For Family Home Evening tonight, my wife Esperanza and I read together what may be the most comforting and instructive talk on the Atonement of Jesus Christ that I have ever encountered. It is “Beauty for Ashes” by Bruce C. Hafen. And I feel that our Family Home Evening was more richly fulfilling than any I have had in recent memory.
For the last two years we have suffered greatly from an almost overwhelming disappointment that our only son decided not to go on a mission. Not only that, but we had good reasons to believe that he was pursuing a different course from the gospel of Jesus Christ we raised him to love. We have been desperately afraid that he would get into serious trouble, and he has. Well… this talk by Elder Hafen has spoken peace to my heart that I have not felt in a long time. He talks about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can lift from us not only the burdens of sin, but also the bitterness of disappointment stemming from personal failures. It has helped me think about the Atonement in a new and different way. It has expanded my understanding of the Atonement which has always been a great mystery to me. This talk may be the most comforting thing I’ve ever read. If you ever feel in need of comfort, I hope you will remember this talk is available. I plan to read and reread it many times over the remaining years I have left in mortality.