“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort….”
Today, as I was listening to the sacrament prayers in church, I found myself thinking about everything that had happened to me since the last Easter Sunday, how I thought those experiences had brought me closer to my Savior. And a wonderful thought came to me.
There are times in our lives when we can’t control the trials that are given to us. Trials like what a really good friend of mine is going through right now, having her first pregnancy be a miscarriage. Trials that there is nothing that we could have done to help, it would have happened anyways. I’ve had my share of those kinds of trials over the past year (or more) and I have come to understand how the atonement covers not only my sins, but my heartache as well.
As I took a piece of bread from the sacrament tray, the thought came into my mind that if I never allowed myself to feel heartache, to feel sad, lonely, discouraged, or depressed then I didn’t need the atonement. Jesus Christ’s sacrifice would have been given in vain.
I would say there is a mindset in the LDS culture, for whatever reason, that it’s “not okay” to feel sad, down, or to grieve. Why would we ever need to feel sad?! We have the truth, we have a Savior that loves us, and we know that we will live again. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say to me over the past year, “It’ll be okay” or “just trust in the Lord” or “things will get better” or any number of those things. I don’t blame people, how can I? I know I’ve said the exact same phrases to friends or family going through hard times.
But whatever happened to “mourning with those that mourn”? That scripture implies that it’s absolutely okay and even necessary to feel sad or depressed and our friends and family should mourn with us and comfort us. When someone is going through one of those unexplained trials, I’ve learned that I don’t need to give happy advice, but instead a humble listening ear and if anything needs to be said at all, something like, “I know it’s so hard to feel this kind of pain” or “it’s okay to be sad, don’t feel guilty, you should feel sad” or “is there anything I can do for you today? I can even just come over and give you a hug and cry with you”.
So since last Easter Sunday, I’ve learned that God intended for me to feel sad, or lonely or down. I’ve learned to accept that it’s fine if I need to spend an entire day in my PJ’s, laying on the couch, occasionally bursting into tears whenever the heck I want. IT’S OKAY! If I don’t, then I would never know how to feel joy and happiness. If I don’t, then Christ felt all of my hurt and pain for nothing.
I hope everyone had a Happy Easter or if you needed it, a sad one.