The Lord invites us to come unto Him regardless of our circumstances: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
As we come unto Christ in faith and rely upon Him to bear our heavy burdens, we can experience His healing power. The Lord is anxious to bless us. We can find great strength as we give our burdens to the Lord, Unfortunately, we may still suffer the consequences of our loved ones’ poor choices. Yet we can receive His peace despite our circumstances.
What do you feel it means to lay your burdens at the feet of the Savior?
If we allow it, the pain and sorrow resulting from our loved one’s addiction can lead us to the Savior. Christ knows our pain because He has literally taken upon Himself our pains and sicknesses We can find hope through the enabling power of Jesus Christ that we will be healed and supported in our trials no matter the choices and actions of our loved ones. Real healing does not become complete until we turn to the Savior.
What might prevent us from coming unto Christ and exercising faith in Him so that He can heal us?
|Art by Amberle Stoffers|
We do not "apply" the Savior's sacrifice, rather we apply to Him and He has power by virtue of His sacrifice to forgive us. We do not "embrace" the atonement. We embrace Jesus, through the veil, receive greater light and knowledge that allows us to overcome sin and in this life, to re-enter his presence to embrace Him face to face. We do not "use" His sacrifice. Rather we emulate His example in sacrificing. It is Jesus who forgives, period. Jesus saves us, not the atonement.
There is a man who has shared his vision of the events in Gethsemane.
"As the Lord knelt in prayer, his vicarious suffering began. He was overcome by pain and anguish…the suffering was long and…difficult. He was healed from sickness…overcame pains and patiently bore infirmities until finally he returned to peace of mind and strength of body. It was an act of will and hope…He overcame separation caused by these afflictions and reconciled with his Father…
He thought His sufferings were over, but to His astonishment another wave overcame Him…much greater than the first. He had been kneeling, but fell forward onto his hands at the impact of the pain that was part of a greater, second wave…much greater than the first…The Lord was now stricken with physical injuries, as well as spiritual affliction. He suffered anew…Flesh torn, which he healed using the power of charity within Him. The Lord has such life within Him, such power and virtue…that although he suffered in His flesh, these injuries healed…His suffering was both body and spirit, and there was anguish of thought, feeling and soul.
The Lord overcame this second wave and…his heart filled with love despite what He had suffered…He was at peace…but it required another still greater act of will and charity than the first…Again, He thought His suffering was over. He stayed on His hands and knees for a moment to collect Himself when another wave of torment burst upon Him. This wave struck with such force, He fell forward upon His face.
He was afflicted by this greater wave, then healed, only to be afflicted again as the waves of torment overflowed. Wave after wave poured upon Him, with only moments between them. The Lord's suffering progressed from a lesser to a greater portion of affliction…Each wave only preparation for the next. The pains of mortality, disease, injury and infirmity, together with the sufferings of sin, transgressions, guilt of mind, and unease of soul, the horrors of recognition of the evils men had inflicted upon others were all poured upon Him; with confusion and perplexity multiplied. He so longed for it to be over, and thought it would end long before it finally ended. With each wave He thought it would be the last, but then another came upon Him and yet another.
The one beholding this scene was pained by what he saw, and begged for the vision to end. He could not bear to see his Lord suffering in this manner. The petition was denied and the vision did not end, for the Lord required him to witness it. The man saw that the Lord pleaded that "this cup may pass"…but the Lord was determined into the Father's will and not His own. A final wave came upon Him with such violence as to cut Him at every pore. It seemed for a moment that He was torn apart and that blood came out of every pore. He writhed in pain upon the ground as this torment was poured upon Him.
All virtue was taken from Him. All the great life force in Him was stricken and afflicted. All the light turned to darkness. He was humbled, drained and left with nothing. It is not possible for a man to bear such pains and live. With nothing more than will, hope in His Father and charity toward all men, He emerged from the final wave of torment, knowing He had suffered all this for His Father and His brethren. By hope and charity, trusting in the Father, the Lord returned from this dark abyss and found grace again, His heart filled with love…These great burdens were born, not only on behalf of mankind, but also as a necessary prelude to His death…
It was many hours after this vision closed before the one who witnessed this suffering could compose himself. He wept and wondered at the Lord's great suffering for mankind. The witness reflected for many days upon this scene…Why the waves? Why increase in difficulty?...After long inquiring, the Lord made known to the witness… that the waves of torment …came in pairs which mirrored each other. The first of each wave poured upon the Lord those feelings, regrets, recriminations and pains felt by those who injured their fellow man. Then followed a second wave, which mirrored the first, but imposed the pains suffered by the victims of the acts committed by those in the first wave. Instead of the pains of those who inflict hurt or harm, it was now the anger, bitterness and resentments felt by those who suffered these wrongs.
From each wave of suffering, whether as the one afflicting or as the victim…the Lord would overcome the evil feelings associated…and find His heart again filled with peace. That is why in the vision of the suffering of the Lord, it was in the second waves there appeared oftentimes to be injuries to His body.
The greater difficulty in these paired waves of torment was always overcoming the suffering of the victim. With these waves, the Lord learned to overcome the victim's resentments, to forgive, and to heal both body and spirit. This was more difficult than overcoming the struggles arising from the one who committed the evil. This is because the one doing evil knows he has done wrong and feels a natural regret when he sees himself aright. The victim, however, always feels that it is their right to hold resentment, to judge their persecutor, and to withhold peace and love for their fellow men. The Lord was required to overcome both so He could succor both.
The Lord experienced all the horror and regret wicked men feel for their crimes when they finally see the truth. He experienced the suffering of the victims whose righteous anger and natural resentment and disappointment must be shed and forgiveness given in order for them to find peace. He overcame them all. He descended below them all. He comprehends it all.
In the final wave, the most brutal, heinous, evil sins were felt by Him as a victim…He knew how it felt to wrongly suffer death… He knew what it was like to be a mother holding a child in her arms as they both are killed by those who delight in their suffering. He knew what it was to have virtue robbed from the innocent. He knew betrayal, treachery and abuse in all its worst degrading horror. As a result, there is no condition--physical, spiritual, or mental that He does not fully understand. He knows how to comfort and direct any who come to Him seeking forgiveness and peace…He suffered that we might avoid sin by being obedient to His commandments. None of us need harm another, if we will follow Him…
The great Atonement of the Lord allowed Him to know our weaknesses and troubles and understand how to bring us back to peace…
Personal Learning and Application
Keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings, insights, and plans to implement what you learn. As the needs and circumstances in your life change, repeating these answers will provide you with new insights. Go back to the questions in the chapter. Write your answers. Each time you go through a chapter, your answers might change.
1. Prayerfully consider using the following resources in your personal study.
Isaiah 49:13–16 (The Savior will not forsake us)
Hebrews 4:14–16 (We can find help in times of need through the Savior’s grace and mercy)
2. Study and ponder scriptures about Jesus Christ and His Atonement. What do scriptures teach about the power of the Savior?
What burdens will YOU lay at His feet?
3. How can the Savior strengthen us even if our loved ones continue in addiction?