He Lives


… and he loves. I discovered how much he loves us just when I needed him the most.

He Lives

One day we had a special devotional on the Savior as part of our early-morning seminary class. The girl in charge bore her testimony of Christ, then asked each of us to share our feelings. Our teacher, Brother Pratt, added his testimony, and said we needed to know Christ died for each of us individually.

While I was listening to the others bear their testimonies, it occurred to me I wasn’t really sure I had a testimony of the Savior. I had always attended church and seminary classes, and I thought he was Heavenly Father’s Son, and an example to follow, but I wasn’t really sure of him as my Savior—someone so essential to my salvation.

I managed to give some sort of reply and spent the next several days pondering over the experience and praying to know for myself. I received a warm feeling that the Church was true and that I should live its teachings. I felt good about that answer and decided that having a basic testimony of the gospel and living the standards of the Church was enough. But I still didn’t understand the need for a Savior.

Later I moved from home. Eventually I faced a serious crisis that left me with deep emotional and spiritual pain. Without the necessary faith in Christ to guide me, I felt lost and alone. I had stopped praying sometime earlier and had just decided that I was no longer going to go to church. Then my home teachers, Dan and Terry, came by. I was a little embarrassed because I hadn’t been to church that day and had no good excuse for my absence. The Spirit told them that something was seriously wrong, so they persisted in presenting a lesson that seemed to be especially for me. They visited with me for a while, and when it was time for them to go, they offered a powerful prayer. The Spirit lingered after them for a short time, and I felt more hopeful than I had in a long time.

I wanted that Spirit to remain. I gathered up the remnants of my faith and offered a prayer. Because I hadn’t been praying for a while, I had no real hope or expectation of an answer. But as I knelt and prayed, I felt an overpowering warmth come into my heart. Complete love and understanding filled the room. I was surprised at the depth and strength of the Savior’s love—how well he knew me!

There was no room for misunderstanding or doubt as he lovingly empathized with my challenges. All of a sudden a black cloud lifted, and I knew, as words came into my mind, where I could improve, and the Savior promised me all the help I would need. I learned that there is indeed a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior, Jesus Christ, and that they know each of us as individuals. I also learned that they will give us the help we need as we extend our faith in them. And, no matter what, we must always pray.

Although I still had problems to overcome, I knew the Savior was there, ready to help; I have never felt completely alone with my problems since. I can now say, along with the hymn, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Hymns, no. 136). And I am grateful.

[photos] Photography by Phil Shurtleff and Melanie Shumway