After the passing of Elder Robert D. Hales, I took time reading over the inspiring posts he has written on Facebook over the past year. Especially in his latest posts, Elder Hales shared powerful testimonies of the Savior and the light we can find in a darkening world
Two messages, in particular, struck me, transforming the way I see our Savior's great sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane:
In preparation for the atoning sacrifice, Jesus prayed to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane as He took upon Himself the sins, sorrows, and sufferings of all mankind. In those hours alone, He again made it clear that He was not performing His own work.
He prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
In this most crucial moment for Him and for all of us, He was not talking to Himself or relying on His own strength. He was calling upon His Father, God Omnipotent, to sustain Him and allow Him to do His Father’s will; and His Father sent an angel “from heaven, strengthening him.”
I so love the love that the Father has for His Son and for all of us.
The world is getting darker, it is true. But we are called to walk in the light. We do not have to find a path for ourselves. As we did in our premortal life, we choose to follow Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the World.
He understands the challenge of walking His path. Remember, He “was in all points tempted like as we are.” Even in the Garden of Gethsemane He had a choice. “All things are possible unto thee,” He pled with His Father. “Take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.”
When we end our prayers with “Thy will be done,” we are doing what the Savior did in the Garden of Gethsemane, for what we are saying is, “Whatever the test, whatever I’m to learn, I will always love Thee.”
While it is tempting to look at the sublime attributes of the Savior and think those are unattainable in our life, Elder Hales taught even our Savior needed to rely on our Heavenly Father and the sustaining strength and comfort of angels. In His time of greatest struggle, He surrendered His will to the Father, confessing His love. Christ's love, His charity, His selflessness and sacrifice, His humility, all of these attributes are part of our divine heritage and something we too can access if we rely on our Heavenly Father and His angels for help.
I'm so grateful for Elder Robert D. Hales and his example of discipleship. Through him, I've come to know my Savior better.
Last general conference, I discussed how disciples of Jesus Christ live so that His characteristics are woven into the fiber of their beings, as into a spiritual tapestry. These attributes are interwoven characteristics, added one to another, which develop in us in interactive ways. In other words, we cannot obtain one Christlike characteristic without also obtaining and influencing others. As one characteristic becomes strong, so do many more
Everyone can be a disciple of the Savior. I invite you to begin today to strive to be a more dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ. As you do so, the characteristics of the Savior will be interwoven, added upon, and interactively strengthened in you.