Viewpoint: The Lord Can Heal the Broken Soul

Contributed By the Church News

  • 12 June 2016

“And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” —John 8:11

Article Highlights

  • If you are on the wrong path, choose to repent.
  • Satan would have you believe you cannot change.
  • Repentance brings about spiritual healing.

“There is not anything about your life that gets bent or broken that He cannot fix and will fix.” —President Boyd K. Packer

Christ can fix the broken

President Boyd K. Packer, who served as a General Authority for nearly 54 years—14 years as Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and seven years as President of that quorum—was an accomplished artist. He especially enjoyed working on paintings and carvings that reflected the beauties of nature.

Telling young adults about “the broken bird,” he offered counsel and comfort for those who might have thought they’d lost their future because of mistakes they had made. He related the following:

“Over the years, as a diversion, I have carved wooden birds. Sometimes it would take a year to complete one. I would get specimens and measure the feathers and study the colors and then carve them. I would carve a setting for them. It was very restful. Sometimes when I would get unsettled, my wife would say, ‘Why don’t you go carve a bird!’ It was a very calming thing in my life.

“Elder A. Theodore Tuttle and I were going into town one day. I had one of the carvings. I was taking it in to show someone. We had put it on the backseat. At an intersection, he slammed on the brakes, and the carving tipped upside down on the floor and broke to pieces. He pulled over to the side and looked at it. He was devastated. I was not.

“Without thinking, I said, ‘Forget it. I made it. I can fix it.’ And I did. I made it stronger than it was. I improved it a bit.

“Now, who made you? Who is your Creator? There is not anything about your life that gets bent or broken that He cannot fix and will fix. You have to decide. If some of you have made mistakes and you think you are broken and cannot be put together, you do not know the doctrine of the Church. You do not know what the Atonement was about and who the Lord is and what a power He is in your life.

“This is His Church. We are His servants. We who hold the priesthood have His authority and power. We can perform miracles. We do not talk about them. Most of those miracles have to do with healing the body. The greater miracles are the miracles of spiritual growth and healing in the lives of every one of us.

“So if you are on the wrong path, then you must decide. You have the agency. You have the promptings of the Holy Ghost to guide you. There is that great truth that the gospel is a gospel of repentance. Repentance is like a mathematical equation. Repentance leads to forgiveness” (“The Instrument of Your Mind and the Foundation of Your Character,” BYU Speeches, Feb. 2, 2003).

Repentance is an opportunity to change

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in speaking to students at BYU, said there is one source of despair more serious than all the rest—depression embedded in sin that fosters the belief that we cannot change.

“To disbelieve [that we can change] is clearly a satanic device designed to discourage and defeat you,” Elder Holland said. “When you get home tonight, you fall on your knees and thank your Father in Heaven that you belong to a Church and have grasped a gospel that promises repentance to those who will pay the price. Repentance is not a foreboding word. It is following faith, the most encouraging word in the Christian vocabulary. Repentance is simply the scriptural invitation for growth and improvement and progress and renewal. You can change! You can be anything you want to be in righteousness. …

“Do not misunderstand. Repentance is not easy or painless or convenient. It is a bitter cup from Hell. But only Satan, who dwells there, would have you think that a necessary and required acknowledgment is more distasteful than permanent residence. Only he would say, ‘You can’t change. You won’t change. It’s too long and too hard to change. Give up. Give in. Don’t repent. You are just the way you are.’ That, my friends, is a lie born of desperation. Don’t fall for it” (“For Times of Trouble,” BYU Speeches, Mar. 18, 1980).

The Lord is the ultimate caregiver

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles referred to repentance as healing to the soul.

He said: “Our Savior knows the heart of each of us. He knows the pains of our hearts. If we seek the truth, develop faith in Him, and, if necessary, sincerely repent, we will receive a spiritual change of heart which only comes from our Savior. Our hearts will become new again.

“Repentance includes recognizing that we have done wrong and need to repent, confessing our sins to the proper priesthood authority, restoring whatever can be restored, and resolving to obey the Lord. Repentance brings about spiritual healing of the soul.”

Elder Hales noted that while Jesus suffered many painful actions during His atoning sacrifice, the greatest pain He endured was in helping the transgressor to be healed.

“The Lord is the ultimate caregiver. We must surrender ourselves to the Lord. In doing so, we give up whatever is causing our pain and turn everything over to Him” (“Healing Soul and Body,” Ensign, Nov. 1988).

The Lord, the maker of us all, can fix any part of our broken or damaged souls.