretching forward into the eternities. When we feel so stricken, so overcome, so beset with challenges that fly at us like lethal arrows, He knows. You may think no one understands me. No one can help me, but that is not true. There is One who perfectly understands and delivers the most healing balm to your wounds. There is One who, seeing you better than you see yourself, has made His entire focus your ultimate happiness.
Seeing you clearly, He lifts you from what hurts you most, which is your own weakness.
The Psalmist says, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so pants my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before thee, O God?” (Psalm 42: 1,2)
No wonder we long for Him. He is the only one who can fill that hole in our being. He is the only one who can quench that thirst that is always upon us.
He is the only one who knows us so personally and completely, and therefore can succor us perfectly. Psalm 139 reads:
“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.”
When did He search us and come to know us? It was not only from the long view of having seen us through an eternity, but when He personally took upon Himself our sins, heartache, and pain as He atoned.
“Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
“Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art aacquainted with all my ways.”
What does it mean that he knows my downsitting and compassest my path? It means that what we do, what we are, what we think is entirely in His gaze.
“For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether” (Psalm 139 1-4). Or the NIV translation says, “Before a word is on my tongue, you, Lord, know it completely.” He knows my impulse, my hesitation, my failings, my joys. He knows what the natural yearnings of my ancient soul cannot live without. This is all encompassed in the atonement.
Elder Matthew Holland said, “Regardless of the causes of our worst hurts and heartaches, the ultimate source of relief is the same: Jesus Christ. He alone holds the full power and healing balm to correct every mistake, right every wrong, adjust every imperfection, mend every wound, and deliver every delayed blessing. Like witnesses of old, I testify that ‘we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities but rather a loving Redeemer who descended from His throne above and went forth “suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind … , that he may know … how to succor his people.”16
For anyone today with pains so intense or so unique that you feel no one else could fully appreciate them, you may have a point. There may be no family member, friend, or priesthood leader—however sensitive and well-meaning each may be—who knows exactly what you are feeling or has the precise words to help you heal. But know this: there is One who understands perfectly what you are experiencing, who is “mightier than all the earth,”17 and who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that [you] ask or think.”18 The process will unfold in His way and on His schedule, but Christ stands ready always to heal every ounce and aspect of your agony.” (Elder Matthew S. Holland, “The Exquisite Gift of the Son” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2020/10/26holland?lang=eng )
As John says in Revelation, “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more: neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7: 16-17).
Where we worked that night photographing in a garden on the Mount of Olives, the atonement had been given, not far from there. Yet, the Savior’s sacrifice is forever not far from the very core of our souls as our anchor and hope.
When I was a child in primary, I remember a teacher telling us a mistaken idea. She said that our sins were like nails being driven into a smooth board, and the Savior’s atonement removed those nails, but unfortunately the holes would always be there. She was wrong, of course, and I came to know that with the atonement there are no holes left. We are made so that all things are new in us. We are transformed. Born again.
Yet, as a child, I continued to think for a long time that the atonement was about individual acts like nails. You needed to repent; you needed the Savior’s atonement because you were irritated on Tuesday and lazy on Thursday when you should have helped with dishes. Or maybe the atonement was for bank robbers or people who did very bad things.
I thought sins were disparate events or transgressions that erupted here and there in our lives.
Though the Lord knows us, we come to know Him and what He has done for us only with time and effort. Life reveals our need.
We come to see that because we are mortal, we are blind and wounded and miss the mark all the time. We come to realize that weakness is in us, that unmet expectations are regular, that heartache comes, and that even death is part of our inheritance. We don’t need the atonement sometimes, or here and there, or now and then. We need it with every breath and in every cell where we find ourselves unable without his strength to be transformed. We need it to shed what hurts and what limits us.
It is about what is happening today in your life. It is about how you respond to the myriad of choices you make every day the minute you open your eyes. Are you responding with weakness or left in your own strength? Are you burdened with the betrayals and self-betrayals of your past? Are you frightened about the future? Or are you made new by the gift that was given to you? Are you living a life of stress, fear and burden, thinking it is all on you or has the atonement flooded your thinking so that you live with hope and trust?
Because life is so often about missing the mark, when Jesus suffered the atonement, He lived every second of our lives with us, even though we would be born 2,000 years later. Since as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants, “all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord”, the Lord already comprehended and knew our fallen state, our stumblings while we grow, and our need for his strength, help and forgiveness.
The Lord said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for with me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
That night we photographed on the Mount of Olives, I was thinking about my ever growing awareness of the significance of the atonement. The need for help and comfort had created in me, an ever expanding love of the Lord. Life is not a do-it-yourself experience and I did not need to be haunted or fearful about what I am not yet.
But even then, I didn’t realize all He had given to me. When our oldest daughter, Melissa died five years ago, the pain was so red-hot intense I didn’t know how to make it through each day. All I wanted to do was escape this pain, or as the Psalmist said, “fly away and be at rest.”
In my struggles, I came to see that I hadn’t yet seen the entire gift that Christ had given me. All the times I had thought about Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and been grateful, I didn’t know that already in that garden He knew about my loss, experienced it with me, and had already paid a price to lift my mother pain from me with perfect understanding.
This, too? This too Jesus did for me and what more that I cannot see or dimly comprehend at this time? This gift is more profound than any of us can realize. We have not begun to see it.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the “light that is endless, that can never be darkened.”3 It is the very Son of God Himself. In loving praise far beyond Romeo’s reach, we say, “What light through yonder window breaks?” It is the return of hope, and Jesus is the Sun.4 To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His ‘more excellent ministry’ with a future of ‘better promises.’ He is your ‘high priest of good things to come.
Elder Holland said, “I think of those who want to be married and aren’t, those who desire to have children and cannot, those who have acquaintances but very few friends, those who are grieving over the death of a loved one or are themselves ill with disease. I think of those who suffer from sin—their own or someone else’s—who need to know there is a way back and that happiness can be restored. I think of the disconsolate and downtrodden who feel life has passed them by, or now wish that it would pass them by. To all of these and so many more, I say: Cling to your faith. Hold on to your hope. ‘Pray always, and be believing.’ Indeed, as Paul wrote of Abraham, he ‘against [all] hope believed in hope’ and ‘staggered not … through unbelief. He was ‘strong in faith’ and was ‘fully persuaded that, what [God] had promised, he was able … to perform.’” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “An High Priest of Good Things to Come”, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1999/10/an-high-priest-of-good-things-to-come?lang=eng )
We have a Lord who is touched by the whole spectrum of our infirmities. He is not an indifferent God who sits in yonder heaven so far away and looks down upon us, but a personal God who walks with you. When you close your eyes to pray, you are not sending a message through the reaches of space, but to someone close by who not only knows your situation, but has experienced it.
We are shown in scripture how the Lord allows our plight to touch him. When Jesus was in Capernaum on his way to the synagogue to heal Jairus’s daughter, he was jostled and surrounded by many people. One woman who had had an issue of blood for 12 years and had spent all her money to no avail seeking help, crept into the crowd. A woman in this condition would have
been shunned by the people of her time. Her health would have worn her to
the brink, and she would not have ventured out for a very long time. It was great faith that propelled her to reach through that busy, oblivious crowd and touch the hem of Christ’s robe. He responded, “Who touched me?”
By any reckoning of that crowd, she was not a very important person, but of all the people, Christ particularly felt her need
In turn, the Savior has a personal touch for us as well. When Christ turned the water into wine in Cana, He did not need to touch it, so it is evident that He could perform miracles without touch. Yet, the gospels repeatedly witness that Jesus touched people as He healed them.
He touched Peter’s mother-in-law, who was sick with fever (Matt. 8:15)
“And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.”
He touched Peter, James, and John at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:7)
“And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.”
He touched the two blind men who were sitting by the wayside. They cried out, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of God”… and “Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight and they followed him.”
That personal touch was healing. Jesus touched the daughter of Jairus when He raised her from the dead. “And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Tallitha cumi;…Damsel I say unto thee, arise” (Mark 5:41).
There was the boy with the “foul spirit”, who they brought to Jesus, who was wallowing and foaming and often times casting himself into the fire. Jesus healed him and then “took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose” (Mark 9:25).
How about the woman who “had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her; and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God” (Luke 13:11-13).
What I love about seeing again and again in scripture that the Lord reaches and touches people is that you don’t touch a crowd. You don’t personally touch a stadium full of people. Touch is by its nature one on one. Touch says I see you.
Jesus touched Peter as he sank into the sea after briefly walking on water. “ And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
What would have been most remarkable of all in that time period, is that Jesus touched the leprosy-affected. Because leprosy was thought to be contagious through touch and because in the law of Moses, leprosy made one ritually unclean, no one would touch a person with leprosy. Still, we learn in Matthew 8:3, that when the leprosy—afflicted man asked for healing, “Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediate his leprosy was cleansed.”
Of Jesus’ touch of the leper, the nineteenth-century cleric George Macdonald wrote:
“Jesus could have cured him with a word. There was no need he should touch him. No need did I say? There was every need. For no one else would touch him. The healthy human hand, always more or less healing, was never laid on him; he was despised and rejected. It was a poor thing for the Lord to cure his body; he must comfort and cure his sore heart. Of all men a leper, I say, needed to be touched with the hand of love. . . . It was not for our master, our brother, our ideal man, to draw around him the skirts of his garments and speak a lofty word of healing, that the man might at least be clean before he touched him. The man was his brother, and an evil disease cleaved fast unto him. “Out went the loving hand to the ugly skin, and there was his brother as he should be—with the flesh of a child. I thank God that the touch went before the word. Nor do I think it was the touch of a finger, or of the finger-tips. It was a kindly healing touch in its nature as in its power. Oh blessed leper! thou knowest henceforth what kind of a God there is in the earth— . . . a God such as himself only can reveal to the hearts of his own. That touch was more than the healing. It was to the leper . . . what the [statement] Neither do I [condemn thee] was to the woman [at] the temple.”
So Christ’s suffering gift of the atonement, which includes resurrection, was for us to do what we could never do for ourselves—and it was personal. Your weaknesses, your grief, your sins, your halting before what is good. The atonement is all for the purpose of making you happy.
Elder Matthew S. Holland again, “We must never forget that the very purpose of repentance is to take certain misery and transform it into pure bliss. Thanks to His ‘immediate goodness,’ the instant we come unto Christ—demonstrating faith in Him and a true change of heart—the crushing weight of our sins starts to shift from our backs to His. This is possible only because He who is without sin suffered ‘the infinite and unspeakable agony’ of every single sin in the universe of His creations, for all of His creations—a suffering so severe, blood oozed out of His every pore.’
So the question is how do we receive this great gift and be enlarged by it? We see that happiness is deeply tied to holiness. With humility, we recognize the need for the grace and power of the atonement in our lives daily.
President Henry B. Eyring shared this story: ‘Over a lifetime, my wife has spoken for the Lord and served people for Him. As I’ve mentioned before, one of our bishops once said to me: ‘I’m amazed. Every time I hear of a person in the ward who is in trouble, I hurry to help. Yet by the time I arrive, it seems that your wife has always already been there.’ That has been true in all the places we have lived for 56 years.
“Now ,” he continued, “she can speak only a few words a day. She is visited by people she loved for the Lord. Every night and morning I sing hymns with her and we pray. I have to be voice in the prayers and in the songs. Sometimes I can see her mouthing the words of the hymns. She prefers children’s songs. The sentiment she seems to like best is summarized in the song “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus.”
“The other day, after singing the words of the chorus: “Love one another as Jesus loves you. Try to show kindness in all that you do,” she said softly, but clearly, “Try, try, try.” I think that she will find, when she sees Him, that our Savior has put His name into her heart and that she has become like Him. He is carrying her through her troubles now, as He will carry you through yours.”
We will end with one last story, since we started talking about doing photography in Israel. One night we were trying to get a photo to illustrate the story of Nicodemus coming to see Jesus by night. We wandered down the many cobble-stoned streets of the Old City, and finally came upon a door opened to a set of stone stairs. Light spilled down those stairs and out the doorway as if it were an invitation to come in. It was the perfect image.
These were days when I was taking pictures with film and so to capture this lit, arched doorway against the dark street, I had to take a series of photos of different exposures—some two minute, some four minute, and an eight minute exposure to see how long it would take for the existing light to paint in the dark places on the film.
No one could walk through those photos while the film was being exposed, or the image would be destroyed. Nothing like having a living person walk through your photo.
It was my job to stop anyone from walking through the scene—and it wasn’t an easy one. I stood in the sidewalk, asking people if they would please, please go around, because we were taking a long-exposure picture. They weren’t always happy about that. But onto the scene strolled a cat who didn’t follow my instruction and was quite sure of himself. He walked right into our eight-minute exposure, sat for awhile on the stoop, and then finally sauntered out like he owned the place.
We hoped our other exposures would work, because the eight-minute one was obviously destroyed by this oblivious cat. These were long before the days of digital cameras when you could see right on the spot what you had shot. Instead, when we got back home and developed the photos, we had to hope we had shot something stunning. We looked at the exposures. The two-minute exposures were too dark, and so was the four-minute exposures. Oh no, we had only one eight-minute exposure left, and we knew what that cat had done.
When we looked at the eight-minute exposure, the shot was astonishing. The light that spilled down the stairs had also come to paint the stones around it in the archway. And the cat? It wasn’t there. No trace of the cat that we thought had destroyed our photo was there. No little blur. Nothing. Apparently, the cat had not been in the light long enough to be recorded on the film.
So our sins and distresses, our insecurities and fears, the burdens we cannot carry are like the cat in that photo because of the great gift of our suffering Savior. If we are true to our covenants, like the cat, they won’t be in our life’s picture when we finally get to see the image. They will have disappeared and not even a remnant or a blur will still show up. We will have received the gift because of our faithfulness, but much more so because of His in being the perfect Son of the perfect Father and being willing to partake of the bitter cup.
That’s all for today. We’re Scot and Maurine Proctor and this is Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me podcast. Find the transcripts at latterdaysaintmag.com/podcast and don’t forget to read the daily magazine. Tell a friend about the podcast or share it on Facebook. Thanks to Paul Cardall for the music and to Michaela Proctor Hutchins, our producer. Next week we’ll study Doctrine and Covenants 30-36, “You are Called to Preach My Gospel.”