Why is it that so many of us try to conquer life by ourselves, when in fact we have a Savior who has already experienced all pains, sorrows, sins, and adversity so that we don’t have to be “on our own?” We don’t have to do it alone! I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the “Mormon Church”), and I testify that Jesus Christ can heal us in every way possible, until we are made whole—if we ask for His help.
Asking God for help and growing closer to Him
In a book titled, Experiencing Christ: Your Personal Journey to the Savior, written by Randall J. Brown, and published in 2009 by Cedar Fort, Inc., he shares some thoughts on our need to rely on Jesus Christ during our trials, times of sorrow, and during our moments of sin:
Unfortunately, many of us as mortal beings do not sense our desperate need for the Great Physician until we have witnessed the extent of our wounds. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said,
Trying to comprehend the trials and meaning of this life without understanding Heavenly Father’s marvelously encompassing plan of salvation is like trying to understand a three-act play while seeing only the second act. Fortunately, our knowledge of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His Atonement helps us to endure our trials and to see purpose in suffering and to trust God for what we cannot comprehend. Revealed truths reassure us that we are enclosed in divine empathy. As Enoch witnessed, we worship a God who wept over needless human misery and wickedness (see Moses 7:28-29, 33, 37). Jesus’ perfect empathy was ensured when, along with His Atonement for our sins, He took upon Himself our sickness, sorrows, grief and infirmities and came to know these according to the flesh (Alma 7:11). He did this in order that He might be filled with perfect, personal mercy and empathy and thereby know how to succor us in our infirmities. He thus fully comprehends human suffering. Truly Christ “descended below all things, in that He comprehended all things” (D&C 88:6) (“Enduring Well,” Ensign, Apr. 1997).
The one and only purpose for the adversity and afflictions of mortality is to allow us to humbly acknowledge our need for the Savior Jesus Christ. This includes the afflictions of our sins. Each of us knows from experience that sin afflicts our souls in unbearable ways. Our afflictions are designed to turn us to Christ as our only way back to our Father. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
The Apostle Paul taught the Romans, “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3-4). Like Paul, we also can glory in tribulations, because they refine us and mold us for divine nature. If we understand the purposes of our tribulations, we can allow them to teach us patience. Our patience then makes it possible to gain experience, and it is only through experience that we come to know Christ.
Paul went on to teach that “our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6). If we turn to Christ to support us through the experience of our tribulations, we will also experience Him. Our natural man will be crucified with Christ, as we will be made “alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11).
How do we choose to let hardships refine us than define us?
I have seen moments in my own life when I have let the hard times I am experiencing define who I am; I have also seen moments when adversity has helped me be humble enough to ask God for help—relying on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and in so doing growing closer to Him. The choice is ours. The more we choose to rely on Jesus Christ to help us during moments of hardship (whether they be hard times, temptations, or sins) the more Christ will take away the impurities of our soul (refining). Life is hard when we go at it alone, but when we ask God for help each experience we go through can become a sweet moment in time.
I invite you to learn more about how Jesus Christ can enhance your life, even more, by meeting with Mormon missionaries. I testify that they are representatives of Jesus Christ and can help you draw near to him in every aspect of your life.
Ashley Bell is a 22-year old wife, mother, BYU graduate, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ashley loves to run, cook, garden, read, and most of all spend time with family and friends.