Atonement: for Saints & Sinners
“How can the Atonement help me with my trials “
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: ”How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
Found the water info here
This same concept applies to the different things we carry around with us during our life, whether is be sin, sorrow, heartache, grief, addiction and so on.
Heavenly Father will not take away all of our pains, trials and heartache-
But he will help us through them by strengthening us through the Atonement, so we can carry them.
Mutual nights are perfect opportunities to have a little object lesson- we are going to have someone hold a glass of water and talk about it- how can the water become lighter or less of a burden without taking it away?
I taught this lesson last Sunday (3/17/13) and we chatted about the water, I asked if it looked heavy, then asked one of the girls to hold it. I had her hold through out the whole lesson, after a bit she would switch hands and we would just chat about it getting heavier. It tied into the lesson perfectly because at the end of class she wanted to put it down and get a break from holding it. We talked about letting things go and giving them to the Lord, even if it was just for a little bit.
Because we tend to generalize the Atonement we forget that the Savior has been through it all- all of our sorrows, sins, heartache- it all- sometimes we forget that he would know how it feels- and because he knows how we feel he would probably be able to guide us and strengthen us during those times in our lives- when the things we are carrying become overwhelming and paralyzing. Through him we can become strengthened.
Jenny Phillips has a great song that goes along with this called “In the Strength of the Lord” from last years CD
Sister Chieko N. Okazai said:
“We know that on some level Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It’s our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don’t think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don’t experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. Than means Jesus knows what it felt like when your Mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked, and the car started to skid. He experienced napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.
“What does that mean? it means he understands your mother-pain when your five year-old leaves for kindergarten when a bully picks on your fifth grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has down’s syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two year old, when someone gives your thirteen year old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen year old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children who ever come are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife are sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows it all. He’s been there. He’s lower than all that.- from the book- Lighten Up
It was a good reminder that the Atonement is for all of us and with things that might not seem like a big deal can weigh on us and that the Savior can strengthen us in what ever it is we are carrying around.
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