Today I was asked to speak in church. It was a blessing for me as I prepared. It helped me focus on the Savior more and realize what a blessing the Atonement is in my life especially after the loss of our son Nate.
I decided to post it as my entry today and hope it can give a dose of joy to you ❤️
Easter April 21, 2019 – Kristy’s Sacrament Talk
I am comforted today with the conference talk by our beloved Prophet Russell M Nelson from 2 Sunday’s ago at General Conference when he stood and wept tears over the recent loss of his daughter to cancer much like Scott and I do with our son Nate who passed a little over 2 & ½ months ago. President Nelson knows the plan better I think than anyone and he still cried. I learned from him that tears are OK so I am thankful for his beautiful example.
I pray the spirit will teach us today and you will understand if I share a couple recent experiences with our son that taught me more about the Atonement.
Those who hated Jesus thought they had put an end to Him forever when they nailed him to the cross on Calvary but this was the Son of God and there was a plan. A plan for us be able to return to our Heavenly Father.
None of us can fully understand what our Savior went through in Gethsemane.
I saw a small piece of that though when our Son Nate was going through his wound dressing change.
Because of an infection that caused him to have a 2nd major surgery in 8 days and which took his colon it was decided not to close the wound with stiches. Instead he would have a wound vac which meant that 3 times a week the dressing from his large wound would be removed and re-packed and then suctioned close again and he would heal from the inside out, it took 3 months.
The first time the dressing change was happening Alicia his sweet wife and I went in to be with him during this procedure. Soon it was obvious he had not been given enough pain medicine and he grabbed on both sided the bed railings and shook with indescribable pain as the packing was being removed. There was nothing we could do…. He had to go through it. He wept, we wept.
At one point in Gethsemane Jesus said in Luke 22…
“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
I am sure much like we wept with Nate our Heavenly Father wept to see his son go through so much pain… But there was a purpose, a reason, a plan. The Atonement for you and for me.
This Atonement – provided 2 significate blessings for each one of us. The first – No matter how young, beautiful, healthy, or cautious we are, someday death will come. Nate had no warning except tiredness before his diagnosis with stage 4 cancer. No matter what we tried we could not stop our son’s passing and he was gone in 4 months… and We cannot bring him back...but the Lord can!
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in a talk given April conference 2018 “Because of Jesus Christ, death will be temporary. Your spirit one day will reunite with your body. This resurrected body will not be subject to death,3 and you will live in the eternities, free from pain and physical suffering.4
This will happen because of Jesus the Christ, who laid down His life and took it up again.
He did this for all who believe in Him.
He did this for all who do not believe in Him.
He did this even for those who mock, revile, and curse His name.“
Everyone of us will be given the blessing of resurrection from the grave. What a comforting and reassuring gift that is to our family now more than ever. For those who also have lost love ones and reflect on them this time of year maybe this quote from Neal A. Maxwell will help your feelings of loss…
“Though we miss the departed righteous so much here, hundreds may feel their touch (in the afterlife). One day, those hundreds will thank the bereaved for gracefully forgoing the extended association with choice individuals here, in order that they could help hundreds there. In God’s ecology, talent and love are never wasted.”
The second blessing through the Atonement given is up to us. In the scriptures we read “no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom.” No matter how good our intentions – We all sin, that is part of this life and because of our sins we are shut out from His presence, that is until Jesus’ atonement.6
Elder Uctdorf continues “…Jesus Christ, the Lamb without spot, offered His life as a ransom for our sins. Because Jesus owed no debt to justice, He could pay our debt and meet the demands of justice for every soul. And that includes you and me.
Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins.
All of them.
… regardless of our past, we can repent and follow the path that leads to celestial light and glory”
Brothers and Sisters… it is our choice to accept the gift of repentance and be saved from our sins. Satan would have us believe, it is too late, we have done too much wrong, there is no hope. BUT I testify that the Lord’s arms are always open. He loves us, He will never turn his back on you or me. We can have our sins not only erased but forgotten. We choose what direction we are headed and who we will put our trust in.
Yes it will take effort but this has become more real to me that it is of eternal consequence and worth every effort.
I asked Nate’s children what Easter mean to them now…
Anna – 15 – I can not wait for the day my Dad gets resurrected. I think I am more excited to celebrate Easter now – it is time to celebrate life, Joy, Peace & Christ.
Brooklyn – 13 – when I was little it was “Easter bunny is going to come!” Now Easter means we get to celebrate we get to live forever.
Cami – 11 – Easter means to me it is OK if someone dies like my Dad because you get to see them again after the resurrection.
Drake – 9 says when he was young all Easter meant to him was Easter Bunny and candy but now Easter means a celebration of life!
This is what we celebrate on Easter Sunday—we celebrate life!
Those who crucified Christ – saw him in the flesh but did not truly see who he was.
Elder Uchdorft continues… “Those who find a way to truly behold the Man find the doorway to life’s greatest joys and the balm to life’s most demanding despairs.
So, when you are encompassed by sorrows and grief, behold the Man.
When you feel lost or forgotten, behold the Man.
When you are despairing, deserted, doubting, damaged, or defeated, behold the Man.
He will comfort you.
He will heal you and give meaning to your journey. He will pour out His Spirit and fill your heart with exceeding joy.16
When we truly behold the Man, we learn of Him, seek to align our lives with Him. We repent and…daily grow a little closer to Him. We trust Him.…”
When we truly behold the Man, we have the promise of a blessed future that inspires and upholds us through the might rapids of life.
Is it any wonder that “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ … that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins”?19
In the final minute of our Nate’s life he opened his eyes, pushed his head back and looked up and had the most peaceful gaze. I have no doubt that at that very moment the heavens opened and he Beheld the Man his Savior, Our Savior and all his worldly pains were taken from him.
This is what we celebrate on Easter Sunday—we celebrate life!
The Atonement is truly a gift. It is the Love of God.
He loves us and wants us each back with Him.
There is Happiness ahead even when we sin or go through heart breaking times…if we will put our trust in Him and use the gift of repentance lasting joy comes.
I am so grateful for a Savior who provided hope, peace and a future with those we have lost and loved. I have no doubt Families CAN BE Forever.
I am grateful for a Prophet Russel M. Nelson who this very morning sent out a message on Instagram to the world – the last few lines read as follows…
“I testify that He is the living Christ – our Lord and Savior, Redeemer, Exemplar, and Judge. Thanks to Him, no condition is hopeless. Brighter days are ahead, both here and hereafter.”
In the name of Jesus Christ Amen