I Can Make the Pain Go Away

    “I Can Make the Pain Go Away,” Ensign, March 2016, 11


    I Can Make the Pain Go Away

    The author lives in Idaho, USA.

    I had been seeking the Lord’s help. So why was I still struggling?

    At the beginning of my junior year of college, my mother and father filed for divorce. Even though the decision came after two years of separation, the effects were searing. I felt physical pain and often couldn’t sleep. Even more heartbreaking was to see my siblings—the youngest was only six years old—try to cope with this life-shattering event.

    My own way to cope was to work harder. In addition to a full load of college courses, I took on a part-time internship and two part-time jobs. I also began to play with the city’s symphony. I often spent 15 to 18 hours a day on school and work. No matter how busy I kept myself, nothing I did helped.

    woman praying

    Detail from A Promise and a Prayer, by Kathleen Peterson

    I did try to invite the Spirit into my life. I had always been active in the Church, and I knew I should draw closer to God during trials. I kept up daily scripture study and prayer, which brought some peace. But still, none of my burdens lifted.

    About six weeks into the semester, my roommate asked our home teachers for a priesthood blessing. While I sat on the couch and listened, the Spirit prompted me to ask for a blessing too. As soon as their hands were on my head, I felt the Spirit enter my heart. I hardly heard a word they spoke, but I received a clear message. It was as if Heavenly Father whispered, “Why aren’t you letting me help you?”

    After weeks of controlling my emotions, I sobbed. I saw that I had been making only a token effort to seek the Lord’s help. I had been convinced that I had to be strong and do everything myself and do it all perfectly. I had forgotten that I had a Savior who understood, through His suffering, my pain, my anger, my weakness. Now I saw that when everything in my world was crashing to pieces, I had only one secure place to stand—upon the rock of my Redeemer.

    Each morning after receiving the blessing, I pleaded for the Lord’s help. I asked Him to enable me to complete my assignments. I asked Him to allow me to feel joy and peace again. I asked Him to lift the heaviness from my heart. Slowly, my life changed; slowly my burdens lifted.

    A verse in the Book of Mormon explains how the Lord helps those struggling with sin: “Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered” (2 Nephi 2:7; emphasis added). I believe He helps those struggling with other burdens the same way. I had a broken heart, but it wasn’t until I had a contrite spirit that I was able to feel the peace the Savior offers.

    Although that time in my life was difficult, it allowed me to know that Jesus Christ was not just the Savior. He is my Savior. He bore my griefs and carried my sorrows, and with His stripes I am healed (see Isaiah 53:4–5).