Healing Spiritual Wounds
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“Healing Spiritual Wounds,” Liahona, Apr. 1997, 8

Healing Spiritual Wounds

I didn’t always pay attention. After hearing the sacrament prayers every week since childhood, I had started to tune them out. If there was something I found more interesting to think about, I’d let my mind wander.

But then one Sunday as I bowed my head to take the sacrament, I noticed my hands. They had many scrapes from various sources. One was caused by a bicycle crash on a night my parents had told me not to go out, and another scratch was from falling down stairs because I was careless. My hands had several marks caused by things I had done.

Some marks had been there longer than others, but I knew that most of them would heal with time.

As I gently touched the scrapes on my hands, I thought of the wounds on someone else’s hands and how those scars are so vital for us. Jesus Christ went through intense suffering for our spiritual well-being.

I realized that just as my body had physical scars it was trying to heal, my spirit was also pocked and scarred by careless things I had done. Heavenly Father knew we would hurt ourselves spiritually on earth, so he sent his Son to help us heal our wounds.

As I started to listen more intently to the sacrament prayers, I realized that by taking the sacrament and renewing my covenants, the Savior could wipe away the inward bruises on my soul. Through the years, I had been unpleasant to my family, ungrateful to my Young Women leaders, and imperfect in other ways. My soul was blemished from its original perfection. I knew the formula for healing physical wounds, but the way to heal spiritual scars hadn’t seemed so obvious until I listened closely to the prayers: “… keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them” (D&C 20:77).

I can be healed through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

I’m thankful for what my slightly scarred hands remind me of when I reach out to partake of the sacrament. Each Sunday I commit to try to keep myself from getting more inward scrapes during the next week, and I remember that the wounds I have on my soul can be healed as I keep the commandments and listen to the Holy Ghost.

Photograph by Maren E. Mecham

Detail from The Christus, by Bertel Thorvaldsen