Mortal physicians may be limited, but the healing offered by the Great Physician knows no bounds.
We know that pain is a part of the mortal experience and that in every trial there are lessons we can learn and blessings that we can obtain. But what about the times when our pain is overwhelming? In the talk “The Atonement Covers All Pain,” Elder Kent F. Richards says, “Sometimes in the depth of pain, we are tempted to ask, ‘Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?’”
Elder Richards then declares, “I testify that the answer is yes, there is a physician.” The physician who has complete knowledge, perfect empathy, and unconditional love for us is our Savior, Jesus Christ. His decision to undergo the agonizing experience of the Atonement means that he intimately understands all of the pains that we encounter. Before Christ’s birth, the Book of Mormon prophet Alma testified that “he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind . . . he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. . . . He will take upon him death, . . . and he will take upon him their infirmities” (Alma 7:11-12). Whether it be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, Christ understands the agony we face.
Elder Richards, a physician himself, shares the experience of being the patient instead of the physician. In great pain as he recovered from surgery, Elder Richards pondered Christ’s experience of mortality. “I came to understand that during His mortal life, Christ chose to experience pain and affliction in order to understand us. . . . I felt the encircling arms of His love that night. Tears watered my pillow in gratitude. Later, as I was reading in Matthew about Christ’s mortal ministry, I made another discovery: ‘he . . . healed all that were sick.’ He healed all that came to Him. None were turned away.”
In the middle of our anguish, our greatest comfort can come from the Healer of Souls, Jesus Christ. As Elder Richards reminds us, “In Him we can find peace and solace in and from our pain and our sins if we will but come unto Him with humble hearts. His ‘grace is sufficient.’” His can be the strength that we rely on.
Read the rest of Elder Richards’s talk “The Atonement Covers All Pain” for further insight on why we suffer pain.
—Elicia Cheney, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
To discover ways that you can act on your faith in Christ, read the Mormon Insights article “Simple Acts of Faith,” by Stephanie Neher.