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ATONEMENT INTIMATE AS WELL AS INFINITE

- Softens death's sting

- Mends broken hearts- Heals from within

The Savior's atonement was intimate as well as infinite and provides power to heal from within, Presiding Bishop Merrill J. Bateman said Saturday morning.

"The Savior. . . knows each one of us personally," he explained. "In the garden and on the cross, Jesus saw each of us and not only bore our sins, but also experienced our deepest feelings so that He would know how to comfort and strengthen us."

Bishop Bateman told of an automobile accident in which the 17-year-old son of a friend was killed. In reflecting on the accident, he said he thought about the lessons taught by death.

"Death reminds us that there is a spirit in man. As we viewed the remains of our young friend, it was obvious that more than blood had left his body. The light of his spirit no longer animated his facial expression or twinkled in his eyes."

Death also teaches of the importance of the eternal families, he said. "Heaven only exists if families are eternal."

Another lesson of death is that life has a purpose and both life and death are part of the plan. "Developing faith and coming to know one's maker is at the core of the plan. Having hope with regard to one's eternal destiny and experiencing joy must also be part of life's purpose."

Bishop Bateman said death teaches that a fullness of joy is not found in mortality, and everlasting joy can be achieved only with the assistance of the Master.

"We are dependent on the miracles of Christ's atonement if our souls are to be made whole from grief, sorrow and sin. If grieving parents and loved ones have faith in the Savior and His plan, death's sting is softened as Jesus bears the believer's grief and comforts them through the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, broken hearts are mended and peace replaces anxiety and sorrow."

He added that he had received a letter from the parents of the young man who had died, saying they had found peace through their faith in Christ.

"As part of His redeeming power, Jesus can remove the sting of death or restore the spiritual health of a struggling soul," he said.

Bishop Bateman concluded by saying that because the Savior felt each person's sufferings and sicknesses, "He knows how to carry our sorrows and relieve our burdens that we might be healed from within, made whole persons and receive everlasting joy in His kingdom."