January 29, 2021 - "How hard to bear you know not"

The good news is that Christ knows what it is like to keep walking through the fire even in the most difficult circumstances. Just steps from the Garden of Gethsemane was a Roman road that led directly out of Jerusalem. Instead of suffering in the garden, Christ could have walked away. It would have been so easy to take that road right out of town and never look back. But he didn’t give up on us then, and he is not giving up on us now.

John Hilton III, "The Founder of Our Peace", Deseret Book 2020

I grew up thinking that Christ's Atonement wasn't even a choice to do what He did for us. There wasn't even a question that He not sacrifice for us, I thought. That He always knew the plan because He volunteered for it, was my thinking. Or was there a cloud of mortality shielding His eyes still at that point? We know that He grew to what He was but was that growth done by His mission? Even He didn't know how difficult His sacrifice would be.

But the more I ponder His ordeal and the fact that He was part mortal, it must've absolutely been terrifying and difficult for Him. There was a moment when He said (paraphrasing), "Father, if there's a way to not do this like this, and accomplish this somehow differently, show me. This is hard to do". Hard for Him... a member of the Godhead?? I can't begin to fathom that.

A couple of thoughts:

1. He knew it was His Father's will to do this, even though it was difficult. He knew it needed to be done...somehow, He just wanted to do it differently, less painfully, if possible.

2. I wonder if He ever had a thought to just run away and hide, to walk away and hope that this necessity just goes away. Do we ever do this? Avoid something and hope it goes away? I know I do. But did Christ ever have second thoughts? Afterall, He was part mortal. Or did He always know it needed to be done regardless, but was hoping there was another way to accomplish it?

I don't even know how to be thankful enough for what He did for me. I don't even know just how important what He did is for me yet. I'll know one day and I'll probably cry tears of joy and relief for a very, very long time. Everything He did, and still does, is for His brothers and sisters, never for Himself. That, alone, tells me about His character.

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