A while ago, I addressed why bad things happen to good people and noted that one of the main reasons is that people use their free will to hurt others. As someone in law enforcement, I see daily examples of men and women who hurt others. And I see the devastating consequences of their actions.
Almost two years ago, I sat in on a trial of a man who seriously assaulted an older woman. She owned a store and sold, among other things, liquor. The defendant approached her while holding a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. He smashed the bottle into her face, and while she was on the ground, he jumped over the counter and used the cash register to beat her within an inch of her life. Luckily, she survived. And what makes this more tragic is that the defendant had known his victim for years. He was convicted, and during sentencing, his victim's daughter addressed him. She was full of anger and hatred. She swore her mother and their family would never be the same. That they would never be able to heal.
There are others who have been raped, abused, and even killed by those closest to them, leaving deep wounds and scars, both physical and mental.
My purpose today is to testify that those who are the victims of such atrocities can find healing through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Most people know that Jesus suffered for our sins and overcame the effects of physical death. But what few of us recognize is that He also knows how to heal us of from the consequences of the most atrocious acts imaginable. He know how to heal us because He has felt what we have. An ancient prophet, Alma, taught,
And [Jesus Christ] shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
Jesus understands our pains and sorrows because He's felt them. One of His best friends betrayed Him. (Luke 22:47-48). He was beaten, mocked, and spit on while evil men ripped His beard from His face. (Luke 22:63-65; Isaiah 50:6). Roman soldiers scourged and mocked Him. (Matthew 27:26-31). They forced Him to carry His cross and crucified Him. (Matthew 27:34-38). Passers-by mocked Him. (Matthew 27:39-44). And in His deepest anguish, He felt as if God Himself had forsaken Him. (Matthew 27:46).
Still, in an even more incomprehensible way, Jesus descended below all things to understand every possible pain, affliction, or sorrow that we may go through. (See D&C 122:5-8).
And because He has descended below all things, Jesus Christ can raise above them. He will heal us, if we let Him. True healing is possible through the sacrifice, sufferings, and Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Go to Him. His arms are outstretched. He yearns to hold you, calm you, and heal you.
To read more about how Jesus Christ can heal you, go to Richard G. Scott, "To Heal the Shattering Consequences of Abuse," Ensign, May 2008.