The Savior’s Final, Lonely Journey
April 2018

“The Savior’s Final, Lonely Journey,” Ensign, April 2018

The Savior’s Final, Lonely Journey

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Throughout His mortal life, the Savior underwent many journeys—His journey out of Bethlehem and into Egypt as an infant, His 40-day journey in the wilderness, His many journeys into cities, villages, and homes to teach, heal, and bless during His ministry, and many others. But there is one journey that the Savior had to face alone, and it was a journey only He could endure.

“On Easter Sunday we celebrate the most long-awaited and glorious event in the history of the world.

“It is the day that changed everything.

“On that day, my life changed.

“Your life changed.

“The destiny of all God’s children changed.”

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Gift of Grace,” Ensign, May 2015, 107.

Suffering beyond Compare

Jesus in Gethsemane

O My Father, by Simon Dewey

“No mortal mind can conceive the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane.

“We know he sweat great gouts of blood from every pore as he drained the dregs of that bitter cup his Father had given him.

“We know he suffered, both body and spirit, more than it is possible for man to suffer, except it be unto death.

“We know that in some way, incomprehensible to us, his suffering satisfied the demands of justice, ransomed penitent souls from the pains and penalties of sin, and made mercy available to those who believe in his holy name.

“We know that he lay prostrate upon the ground as the pains and agonies of an infinite burden caused him to tremble and would that he might not drink the bitter cup.”

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Purifying Power of Gethsemane,” Ensign, May 1985, 9.

Personal Application: Though we may not always realize it, the Savior suffered all forms of pain during the Atonement. He understands every physical pain, from a broken bone to the most severe chronic illness. He felt the darkness and despair of mental ailments such as depression, anxiety, addiction, loneliness, and grief. And He felt every spiritual wound because He took upon Himself all the sins of mankind.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “In a moment of weakness we may cry out, ‘No one knows what it is like. No one understands.’ But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens” (“Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease,” Ensign, May 2014, 90).

He Was the Only One Capable

carrying the cross

Procession to Calvary, by Bernardo Cavallino, Chrysler Museum of Art

“What He did could only be done by Deity. As the Only Begotten Son of the Father in the flesh, Jesus inherited divine attributes. He was the only person ever born into mortality who could perform this most significant and supernal act. As the only sinless Man who ever lived on this earth, He was not subject to spiritual death. Because of His godhood, He also possessed power over physical death. Thus He did for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He broke the cold grasp of death. He also made it possible for us to have the supreme and serene comfort of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

President James E. Faust (1920–2007), Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “The Atonement: Our Greatest Hope,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 19.

Personal Application: Through His Atonement, the Savior loosed the bands of death and redeemed all of us from our sins so that every single person could have eternal life. He was the only one capable of accomplishing such a daunting and impossible task. When we are faced with serious challenges, we can take comfort in knowing that the Savior can truly make the impossible possible.

He Did Not Turn Back

the burial

The Burial, by Carl Heinrich Bloch

“On a hill called Calvary, while helpless followers looked on, His wounded body was nailed to a cross. Mercilessly He was mocked and cursed and derided. …

“The agonizing hours passed as His life ebbed. From His parched lips came the words, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.’ …

“At the last moment, the Master could have turned back. But He did not. He passed beneath all things that He might save all things. His lifeless body was hurriedly but gently placed in a borrowed tomb.”

President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018), “He Is Risen!Ensign, May 2010, 89.

Personal Application: He suffered from agonizing pain, loneliness, and despair, but still the Savior endured and finished His mortal journey with grace—even asking His Father to forgive those who crucified Him. Because of His perfect example, we can face our own trials and hardships with grace, and with His help we can endure to the end as well.

The Many Witnesses of His Resurrection

Mary at the tomb

Woman, Why Weepest Thou? by Mark R. Pugh

“I believe the many witnesses of the Savior’s Resurrection whose experiences and testimonies are found in the New Testament—Peter and his companions of the Twelve and dear, pure Mary of Magdala, among others. I believe the testimonies found in the Book of Mormon—of Nephi the Apostle with the unnamed multitude in the land Bountiful, among others. And I believe the testimony of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon who, after many other testimonies, proclaimed the great witness of this last dispensation ‘that he lives! For we saw him.’ Under the glance of His all-seeing eye, I stand myself as a witness that Jesus of Nazareth is the resurrected Redeemer, and I testify of all that follows from the fact of His Resurrection. May you receive the conviction and comfort of that same witness.”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 2014, 114.

Personal Application: Though we were not among those who saw the resurrected and perfected body of the Redeemer, we can still stand as witnesses of Him today. He can always be the focus of our lives, no matter the time or place we find ourselves in. Each time we offer our hearts and hands to serve others; show gentleness, kindness, and respect to all; defend the truth; and share our testimonies of the gospel, we stand as true witnesses of Jesus Christ.

We Do Not Have to Walk Alone

Christ walking along the shores

Detail from Walk with Me, by Greg Olsen, may not be copied

“One of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. …

“… May we stand by Jesus Christ ‘at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,’ for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “None Were with Him,” Ensign, May 2009, 88.

Personal Application: This Easter, remember the Savior’s final, lonely journey. He sacrificed everything He had so that you and every person on the earth can become clean and have eternal life. Learn from His perfect example. Keep Him in your thoughts and in your heart. And always remember that you are never alone. Because He endured His final journey in complete and utter solitude, He will not abandon you. His love for you is infinite and unchanging, and He stands ready to offer you peace, comfort, and hope as you continue on your own journey. His gift of the Atonement is everlasting, and it was given to you.