“The Atonement brings peace.” People often testify about how the Lord’s sacrifice brings blessings into their life. Although I knew deep in my heart that what they said was true, I have to admit that at 18, I did not have much experience with these blessings on a personal level. But the Lord is kind, and He provides lessons to His children according to His timetable.
How Will The Lord Ever Understand?
When I was 18 years old, I thought I had already met the guy of my dreams. We got along well, and he was one of the best guys I had ever met. Although it was a great relationship, it didn’t fare so well, and when we stopped communicating I felt betrayed and denied. It was hard to let go of the plans and the expectations. Hurting, I knelt down and started to pray. While saying the words, a part of my brain kept saying “This is a heartbreak. How on earth will the Lord ever understand me?” I knew the Atonement was true; but did it really cover heartbreak?
I got my answer through a sacrament hymn. While conducting the hymn “Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King,” a certain line caught my attention: “bruised, broken, torn for us on Calvary’s hill.” Bruised, broken, and torn. Those words perfectly described what I was feeling. Without me even noticing, tears were already streaming down my face. How could I ever question the power of the Lord’s atonement?
The Lord Truly Understands
Through that sacrament hymn, I began to ponder Jesus’ own heartbreaks when He was still on the earth. He constantly expressed love to His disciples, and there is no doubt that His love was pure and true perhaps more than we could ever understand. Judas Iscariot, one of His apostles, one He worked with, taught with, and prayed with, betrayed him for thirty pieces of silver. Peter, one of His most loyal disciples, denied him thrice. And for a moment, Jesus felt completely alone when he uttered the words “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
In that moment, I felt that I was “encircled in the arms of His love.” My pain was nothing compared to the heartbreaks the Lord went through when He was still on Earth. It was a message that I was not alone, even though I felt that I was. It encouraged me to pour my heart out more in my prayers because I finally understood that He understands. And because He understands, His love for me increases. Like Elder Dallin H. Oaks said “He knows our struggles, our heartaches, our temptations, our suffering, for He has willingly experienced them all.”
The Atonement Brings Peace, Let Us Trust It
I am grateful that a heartbreak at 18 taught me a lesson I will hold onto, and carry with me forever. During the April 2011 General Conference, Elder C. Scott Grow made a true and powerful statement: “There is no sin and transgression, pain and sorrow, which is outside of the healing power of HIs atonement.” The atonement brings peace! Nothing can be more true! If you ever feel like I did, doubting that the Lord could ever understand you, think of what He went through. Think of what He went through for me and you. He gave the indescribable sacrifice so that when one day, when we’re down on our knees, crying, and holding onto that last hope for comfort, we can hear Him say “I understand.”