Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Savior.
In the time of my short existence here on earth, I have often pondered on the reality of a Savior. A Being that I can’t see, yet I believe in. An older brother that I have who knows me and loves me in a way I’ll never comprehend. A God among men that came to earth so humbly, yet lived such a miraculous life. A lowly Carpenter who became a Prophet. A Teacher, so influential that thousands of years later, His teachings still resonate with us. The Creator of this world and countless others, under the direction of our Father, constructing the cosmos and devising all of the unfathomable physical and scientific elements therein. A Friend that helps you individually, and can touch you to your very soul.
A Being. A Brother. A God. A Carpenter. A Prophet. A Teacher. A Creator. A Friend.
The scriptures have many more names for Him. It’s almost too much to grasp the entire concept of who He is and what He has done. It can be overwhelming.
A few years ago, I was tinkering around on our old and slightly out-of-tune piano, and a melody came into my mind. I had been wanting to write a song about the Savior. I had just been called to a seminary teaching calling (a class where I taught the scriptures to high school kids) and was trying to up my scripture study habits in an effort to feel better prepared for it. There were, and still are, so many things I don’t understand about the scriptures, how could I possibly teach someone else?
All of these thoughts of the Savior had been on the forefront of my mind, and they were building up inside, as if they were looking for a way out. I couldn’t keep these thoughts and emotions in my head anymore, and had to get them out through my heart. This song, The Savior of Mankind, is what came out.
If you’ve ever been associated with members of the LDS church, or attended one of their meetings, you may have heard the word “testimony.” Within the context of the LDS church, a testimony is a personal declaration of what you, as an individual, believe. You can have a testimony of a variety of topics, whether it be family, or the scriptures, or faith, or friends. Whatever ideas or concepts you can attest to as something you believe in or know to be true, that is your testimony. I believe that the most important thing to have a testimony of, however, is our Savior.
That’s what this song came to be. My testimony of who the Savior is, and what He means to me. It’s not complicated, and doesn’t need to be. I know that I won’t understand everything in this life, and I certainly don’t expect to. I would drive myself crazy if I thought I had to understand absolutely everything before I believed in it. There are many questions I don’t have answers to, concepts I cannot grasp, and ideas I can’t fathom. There are a thousand reasons why I could doubt what I believe, a thousand excuses to not believe. But my faith surpasses all of those reasons, all of those excuses. Some may call this blind faith, but I disagree. Not having the full picture is not the same as being blind. I don’t know that there is anybody on earth who has the full picture. Who has it all figured out. 100% complete. There is a reason that our Savior taught us to become like little children. I have my own children. They are humble, honest, and pure. They trust me as their parent that I love them and I’m watching out for them. They don’t need to understand everything, they just have a simple, pure faith in their parents.
Of course we all grow up, and that simple, pure faith… it fades. We realize we have more choices. We can’t rely on our parents and what they believe anymore, we have to figure out what we believe for ourselves, and make our own choices. For me, I feel the burden of my own choices every day. Despite what I believe, I still struggle with my own weaknesses, and I still have my own doubts.
Weaknesses and doubts can bring with it a lot of sorrow. I know, I’ve been there. Often I feel engulfed in my own mistakes and wrongs. In those moments especially, I know I have felt so small, and so unworthy of any sort of love from my Savior. Why would He love someone who continues to make the same mistakes over and over again? What does He have to gain from a relationship where He is so perfect, and I am so weak? Why would He waste His time with someone like me?
One of the blessings of being a parent is a greater understanding of the love you have for your children. I love them unconditionally. I love them no matter what mistakes they’ve made, or will make. There is nothing they could ever do that would change that. And because I know that I feel that way, I know that my Savior feels the same about me. It keeps me going. It pulls me out of my dark places, and lifts the burdens I feel.
Our Savior has literally and spiritually sacrificed everything for us. I will never understand it, but I can have faith in it. I believe in Him. I love Him. And in return, I’ll strive to sacrifice what I can for Him. It won’t amount to very much, comparatively speaking. But as long as it’s the best I can do, He will make up the difference.
11 years ago, I was a missionary for the LDS church living in Guayaquil, Ecuador and I drew this picture:
I’ve never really considered myself much of an artist, but I drew this in the limited free time I had as an outlet for how I was feeling about my Savior at the time: Anxious and excited to see Him again some day. It took me almost 2 months to sketch. But I looked forward to it every week. I had no end date in mind, I just wanted to make it as perfect and as detailed as I could. Over time, it became a powerful and uplifting experience for me to work on it. It helped me strengthen my own testimony and faith in my Savior. To imagine Him, in that moment, reaching out to me with the marks in his hands, and to try depict it, was a unique and fulfilling experience. I don’t know what my face will look like in that moment, but I hope it’s a face of one thrilled to see my Friend again. A lot has happened in the 11 years since I drew this picture, but I can say I still feel anxious and excited for the moment when I will meet my Savior and He embraces me and tells me that He loves me.
He is my Savior. I believe in Him and I love Him.
Please take an opportunity to listen to this song, which is my testimony of the Savior:
Click here to download the song.
Click here to download the sheet music.
Below are the lyrics:
“Taken by the ways of troubled pasts,
Weighed down by the strain always lasts,
And I promise not to lean,
But it harder than it seems,
The demands outweigh capacity of dreams.
For One who’s walked the lonely road before,
The pathway to Emmaus lies in store,
Hear the footsteps from behind,
Let them lift you, let them guide,
Recognize the One who gives eternal life.”
“Time and time again,
He will knock to let him in,
Even if I feel unworthy of His love,
He’ll open up His arms,
And by name for me He’ll call,
And embrace me as His Brother and my Friend.
He’s my Savior and my King
The Creator of all things,
And my faith surpasses all the reasons why,
The Savior of Mankind.”
“I walk upon the ground, I see the sky,
The sun comes in the morn, the moon at night,
Feel the sunlight, feel the rain,
Endless beauty, our domain,
But I take no thought of how it all became.
Created by majestic loving hands,
Those hands then taken captive, pierced by man,
What can I then sacrifice?
Can I dedicate my life,
To then hold those hands to mine when I arrive?”
“Oh my Redeemer purest Lamb,
Suffered, bled, and died to succor man.”