The Atonement of Jesus Christ offsets the two certainties of mortal life — death and the burden of sin, said Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in his remarks on Saturday afternoon. “But apart from death and sin, we have many other challenges as we struggle through mortality. Because of that same Atonement, our Savior can provide us the strength we need to overcome these mortal challenges.”
Most scriptural accounts describe the Savior breaking the bands of death and suffering for individuals’ sins. The prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon, however, provides “the clearest scriptural assurances that the Savior also experienced the pains and sicknesses and infirmities of His people,” Elder Oaks said.
“Our Savior experienced and suffered the fullness of all mortal challenges ‘according to the flesh’ so He could know ‘according to the flesh’ how to ‘succor [which means to give relief or aid to] his people according to their infirmities,’ (Alma 7:11-12)” Elder Oaks explained. “He therefore knows our struggles, our heartaches, our temptations, and our suffering, for He willingly experienced them all as an essential part of His Atonement. And because of this, His Atonement empowers Him to succor us — to give us the strength to bear it all.”
Elder Oaks listed some of the “frequent struggles, heartaches, and suffering” experienced in mortality including sickness; grief in connection with the death of a loved one; failure; pain experienced when a loved one strays from the path of righteousness; feelings of rejection; racial and ethnic prejudices; unemployment; mental or physical disabilities; depression; pain associated with the circumstance of singleness; addictions; and others.
“What cures us is our Savior and His Atonement,” Elder Oaks declared.
The prophet Alma, Elder Oaks said, taught that the Savior would take upon Him “the pains and the sicknesses of his people” and “succor his people” (Alma 7:11-12). “Who are ‘his people’ in this promise? Because of His atoning experience in mortality, our Savior is able to comfort, heal, and strengthen all men and women everywhere, but I believe He will only do so for those who seek Him and ask for His help.”
In speaking of the millions of people who pray to God to be lifted out of their afflictions, Elder Oaks shared Doctrine and Covenants 88:6 in which the Savior reveals He “descended below all things.”
“We might even say that having descended beneath it all He is perfectly positioned to lift us and give us the strength we need to endure our afflictions,” Elder Oaks taught. “We have only to ask.”
The Savior’s Atonement does more than assure individuals of immortality and provide the opportunity to be cleansed from sin. “His Atonement also gives us the opportunity to call upon Him who has experienced all of our mortal infirmities to heal us and give us the strength to bear the burdens of mortality,” Elder Oaks said. “He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. Like the good Samaritan, when He finds us wounded at the wayside, He will bind up our wounds and care for us (see Luke 10:34). The healing and strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is for all of us who will ask. I testify of that as I also testify of our Savior who makes it all possible.”
The LDS Church News is an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The publication's content supports the doctrines, principles and practices of the Church.