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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Brightness of Hope

This painting, entitled "Why Weepest Thou" from the artist Simon Dewey, is one of my favorite portraits of the Savior. It portrays Jesus Christ and Mary in the Garden of the Empty Tomb, with Christ stretching out his arm to down to her to lift, and comfort. I love this painting because for me, it is a great reminder to me of my Savior's love for me, and for all of us. He is always there, reaching down to us, to lift and comfort us in our time of need, to wipe away the tears, as the scripture says.
In life, we all will face times of doubt, despair, sorrow, tragedy, sadness, and failure. Whether from our own mistakes, or others, we all will. It's just the name of the game. Those things are the opposite of Hope, which is what Christ can give us, through His Atonement. He can do that, because he knows exactlly what each of us are going through, and understands perfectly, as only He could.  In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma explains how this is possible. He said "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.... and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people..." (Alma 7:11-13) In the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the Cross of Calvary, Christ suffered for not just our sins, but also for, like the scripture said, our pains, afflictions, temptations, sickness, and infirmities. He has felt everything that we have ever felt, and will feel, and therefore knows exactlly how to help us, and He is more then willing. I like how in that verse he says He knows how to "succor" His people. Succor means "To help, or to run to the aid of." Christ is always extending His arm down to help us, is willing to run to our aid, as long as we invite Him into our life. Like Peter in the New Testament when we walked on the water towards Christ, but when his faith wavered, he slowly started to sink. He called out, and Christ lifted Him up. Just like us, sometimes in life our faith can weaken,  and we start to sink, but christ is always there, offering hope through the Atonement. His Atonement can have a huge imact in our lives, if we let it, and can bring us great hope in this life. Another Book of Mormon prophet, Moroni, explained this when he taught "And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ...and this because of your faith in him..."
I know that as we exercise our faith in Christ, by keeping His commandments, and living His gospel, our faith increases. And as our faith increases so does our hope. I know that He lives, that he guides and directs this church, and that he speaks to living prophets today, even as He did in olden times. I know that as we come to Him, and lay our budens at His feet, that He will give us peace, and that "brightness of hope" that only He can give.

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