This time of year always comes with mixed emotions for me. I love that Spring begins to win out over Winter. I don’t love the thoughts in the back of my mind that another year is almost in full bloom, and my kids are getting so much older.
I love that flowers begin to bud, purple and yellow crocuses pop out of the ground, and tulips are well on their way to blooming. I don’t love that birds think it’s okay to nest in the eaves of our house and lay droppings all over the place. Ewww.
I love that with the coming of Spring we are reminded of the Atonement and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love the peace and knowledge we are blessed with because of it. I don’t love that I had to lose a son for Easter time to become so much more meaningful to me. I don’t love it, but I am grateful for it.
During the month of March several years ago my husband and I watched as our little boy, then barely over an hour old, drew his last breath. He’d been born with some major defects within his body, and he was unable to sustain life. Before he died my husband, my father, and my older brother all stood around me as I held this precious baby. These three worthy men of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nicknamed the Mormon Church, laid their hands on his head and gave him a priesthood blessing.
Only a few weeks later I sat in church listening to fellow members bear their testimony about what the Atonement means to them. It struck me all of a sudden of how much more I appreciated the sacrifice our Lord made. I had lost family members and friends before, but there’s something different about losing a child. I dearly hope none of you ever have to experience it.
Over the next several posts I hope to share with you a little of what I’ve come to learn about the Atonement and the Resurrection. I know there are others who could cover the subject so much more thoroughly than I can hope. I know there are others who could recite scripture and prophetic proclamations with precision I could never accomplish at this time.
I also know that Heavenly Father gives us certain tasks, trials, tests so that we can learn, grow, and become closer to Him and His ways. I know He wishes for us to share these experiences for the benefit of others. I know my son was given to me for a reason, and I really have learned so much since then. The experience of losing my son at times felt like too much to bear, and yet I have been so blessed in my life because of it.
Two of my favorite scripture verses that really bring this home come from the Book of Mormon, another testament of Christ.
“For I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 36:3).
“I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith” (Ether 12:6).
I have not witnessed the Atonement. I was not there when Christ was crucified and rose again. But because of what I have experienced with my son, I have such great faith that both things occurred.
Granted I was older when all this happened. This does not mean the Atonement and Resurrection cannot mean just as much to you as teens. If you wish to gain a closer relationship with the Lord, begin by studying His words and His life. Even if it’s just by reading a few words of testimony this blogger has to give.
I do have a testimony. I know that the Lord sacrificed Himself so that we might be forgiven of our sins. I know that not only did He endure the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane once, but went back twice more knowing full well the pain He would continue to endure. I know that after this excruciating experience He willingly allowed Himself to be taken, beaten, and crucified for us. I also know that three days later He rose, triumphant.
I do not love that He had to go through all of that, but I am grateful He did.