There’s some small part of me that thinks, “the Atonement of Jesus Christ is wonderful and beautiful and incomprehensible. But… wouldn’t it be even better if I never needed it in the first place?”
Deep down, even if, objectively, I know it’s silly, my inner voice says this: “If I could just be good enough, exact enough in my obedience, in doing it all just right… I could bypass that whole messy repentance business and white-knuckle my way into Heaven.”
But that is DEEPLY false doctrine. When the Savior calls, “Come unto me, all ye who are heavy laden,” He is speaking to me. He is speaking to you. He is speaking to the entirety of the human race, He is speaking of our shared mortal experience, which is beautiful by its imperfection.
David A. Bednar said: “We are not and never need be alone. We can press forward in our daily lives with heavenly help. Through the Savior’s Atonement we can receive capacity and “strength beyond [our] own. […] I wonder if we fail to fully acknowledge this strengthening aspect of the Atonement in our lives and mistakenly believe we must carry our load all alone—through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline and with our obviously limited capacities.” (Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease, By Elder David A. Bednar, April 2014 General Conference)
Of course I need Him — the Atonement of Jesus Christ isn’t some safety net or backup plan: it IS the plan. It is literally God’s grand plan of salvation — the plan of happiness — and that plan wasn’t designed because, “oops, Adam and Eve ate the fruit, guess we need to figure out a way to fix it. Initiate Plan B.” Who am I to try to squirm my way out of it all?
“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” Doctrine & Covenants 122:8
The Savior stands with open arms, always. Our part is to surrender and allow Him in, even — especially — while we’re shouldering enormous burdens. I needed that reminder today.