The moment has arrived. This is my final letter as Elder Bryan McOmber to all of you.
That is the scariest darn thing I have ever seen. I think I just got high blood pressure.
I’ve been thinking all week about what I wanted to say in my last letter. And above all, I want to share my testimony of the Savior. Some of you might choose this moment to simply skim over what I’m about to say; that is your decision, and I can’t blame you; I’ve often done the same thing. But I invite you to read it, and to try to hear me saying what I’m about to say, because it is my most precious possession.
Jesus Christ is real. He really lived. He was really born in a little stable in Bethlehem, to Mary and Joseph. He really taught those people in the temple. He was really baptized in the Jordan river by John the Baptist. He really knows what it means to be tempted, and He knows what it takes to overcome temptation. He really walked the countryside in Galilee, teaching the people and being accepted and rejected at every turn. He cleansed the temple, healed the lepers, raised the dead. These things happened; His story is actually history.
I know for myself that He really did what He says He did in Gethsemane and Calvary. He felt what it feels like for Elder McOmber to be yelled at on the street. He felt what it feels like to be beaten up, spit on, cast out. He felt what it feels like to watch loved ones abandon Him or betray Him, to watch His enemies glory in their triumph. He felt what it feels like to finish the day with that shame of knowing you could have done better, but you didn’t. He felt that, for all of us, and in some way that I don’t really understand, He took all those feelings and all that guilt on Himself. And because He did, we don’t have to keep those feelings around forever. There will be sadness, there will be pain, and because we’re human, there will also be shame for mistakes, but through His grace, through His power, we can experience joy to match any sadness or pain or shame with which we struggle.
As did the soldier on Golgotha, I have come to know that it truly was the Son of God on that cross. I know that His spirit left His body on that stormy night so many years ago, and that same spirit fused again with His body three days later. I know, as Mary did, that He is risen! That He lives today! The Savior of all mankind is *not* dead! He has a glorified, resurrected body of flesh and bones, just like our Heavenly Father’s, and just like we will one day.
He has bridged the gap between us and our Heavenly Father that was created by sin and transgression. He stands at the gate, beckoning us to walk that bridge with Him, and to let Him carry us when we can’t do it alone. He is our older Brother, our support and our ever-present help in time of need as in time of plenty.
He is my Redeemer. He is my Advocate. He is my Friend. He is my King.
And I love Him!
Elder Bryan McOmber