You are worthless.
Let’s face it, no matter how hard you try, you will never be good enough, smart enough, wise enough, responsible enough, you will always fall short of what you want to accomplish.
Those statements, among numerous more, are the day to day lies the adversary whispers into our ears to “bring us down to the gulf of misery and endless woe”.
He tries to make us think we cannot repent, we cannot improve, we cannot achieve. One thing is clear-by ourselves as humans, imperfections and all, we will fall short of our worthiness before God, because we are mere mortal beings with flaws. But in and through Christ, all things are possible.
One of the biggest lies ever told is that whatever sin or mistake we have committed, we are too far gone, too out of reach of the power of Christ’s Atonement to be healed. That is simply not true, and ultimately damaging to us emotionally and spiritually.
In the hymn “Lord, I would follow Thee”, there is a phrase I would like to focus on-
“In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can’t see.”
There are numerous “hidden sorrows” in this journey we call life, namely depression, anxiety, divorce, drug addiction, suicidal tendencies, the loss of a child, just to name a few. These hidden sorrows can sometimes make us feel like there is no hope, no way out. It feels like no one understands our plight, we feel stuck and alone and afraid.
There is no greater fear than hearing the trembling voice of a loved one expressing their failure as a person and wanting their life to be over. The third verse of “Lord, I would follow thee” reads-
“I would be my brothers keeper, I would learn the healers art. To the wounded and the weary, I would show a gentle heart… ”
It is crucial at these times to always extend the hand of fellowship and love. Too often there are metaphorical fingers pointing in scorn, harsh words spoken behind backs, and high horses being saddled. We may know our neighbor, but we might be unaware of personal struggles they may be having. Putting others needs before our own is something we all strive to do.
How grateful we have felt when kindness and compassion was shown to us in our time of need, even if it was just a smile and a hug. Small acts of kindess go a long way.
The adversary knows our weaknesses but more importantly, the Savior knows our strengths and can lift us up when our hands hang down.
Depression hits too close to home for me and I know the difficulties associated with it can seem insurmountable. It rears its head and can send a person into a metaphorical black hole. Fear replaces faith and doubt replaces hope.
The Saviors gentle Hands are continuously extended to us and can bring us out of despair.
Drug and alcohol addiction is something I have seen not in my life but those I love and I know what it can do to a person. It takes precedence over everything else after a time and can be a life altering downward spiral. It is not as easy as just asking the person to stop, the addiction is very real and very invasive with sometimes disasterous consequences.
Years ago I had the distinct impression to call my loved one, and I ignored the prompting. I went about my daily tasks and again the prompting came “Call him now”. I stopped what I was doing and called him.
It was a short conversation, and only later did I find out that he was going to take his life that night due to his difficulty with drugs and alcohol. In this conversation they mentioned “the Atonement wasn’t for me, I’m not worth saving. I’m sure the Savior is disappointed in me.”
My response was that of course the Atonement was for them.
The whole point of that infinite sacrifice was so the Savior could know how to help them in that very moment because He has already felt those difficulties. Not just in general but He has felt their specific trial.
Drops of blood were shed for sins yes, but also for the heartache, the emotional toil, the inability to cope, the fear of failure, the physical pains and all that comes with it.
The Lord knows our hearts-he knows when we are trying our best to overcome the hard things in life and He wants us to turn to Him.
He will fight for us, He will cheer us on, He will hold our hand.
He will cry with us, He will pick us up when we can’t stand. He will carry us through the obstacles we face.
The Atonement is for you.
It is for me.
It is for all of mankind.