Sunday, August 23, 2015

Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet

by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

This talk begins with the suspenseful story of 14 year old Jimmy and his 19 year old brother, John. My entire house was quiet and everyone's attention was fixed on the TV while Elder Holland was telling this story. 
 Two boys were rock climbing in Snow Canyon State Park.  Why they weren't wearing any safety gear (harnesses, safety ropes, etc) is beyond me, but they weren't.  Near the top of their climb they discovered a protruding ledge that denied them access to the top.  There wasn't a way to get over it.  The older boy, John, was somehow able to boost his little brother, Jimmy, on top of the ledge.  But there was no way to lift himself up.  Soon, his muscles began to fatigue.  He decided that his only option was to try to jump and try to catch hold of the ledge, hoping to have enough strength left to pull himself up on top of the ledge to safety.

He knows this is risky.  Not wanting his younger brother to see him if he should fail and fall to his death below, he asks him to go find a branch he can lower down to him.  Giving his brother enough time to be gone, John leaps.  He catches the ledge, but there was nothing to hang on to and his fingers slowly began to slip on the sandy surface.  There was no way he going to be able to hold on.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, two hands grabbed his wrists and pulled him up to safety.  
"[His} faithful little brother had not gone looking for any fictitious branch.  Guessing exactly what [John] was planning to do, he had never moved an inch.  He had simply waited - silently, almost breathlessly- knowing full well [John] would be foolish enough to try to make that jump. When [he] did, [Jimmy] grabbed [him], held [him], and refused to let [him] fall.  Those strong brotherly arms saved [his] life that day as [he] dangled helplessly above what would surely have been certain death."
This story reminded me of an activity my family did last summer (you can read more about it here).  Each one of us had to reach the top of a 12 foot wall- an almost impossible task.  Luckily, just like in the story of Jimmy and John, someone from the top was able to reach down and grab the climber pulling him or her to safety.

We all make mistakes.  We all fall and find ourselves desperately trying hang on over a high cliff.
Fortunately, we have a Savior who is there to grab us, hold us, and who refuses to let us fall.
image source
"Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could, like, lightning in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to eternal life."

I am so grateful for a Savior who suffered, bled, and died for me that Easter weekend over 2000 years ago.  I know that if I had been the only one who needed the Atonement, He still would have completed it.  He loves me and is always there to catch me when I fall.

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