“‘I’m Sorry’ Didn’t Feel Like Enough,” New Era, August 2016, 13
Sometimes it’s hard to understand how to apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives. For a long time I viewed it only as a tool for repentance and didn’t realize how much more there is to it. The Savior’s Atonement doesn’t just bring the power to change but also the power to overcome our challenges and shortcomings through Jesus Christ. Not only did He take upon Himself the sins of the world but also “their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy” (Alma 7:12).
I understood this principle a little bit more after watching a session of general conference. I’d just gotten into a fight with my sister, and I was fuming in my room. At first, I didn’t really feel bad for what I’d done. I felt like she’d earned my anger and definitely did not deserve an apology. The conference messages touched me, though, and I felt the Spirit soften my heart. I realized that I needed to apologize. As I thought through my apology, I felt sick to my stomach. I started to doubt that my words would fix anything. I reasoned that she would still be hurt and she wouldn’t understand that I really was sorry. I felt hopeless knowing that I could’t completely heal the wound that I’d created. At a loss about what to do, I decided to get on my knees and pray. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father for forgiveness. I asked Him to bless me with the ability to let my sister know that I was truly sorry.
After my prayer, I asked my sister if I could talk to her for a minute. I told her I was sorry. She played with her hair and wouldn’t meet my eyes and then mumbled her own apology. “No,” I responded, “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.” I felt my heart soften even more and tears filled my eyes. I gave her a hug and apologized for all the times I’d been mean to her and for not being a good big sister. My relationship with my sister was different after that day. It still is far from perfect, but a new understanding and love has grown between us.
I know that I would not have had the same experience if I hadn’t worked to have the Savior’s Atonement change my heart. The Savior knew what each of us was feeling, and He knew how to fix it, even when I didn’t. When we choose to apply His Atonement, anything is possible. Come to Him with your weakness and He will transform that weakness into strength (see Ether 12:27). Come to Him with your problems and He will help you find a solution. He knows you and loves you and will always be there for you.