Monday, June 10, 2013

Laying Hold on Christ and His Atonement

One woman's journey through steps 4 & 5....
Contributed by Tara

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Alma 36 and 37 always resonates with me. He's always been the perfect example of being overwhelmed with sin and then being free from that pain. Though I like to relate scriptural stories to myself, I never felt that I would have such an experience; a visitation from an angel and the immediate relief from calling upon the Savior. 

But I did. When I finished Steps 4/5.

Step 4 was a mountain that took months for me to climb. I had tried to be better for so long with little success and I had lost all hope. I didn't think I could do it. I didn't know how. Simply striving to live gospel principles didn't seem like the answer because I'd always done that. But I found that working the steps was helping. When I finally felt complete and satisfied with my list, I went to my sponsor. 

I was unprepared for the miracle that meeting would bring... 

As I sat down with my sponsor, she had me read through my list. She would discuss different areas with me, point out patterns she saw, and seek to understand me better. As Alma says, "Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities," I literally had all the sins and iniquities I could think of laid out before me.

As I discussed each area, rather than feel shame or embarrassment, I felt relief. Her faith that Christ could change me; her testimony that He had done it for her and for many others, gave me hope. It wasn't until I spoke about my weaknesses out loud, and then heard her words of encouragement, that I truly began to believe.

I truly began to see how God could and would remove my weaknesses. It was at that time that I finally laid hold of Christ and his atonement. I started to believe and hope. The very next day I was brimming over with happiness and love, and I desired to be a more faithful servant of God. I finally saw how Alma could go from such torment to such joy. It's faith and hope that brings joy, not perfection.

Since that experience, I'm excited when I discover a weakness, because I know it can become a strength. That one night has changed my life drastically. I didn't need to see an angel to provide the same outcome that Alma received. I simply needed a sponsor (who is an angel to me) who could remind me of and strengthen my faith in my Savior. I am happier, friendlier and more loving. And I want only to share it with everyone.

Though these steps are hard work and take time, they are worth every effort and minute.

4 comments:

  1. ah! So timely! Thank you for posting this!

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  2. Ditto to Stephanie - so timely for me as well. What a testimony. I feel a LOT of fear for my 5, reading this was very helpful in reminding me WHY I'm inventorying and what the purpose of step 5 is. Thanks :)

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  3. Oh,Step 4! Thanks for sharing this. I remember finishing my Step 5 and being scared to look up because I was sure my support person would hate me. It was so wonderful to feel that love from her and to know she understood and that I was still loveable. Tara, you rock!

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Thank you for sharing a moment with me:-)

Ezekiel 34:11-12,16

"For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick"