We Talk of Christ

An Answer for Every “What If?”

By Michael D. Woodbury

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“And [Jesus Christ] shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people” (Alma 7:11).

Several years ago my scooter slipped out from under me, and I fell in the middle of the road. Almost immediately I was hit by another vehicle—a large one—and dragged down the road. Those who reported the accident called it in as a fatality.

When paramedics discovered I was still alive, they rushed me to the hospital, where during the next several days I underwent a number of emergency surgeries. While I was on life support and unconscious, my father and others laid their hands upon me and, through the power of the priesthood, blessed me. From that moment on, the healing process was miraculous. But even more significant than what happened to me physically was what happened spiritually.

This experience opened my heart to the Savior’s influence. A week after the accident, I regained consciousness and learned what had happened. I recognized that the Lord had protected me and allowed me to remain with my wife and children on earth. I found myself comforted, not abandoned, by God. Rather than feeling traumatized and overwhelmed by the recovery process that lay before me, I felt peace.

In the days that followed, my love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reached new depths, and my desire to remain faithful all my life intensified. I saw the Lord’s love through the good people I encountered. And I saw that Heavenly Father heard and answered the prayers and fasting of people of many faiths on my behalf.

As I have shared this story with others, the “what if?” questions have been endless. “What if you had died?” “What if you had been left unable to walk?” “What if you had to battle severe pain for the rest of your life?” The amazing part to me is that the Atonement provides an answer to every “what if?”

Because of the Atonement, I will be resurrected and any physical infirmity or pain will be wiped away. My wife, children, and I are sealed together as an eternal family. The Atonement made that possible too. If we move forward with faith in our Savior as we pass through the trials of life and endure to the end, the Atonement will provide the path we need to follow, with the glorious promise of eternal life waiting at the end.

“He will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12).

O My Father, by Simon Dewey