We had an interesting Sunday School lesson recently. The instructor asked us to read the hymn I Know That My Redeemer Lives p136 in the hymnal and share the lines that mean so much to us. Like you, I love this song, which has a history of influence in all our lives.
The class members shared messages of hope, appreciation, loyalty, and love. Gratitude for the Savior and his important mission was apparent, and through tears many expressed their sentiments for a song and lyrics which literally has changed lives.
This was just the beginning of a beautiful lesson filled with the Spirit as the sister instructor and class members shared testimonies of the influence of the Savior Jesus Christ in their lives. I thought of my own feelings toward this song and its message. Each line describes personal and evidentiary ways the Lord influences our lives every day.
My thoughts turned to my father’s final days on this earth and his deep testimony of Jesus Christ which still rings clear in my heart and mind. I will always aspire to reach the same level of understanding, appreciation, loyalty, and love he demonstrated so well. His words still today inspire me:
Our seminary teacher and his wife spoke in the branch some time ago. Her talk was on a matter I have long been concerned about. The problem comes into perspective at a sacrament meeting: Adults as well as children give tender loving praise for bishops, teachers, neighbors, and the prophet etc. But too few feel and express it for the Savior. We are not achieving our most important goal until we have established in the hearts of our children and the saints an even greater love for Him.
Friends may betray us, spouses may leave us, health may fail, and our possessions burn up. But Christ, His promises, understanding, and love will never fail us. With some trials and most tragedies, only this can get us through. When we can take a thankless, demanding calling; give up something we wanted greatly, so we can pay our tithing; or help out someone who has badly hurt us … and say “I wouldn’t do that for anyone, except I’ll do it for Christ!” … then the power for good he can have in our lives is becoming a reality. He must be the foundation of our lives.
“I think about the great sacrifices my parents and fore bearers made for me, and the great example they set of complete faithfulness to the Savior and His teachings in their lives. Now it’s my turn. I would surely feel amiss to pass on to my posterity something less.
“As sweet to me and powerful in my life as the numerous blessings I have received, nothing brought more peace, and hope, and joy than has come from discovering the marvelous qualities of the Savior and all the gracious, loving and merciful things He has done for me and my loved ones. I cannot in any way repay Him, or properly thank Him. But this I can do, and seek with all my heart to do, and that is stand as a witness of the goodness of the Father in giving us such a leader and friend as the Savior.”
I will stand as a witness that Christ is divine, has risen from the dead, and out of his love for us has overcome every barrier to our return to Heavenly Father and enjoyment of the unspeakable joys of eternal life.
I know that His teachings are the only way to happiness and peace in this life, for individuals and nations, and to joy in the life to come.
All I do and say is in the hope that I might help His cause and help others come to Him for the right guidance in life and the strength to do what’s right.
I know that through Christ, sins can be overcome and forgiven, and lives changed, and hope restored.”
Even today as I read those words, my heart swells with appreciation and love for my father and the blessed opportunity I had to be taught at his knee. He and my mother were one in their teachings, influence, and desire to help, bless, and lift their children, grandchildren, and others.
Now that he is waiting for us on the other side of the veil, I am encouraged to live my life every day so that I can take advantage of the blessings he so beautifully articulates, which are all made possible by the Savior Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, and our Advocate with the Father.
Truly, though Jesus Christ all our fondest dreams will be realized in his time. Because of the atonement, hardships are temporary, happiness will endure, and life has meaning today, tomorrow, and for eternity.
What joy this sentence gives: I know that my Redeemer lives.
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.