12.02.2009

"The Savior's atonement...is intimate as well as infinite." -Merrill J. Bateman

I don't know if I've ever talked about this, but everyone in my Book of Mormon class is old. Well, old in my eyes, because I feel like I am so young and inexperienced compared to them. At least 21 or older and there is one gentleman in our class who is 72 years old named Jim. I've always wondered why he was in our class or what he was doing still taking an Institute class and yesterday I found out.

It was Jim's turn to do the devotional. When we do devotionals, we are supposed to tell a little bit about ourselves, share a spiritual thought, pick a hymn to sing, and someone to say the prayer. Jim, this cute old man, slowly walks to the front of the room and proceeds to tell us about himself. He was a doctor who then became a professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Utah. Five years ago, his wife died of leukemia and he retired from his career as a professor and received special permission to come to the Institute to take classes. He takes 3 classes at the Institute every semester and doesn't miss a day.

His spiritual thought was 3 Nephi 11:15 and he talked about the scripture, saying "I've certainly had my ups and downs in life, but I do not doubt there is a Savior. He knows all of us personally and died for each of us individually. I wish I could've been there to see Him when He visited the Americas and I know that He probably won't come back in my lifetime, but I know I'll see Him again some day." Just simple as that. He then said, "It's a privilege to be surrounded by young people with strong testimonies and to have my testimony strengthened by you. Thank you."

I felt the Spirit so strongly and the love that Heavenly Father has for all of us, including Jim, me, and you. His thought fit perfectly as we discussed Alma 7:10-12 and the Atonement. Even though I have to leave the class early on Tuesdays to make it to another class on campus, it is nice to go for a half hour and have such great insight and reminders. It's a major blessing in my life. Here are some of the quotes my teacher had on a power point to go with this lesson.

"The Savior’s atonement in the garden and on the cross is intimate as well as infinite. Infinite in that it spans the eternities. Intimate in that the Savior felt each person’s pains, sufferings, and sicknesses. Consequently, he knows how to carry our sorrows and relieve our burdens that we might be healed from within, made whole persons, and receive everlasting joy in his kingdom."
-Merrill J. Bateman, "The Power To Heal From Within", General Conference April 1995

"No mortal being had the power or capability to redeem all other mortals from their lost and fallen condition, nor could any other voluntarily forfeit his life and thereby bring to pass a universal resurrection for all other mortals. Only Jesus Christ was able and willing to accomplish such a redeeming act of love. We may never understand nor comprehend in mortality how He accomplished what He did, but we must not fail to understand why He did what He did. Everything He did was prompted by His unselfish, infinite love for us." -Ezra Taft Benson, "Jesus Christ: Our Savior and Redeemer"

If you get the chance to read these talks, I would highly recommend it. And there was a quote by C.S. Lewis, but I could not find it. If I do, I'll post it another time.

To sum it all up, yesterday, I had a really good reminder. The worth of souls is great in the sight of God and we do not know what people are going through or why they may be in our lives, but it's our job to recognize their worth, learn from them, and try to help them too. But more often than not they will help us more as we serve them and get to know them.

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