Tag Archives: Despair

It Takes an Act of Faith

 

There have been times in my life when I have felt encompassed in darkness.  I have also reached the point where I have wanted and even tried to end my life… but somehow, I am still here.  I am still needed, as are you.  You are needed.  The Lord needs YOU on HIS side.

 

Strength

I wanted to share part of this article by Elder David A. Bednar.  It is entitled “The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality.”  (I encourage you to read the whole article.  It is amazing.) This is what He says:

“The grand objective of the Savior’s gospel was summarized succinctly by President David O. McKay (1873–1970): “The purpose of the gospel is … to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature.”1Thus, the journey of mortality is to progress from bad to good to better and to experience the mighty change of heart—to have our fallen natures changed (see Mosiah 5:2).

The Book of Mormon is our handbook of instructions as we travel the pathway from bad to good to better and strive to have our hearts changed. King Benjamin teaches about the journey of mortality and the role of the Atonement in navigating successfully that journey: “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christthe Lord” (Mosiah 3:19; emphasis added).

I draw your attention to two specific phrases. First—“putteth off the natural man.” The journey from bad to good is the process of putting off the natural man or the natural woman in each of us. In mortality we all are tempted by the flesh. The very elements out of which our bodies were created are by nature fallen and ever subject to the pull of sin, corruption, and death. But we can increase our capacity to overcome the desires of the flesh and temptations “through the atonement of Christ.” When we make mistakes, as we transgress and sin, we can repent and become clean through the redeeming power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Second—“becometh a saint.” This phrase describes the continuation and second phase of life’s journey to make “good men better” or, in other words, to become more like a saint. This second part of the journey, this process of going from good to better, is a topic about which we do not study or teach frequently enough nor understand adequately.

I suspect that many Church members are much more familiar with the nature of the redeeming and cleansing power of the Atonement than they are with the strengthening and enabling power. It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for us—that is fundamental and foundational to the doctrine of Christ. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us—not only to direct us but also to empower us.

Most of us know that when we do wrong things, we need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives. The Savior has paid the price and made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints—for good men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully. We may mistakenly believe we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves, through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities.

The gospel of the Savior is not simply about avoiding bad in our lives; it also is essentially about doing and becoming good. And the Atonement provides help for us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good. Help from the Savior is available for the entire journey of mortality—from bad to good to better and to change our very nature.

I am not suggesting that the redeeming and enabling powers of the Atonement are separate and discrete. Rather, these two dimensions of the Atonement are connected and complementary; they both need to be operational during all phases of the journey of life. And it is eternally important for all of us to recognize that both of these essential elements of the journey of mortality—both putting off the natural man and becoming a saint, both overcoming bad and becoming good—are accomplished through the power of the Atonement. Individual willpower, personal determination and motivation, effective planning and goal setting are necessary but ultimately insufficient for us to triumphantly complete this mortal journey. Truly, we must come to rely upon “the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Nephi 2:8).”

God knows you

Our Heavenly Father knows you personally.  I know that He knows me personally.  I have felt His love in my life.  It has strengthened me in times where I have thought I could go no further, at times when I have felt so alone and abandoned.  He never abandons us.  He loves us so very much.  He is there.  He knows.  Pray to Him.  Ask Him to help you.  He will help.  He will help.  He loves you.

A message of Christ

 

Please share with me your thoughts from this video….

Without hope, ye must needs be in despair

I would like to share some scriptures that I read this morning about hope.  They are found in the Book of Mormon:  Another Testament of Jesus Christ in Moroni 10:20-24:

 “20 Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity.

21 And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope.

22 And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity.

23 And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.

24 And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief.”

If we have faith in Christ we can do all things that are expedient unto Him.  Even if we are in despair, doubt, or loss when we perhaps have not been iniquitous, we can have faith in the Lord and He will heal us.  Many times people experience a loss of hope when dealing with depression, anxiety, or grief.  A lot of times it is hard to see the big picture and realize that what is happening now is not going to last forever.  It is not easy to believe that either when others try to tell you.

I know that as we look to Christ our vision is enlarged and He helps us to have hope and faith in the future.  As we envelop these qualities in our lives, along with charity, we are filled with happiness and pure joy.  He is there for us.

You Matter to Him

"You are no ordinary beings. You are glorious and eternal"

There was a time not to long ago when I felt absolutely worthless.  I constantly thought of how I could end my life and just cease to exist.  It didn’t seem worth it anymore.  I wanted to be done.  I was not important, so what did it matter?

In fact, this is something that I began writing when I was having all of these feelings…. I never finished it, but this is what it said and how I really felt:

“I hate my life so much.  I want to die right now. But nobody will let me. And I don’t understand why.  My life is pointless.  I hurt everyone.  I’m a stress to everyone.  I’m a burden to everyone and things would be better for people if I was not alive.  Really they would. So maybe all I …”

I wanted to be done.  Perhaps at times in your life you have felt small and insignificant.  It is at these times that the words of prophets and apostles help me to know and feel of my divine worth.

The Words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf

These are words that Dieter F. Uchtdorf said two weeks ago:

“My dear brothers and sisters, it may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the greatness of the universe. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember—you matter to Him! If you ever doubt that, consider these four divine principles:

First, God loves the humble and meek, for they are “greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”17

Second, the Lord entrusts “the fulness of [His] gospel [to] be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world.”18 He has chosen “the weak things of the world [to] come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones”19 and to put to shame “the things which are mighty.”20

Third, no matter where you live, no matter how humble your circumstances, how meager your employment, how limited your abilities, how ordinary your appearance, or how little your calling in the Church may appear to you, you are not invisible to your Heavenly Father. He loves you. He knows your humble heart and your acts of love and kindness. Together, they form a lasting testimony of your fidelity and faith.

Fourth and finally, please understand that what you see and experience now is not what forever will be. You will not feel loneliness, sorrow, pain, or discouragement forever. We have the faithful promise of God that He will neither forget nor forsake those who incline their hearts to Him.21 Have hope and faith in that promise. Learn to love your Heavenly Father and become His disciple in word and in deed.

Be assured that if you but hold on, believe in Him, and remain faithful in keeping the commandments, one day you will experience for yourselves the promises revealed to the Apostle Paul: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”22

Brothers and sisters, the most powerful Being in the universe is the Father of your spirit. He knows you. He loves you with a perfect love.

God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him.

May we ever believe, trust, and align our lives so that we will understand our true eternal worth and potential. May we be worthy of the precious blessings our Heavenly Father has in store for us is my prayer in the name of His Son, even Jesus Christ, amen.”