"And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more aworthy to be called thy bson."
I desire to share my testimony of the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ's atonement. It is not a gift uniquely available to me but to every living soul under the Sun, moon, and stars. The Bible tells us of the well-known tale of the "Prodigal Son." In a brief recap of the story, we learn of a man whose son withdrew his inheritance money and left his father's home--surely with big dreams and a sense of excitement. Unfortunately, as the scriptures say, he "took his journey into a far country, and there awasted his bsubstance with criotous living. "His money and his friends disappeared sooner than he thought possible—they always do—and a day of terrible reckoning came thereafter—it always does" (Jeffrey R. Holland). The story continues and tells of his poor and desperate state--how "he awould fain have filled his belly with the bhusks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him." It is here that I wish to pause, but not linger too long. I pause at a moment that I dare say we have all encountered at one point or another in our lives. It is the moment where we realize that "wickedness never was happiness." A moment when we are engulfed head-deep by sin, dishonesty, and pride. There is a sudden emptiness, a lack of direction, and a rediscovered conscious filled with shameful remorse. Such an experience made the future prophet Alma cry out "Oh, thought I, that I acould be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my bdeeds. And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the apains of a bdamned soul."
In this terrible ordeal, we may wonder where relief will come from. Alma, continuing, gives us the all-important answer: "And it came to pass that as I was thus aracked with torment, while I was bharrowed up by the cmemory of my many sins, behold, I dremembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world." The answer is the atonement of Jesus Christ. We have all felt some version of these pains and I do testify that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can find true and lasting relief. Our minds need not be harrowed up by our memories. The Lord invited us to come and be pure through him when he said, "Come now, and let us areason together, saith the Lord: though your bsins be as scarlet, they shall be as cwhite as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18). Repentance and baptism by water and by fire are the means through which we can be cleansed, if we have faith in Christ.
We must have the courage to get up and realize that we are "better than our circumstances," just as the prodigal son "arose, and came to his father." A most heart-warming and inspiring scene then ensues and with that I close this blog post: "But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had acompassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more aworthy to be called thy bson. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."