Christ is the Balm that Heals our Wounded Souls
Dr. David H. Coombs, Ed.D., MFT
When Latter-day Saint Christians have been humbled by life’s experiences and “have been brought down low into the dust”(I Nephi 18:18), we reach out to our Redeemer to find comfort and strength. We search the scriptures for the “pleasing word of God” that we have come to know “healeth the wounded soul”(Jacob 2:8). Verses we may have read many times before stand out on the page and take on new meaning. We become converted anew to the amazing love and grace of our God. We see more clearly our foolish pride and ask again as we have many times before, that “the atoning blood of Christ be applied to us that we may receive forgiveness of our sins”(Mosiah 4:2).
What continues to amaze us is that God’s forgiveness comes “freely” as often as we sincerely repent (Mosiah 26:22)—which may include confessing to the proper priesthood authorities. God is so gracious and so merciful that we mortals have difficulty understanding His tenderness, His patience, and His long suffering towards us (See Lectures on Faith, 39). When we beg and appeal to our Father, in the blessed name of Jesus, for our “guilt to be swept away” (Enos 1:6), He does “not suffer that we beg in vain” (Mosiah 4:20). He grants us remission of our sins and fills our hearts with joy. The wretched pain of guilt is replaced with the “sweet peace of conscience” (Mosiah 4:3).
We might ask, how do we qualify for this marvelous miracle of forgiveness? How do we apply the atoning blood of Christ to ourselves personally? The answer is found, not in going through the motions of church activity, but in accepting Jesus as our personal Savior and giving permission for His spirit to “have full sway in our hearts” (Alma 42:30). We give up “all our sins to know him” (Alma 22:18), particularly those which so “easily beset us” (II Nephi 4:18). We pray not passively nor by rote but, “with all energy of heart” (Moroni 7:48). We become more patient and loving with our families. We are more easily entreated. We are more generous and free with our resources. We are less likely to hold on to hurt feelings as we more freely forgive others. We “feast upon the words of Christ” (II Nephi 32:3); and hunger for more. To “retain a remission of our sins” (Mosiah 4:26), we realize we cannot be good people or do good things without Christ.
We realize that the Lord is not as concerned with what we have done in the past as He is with what we are doing with our lives today. Because we are Latter-day Christians, we “no longer droop in sin” (II Nephi 4:28), but we rejoice as we “sing the song of redeeming love” (Alma 5:26). Jesus has redeemed us and His atonement is the balm that heals our wounded souls.