This article is part of a series called PARADIGMS OF POWER. These paradigms, or perspectives, are tools to be used as mental weapons in the battle against darkness. We have the power and privilege to Neutralize Negative Emotion, Expand our Faith, and actually Become “One” with Christ. These tools can help us accomplish that objective.
Many years ago, I had a dear friend, (I’ll call her Jane), who lost her husband to a sudden illness leaving her with TEN children at home, under the age of 17. It was a brutal blow. To make matters worse, the payment to their insurance policy wasn’t received in time, and therefore no money was obtainable in a settlement. Without warning, she was forced to carry the entire financial as well as emotional burden of her large family. What was she going to do? How was she going to do it?
As she was agonizing about her situation, she had a powerful spiritual experience. She unexpectedly heard her dead husband’s voice. He was speaking as if from the pre-existence, and she heard him say, “I will go down. I will marry Jane and we will have ten children. I will then die, so that Jane can learn to understand the Atonement!”
This experience that Jane shared with me, made a profound effect on me over the years, and I’ve pondered on it many times. This woman was a woman of tremendous faith, and the experience made her into a fortress. So many people were brought into her life to help her, filling every need.
She felt the Lord’s hand all along the way, with what seemed like an impossible, and overwhelming situation. She DID learn to understand the At-one-ment little by little as she continually submitted her ALL to the Lord. She felt her pain and circumstances “swallowed up” in Christ, as she experienced His tender mercies. What she received was directly proportional to that which she relinquished.
Do WE understand the Atonement? What would we be willing to do to be ONE with God and let Him run our life? What would we be willing to sacrifice to enjoy His continuous peace and presence?
Jane was placed in a situation where she had to “sink or swim” in applying the Atonement. She absolutely knew she couldn’t get through this gut-wrenching time in her life alone. Elder Uchtdorf has said, “Though you may feel that no one can understand the depth of your despair, our Savior, Jesus Christ, understands. He suffered more than we can possibly imagine, and He did it for us; He did it for you. You are not alone.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Your Happily Ever After,” Ensign, May 2010). Jane had to rely each day on the Lord’s mercy and inspiration to get her through.
Our needs may not feel so urgent as Jane’s, but whether we know it or not, we are all in dire need of a Savior on a daily basis. We make SO many mistakes and regularly tie into anger, pride, self -pity and temptation, without even realizing it. The more we become aware of these times, the more we can ask the Lord for help. He will respond to our pleas, because he wants us to become “ONE” with Him.
President Howard W. Hunter has said, “If our lives and our faith are centered upon Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong.” (Howard W. Hunter, “Fear Not Little Flock,” BYU Devotional, 14 March, 1989.)
It may feel like “all hell breaks loose” to us, but when we make the effort to center our attention on Christ, He will fight our battles, and we will be able to receive the precious blessings He wants to give us. These are the exact blessings we need, to make it through our present circumstances.
Give Him Your “ALL!”
IMAGINE kneeling before the Lord in His physical Presence. IN YOUR MINDS EYE DO THE FOLLOWING:
“Give” Him ALL of your possessions–and place them on the altar.
Relinquish your house, car, clothes, computer and even your cell phone.
“Give” Him ALL of your relationships–and place them on the altar.
Put them in the hands of the Lord. Surrender them, like Abraham of old.
“Give” Him your status and titles–and place them on the altar.
Renounce all diplomas, awards, and rank.
“Give” Him ALL successes and failures–and place them on the altar.
Give Him the good and the bad.
“Give” Him ALL your desires–and place them on the altar.
Surrender everything you want to accomplish in your life. Give it all to God!
What you have left is just your BARE SOUL before the Lord! You have “given” Him everything else. In this state there is nothing between you and Him; nothing to get in the way of pure exchange. This is At-One-Ment!
When we pray in this state, we feel total humility and dependence upon Him—like a baby. We don’t insist that things happen in any particular way. We feel “swallowed up” in Him. The irony is, that in this state of nothingness, humility and meekness, we feel greater abundance, acceptance and oneness than is possible with all our baggage and story.
The More We Give Him, The More We Receive
The stronger the connection we have with the Lord, the more spiritual aid we will realize in our lives. We can know when we expand to the point where we are “ONE”, because it is a relationship just between our bare uncluttered soul and the Lord. When everything is surrendered, we begin to sense who we really are, and our authentic selves emerge. We feel absolutely blissful and validated, as we bask in the aliveness of His presence.
Just as my friend “Jane” discovered, when we are ONE with the Lord and His love, everything falls into place and all our needs are eventually taken care of, even during the most tragic of circumstances. The Lord put the “possible” into her “impossible” situation. He can do the same for us.
The Lord is willing to give us this gift and literally share his ALL with us. All he requires from us is EVERYTHING! The more we render to the Lord, through our submission, the more he renders to us. Are we willing to pay the price to receive ALL THAT WE NEED NOW in this life, and ALL THAT THE FATHER HAS in the eternities?
When we become ONE with the Lord we, like Jane, can learn to understand and apply the Atonement!
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