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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Enabling Power

Within a year of coming home from my mission, I found myself sitting in a crowded Marriot Center at BYU, listening to a Tuesday devotional by some person I had never heard of before. I hate to admit this, but sometimes when it would be a speaker I had never heard of I would skip the devotional to get some studying done instead. I don't think I could have known in advance what a huge impact this particular talk on this particular day would have on me. It is one of few moments that I remember vivid details - like, where I was sitting, the view I had of the speaker, and more importantly the feelings I felt.

The man gave an unforgettable talk on the power of the atonement, using scriptures and stories that really strengthened my understanding and testimony of it. I made notes all over my scriptures, wanting to ensure I wouldn't forget his explanations... and it worked. It has been more than six years and it is still very fresh in my memory. In fact, I remember near the end of his talk, being so stunned by the entire experience that I thought to myself, "Who is this guy?"

Well, I happened to be thinking about this talk the other day and decided to see if I could find it through BYU. Well, I was quite surprised to discover that I've actually heard this man speak since then, without even realizing it was him at that devotional in 2001. At the time of the talk, he was the President of BYU-Idaho... who we now know as Elder David A. Bednar.

It was so uplifting to read his talk again today, that I just had to recommend it to everyone else. It really is a very powerful message of comfort and hope.

Here is just a small taste of what you'll find in it:

The enabling power of the Atonement of Christ strengthens us to do things we could never do on our own. Sometimes I wonder if in our latter-day world of ease--in our world of microwave ovens and cell phones and air-conditioned cars and comfortable homes--I wonder if we ever learn to acknowledge our daily dependence upon the enabling power of the Atonement.


There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, "No one understands. No one knows." No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, and succor--literally run to us--and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying only upon our own power.


Christian & Jennifer said...

Thanks for posting this! I had the opportunity to meet Elder Bednar when I was a student at BYU-I, working at the student radio station. I, too, felt there was something incredibly different and special about him. He is a powerful speaker and parts of this talk brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing!

Marc and Megan said...

Wow, Jen, you worked at a radio station? That's very cool! And, even more cool that you got to meet Elder Bednar! :)