rdmcneely-giIn these challenging times, what a blessing it is to be able to read about Jesus Christ—our Savior and Redeemer—in the scriptures each day! How grateful I am for the light and hope they bring to my life. I love the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I love to read from their pages and ponder the meaning of Christ’s teachings that are found there.

Both yesterday and today, I had the privilege of re-reading a speech given by an ancient king in the Americas, King Benjamin. Not only was he a king, but he was also a holy man — a prophet of God. Toward the end of his life King Benjamin asked his son, Mosiah, to send a proclamation throughout the land, requesting that the people gather to the temple so that he could give them some final council and name Mosiah as their new king.

King Benjamin’s entire discourse can be found in the Book of Mormon, in the book of Mosiah, chapters three through five. I love the entire discourse and have read it many times. As I read it this time, however, I was particularly touched by some verses in Mosiah chapter three.

In Mosiah 3:5-7 we read:

“For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.

And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men.

And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.”

I’ve read these verses multiple times and in pondering their meaning I’ve been profoundly moved. Yet somehow, this time, they seemed to penetrate even deeper into my heart.

When I read verses five and six, I couldn’t help but think of the mighty miracles Christ has performed in my life, both literally and figuratively. I’m physically alive today because of the miraculous power of the priesthood, the power on earth to act in God’s name. In other words, the same power through which Christ performed His miracles when He walked the earth.

I’m spiritually alive today because of the healing power of Christ’s word. Through His word, I have been raised from spiritual death. Through His word, I have overcome and can continue to overcome spiritual lameness and walk in a newness of life. Through His word I can see with spiritual eyes things that my physical eyes cannot comprehend, meaning, I gain spiritual insights that can come in no other way. Through His word I have been cured countless times from a myriad of spiritual diseases. Through His word evil, unforgiving, angry spirits have been cast out of my heart. How true are the words of another great Book of Mormon Prophet, Alma:

“And now . . . the preaching of the word . . . had [a] more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else . . .” (Alma 31:5)

When I read verse seven, I couldn’t help but groan within as I contemplated all the Savior has done for me and how weak and feeble I am in comparison.  As I contemplated His agonizing pain, so great that it caused Him, even God, to bleed at every pore, I couldn’t help but feel like Nephi in the Book of Mormon when he declared:

“O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins,” (2 Nephi 4:17-19).

However, that feeling didn’t last long as I also remembered Nephi’s next words:

“Nevertheless I know in whom I have trusted” (2 Nephi 4:19).

As my mind caught hold of this thought, a feeling of peace and tremendous gratitude swept over me.

I too, know in whom I have trusted. Because of what He was willing to suffer, Christ opened the way for each of us to repent and be healed when we make mistakes. He truly is mighty to save all who will put their trust in Him and diligently strive to keep His commandments.  He turns no man away, but His invitation, given in Matthew 11:28-30 still stands today:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

We can all find that rest, that comfort, that strength if we will open the scriptures, study and ponder the Savior’s atonement, and apply what we learn in our lives.

By Randall McNeely