Sunday, November 20, 2011

Savior, Redeemer Of My Soul

I'm thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I feel that there are not adequate words with which to describe how I feel about my Savior. To list in detail everything He has done for mankind would take more than a lifetime. To repay Him for all of his service and love is impossible. The least I can do is show my gratitude to Him.

I've been taking a class this semester than focuses on the 4 Gospels and the life of Christ, and it has been a great experience. Learning about the miracles and teachings of Jesus is so very important, and I feel closer to Him when I learn more about His life. Perhaps that is why I found "Jesus the Christ" to be such an amazing (albeit linguistically tedious) book to read.

My favorite visual depiction of the life of Jesus Christ is the photography collection "Reflections of Christ" by Mark Mabry. Several years ago, we had the wonderful opportunity to have the collection come to Fresno. These humongous photographs were set up in the Cultural Hall of our church building and I got to take my time viewing the exhibit, and it was by far my favorite exhibit I've ever walked through. The video below has all 26 images from the exhibit on it, as well as an enchanting arrangement of one of my favorite hymns. Take the time to watch it (turn your volume up!) and if you ever get the chance to see the exhibit in real life, do NOT pass the opportunity up. Especially because the video does not do the photographs justice.

My favorite Christ-related topic to learn about just so happens to be the Atonement. This act that Christ performed for all of creation is the crowning jewel of His earthy ministry, the ultimate manifestation of love, and the single most important event to have occurred in all of history. Out of all the things for which I praise and love my Savior, this merits the highest amount of my gratitude. Through the Atonement, I can find peace. I can find solace. I can feel forgiveness and mercy. I can once again become worthy to enter the presence of God. One of my favorite books about the Atonement is "The Infinite Atonement" by Tad R. Callister because it goes in-depth about several different ways in which the Atonement's effects are infinite, and then some of the blessings we get from the Atonement. It also talks about the Atonement's connection to the Fall and to our salvation. Without the Atonement, our life would have no purpose because this act is the gate through which we can be resurrected and exalted. No Atonement = no way to progress after death because we would have no way of becoming worthy to return to our Father's presence. The effects of the Fall would be permanent and everlasting.

So, I am incredibly thankful that my Older Brother loved me enough to endure unimaginable suffering, cruel torment from His own people, and death by crucifixion... all so that I could have an opportunity to be like Him. And the sad part is that not everyone partakes of this amazing gift. The Savior suffered for all, but only a comparatively few people actually take advantage of the price He paid. Are we to let Christ's Atonement go to waste? I personally think that I need to work on taking better advantage of it.

He is the greatest example of service and charity. He is perfect, just, and merciful. He is my greatest role model, my truest friend, my advocate with the Father. He and my Father in Heaven have both blessed me so greatly, and sometimes I feel that I don't quite deserve it. They are both so good to me and I will forever be in their debt.

My favorite of David's Psalms is the 23rd one:
1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over.
6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

I love it when Jesus is compared to a shepherd; He will never lead us astray and He will always make sure that not one member of His flock is forgotten. He knows each of us... our names, our dreams, our sins, our weaknesses... and He wants to help us.

Painting by Simon Dewey

I love my Savoir with all my heart! I look forward to being able to stand in His presence, feel the marks in His hands and feet, and look into His eyes and hear His voice. I want to thank Him a thousand times over and sit at His feet to listen to Him teach. I know that He is willing to guide my life when I take the time to let Him. I pray that I will stay worthy of the blessings and guidance that He has to offer me.

A few thoughts to leave you with... both scriptural and lyrical, some of my favorites...

Psalms 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

Moroni 7:33 "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me."

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

"Never can I repay thee, Lord,
But I can love thee. Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips reflect it still,
And all my life reflect thy will."
- lyrics from the hymn "Savior, Redeemer Of My Soul"

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like it must have been an awesome class--to study Jesus' life as portrayed in the Gospels. There's so much there. One of my favorite verses is at the end of the book of John. John 21:25 "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written."
    Psalm 23 is a great one, too. I memorized it as a kid and it has been appropriate during so many different situations of my life.