You’re Not Going to Feel Like This Forever

A couple weeks ago I took Milo to the aquarium with some family. I dare say it was the happiest day of his life (he is only two, after all). He was fascinated and thrilled by everything he saw, especially the penguins. I forgot how adorable those chubby little birds are.


“I so excited! I so excited!” He squealed from one exhibit to the next. When you experience something through your child’s eyes, it becomes that much more magical.

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It was the perfect day.

Until it wasn’t.

All at once on the drive home, and for no apparent reason, all the happiness and gratitude I felt that day was swallowed up by this tsunami of sadness. It hit so unexpectedly and with such force that I literally felt sick to my stomach. My head started to spin and darkness consumed me. I was completely blindsided by these feelings of despair and discouragement that weren’t there just seconds before. It didn’t make any sense.

Oh no, I thought. I’m spiraling into a depression. I can’t do this again.

Once we got home, I still couldn’t shake the feelings. I felt anxious and paranoid and fearful all night. After I got Milo to bed, I paced around the house, dwelling on my thoughts, sending silent please heavenward for relief and the ability to calm down.

I fell asleep feeling like the world—my world—was ending…..and nothing had even happened!

The very second I gained consciousness the next morning, I remembered my wave-of-sadness-for-no-apparent-reason incident from the day before, and it felt like all of those emotions were hovering over me, just waiting to taunt me.

Again, I prayed for some relief and for the blanket of sadness to just lift. Later in the day while folding laundry, I had the thought, You’re not going to feel like this forever.

I believe that was Heavenly Father’s answer to my prayers. He was reminding me that the darkness and unexplainable sorrow (the beginnings of another bout of depression) WOULD pass and that everything would be okay. Even though that thought didn’t necessarily change how I felt in that moment, it did give me something I hadn’t had the night before. It gave me HOPE.

It has been almost fourteen days since the onset of that all-consuming darkness. My brain has felt foggy yet my heart has felt poignantly sad and discouraged. But I keep telling myself that I won’t feel like this forever, and clinging to that thought has truly been an act of faith.

There’s a poem by Nayyirah Waheed that I love:

i don’t pay attention to the
world ending.
it has ended for me
many times
and began again in the morning.

That is exactly how I’ve felt over the past two weeks—that my world is ending. Is this irrational? Of course. Depression is illogical. But is it real and terrifying in my mind? Absolutely. I love Waheed’s poem though. While “the morning” might not literally mean tomorrow morning, because of the Gospel and because of Jesus Christ, we can someday have that bright new beginning free of darkness that we so long for. The Savior is our metaphorical sunrise; He disperses the darkness in our lives with His infinite light.

Sister Sharon Eubank gave an amazing talk about Christ’s light last weekend. She quoted the Savior Himself, who said, “I am the light [that] shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” And then she added, “That means no matter how hard it tries, the darkness cannot put out that light. Ever. You can trust that His light will be there for you.”

A full standing portrait of Christ in white robes, seen from the side, gesturing to the left in front of a wash of orange and yellow colors.

When it comes to depression, I believe that every time someone who suffers is willing to share about it, someone else feels a little less lonely. My goal with this blog has always been to be completely candid about my struggles, but to simultaneously offer hope to anyone who might feel like I do. I was worried when I started writing this particular post that I wouldn’t have anything comforting to say. But even as I type this, I can truly feel Christ’s light enter my life, easing, ever so slightly, the burden I’ve carried this month. Those words I felt from on high—You’re not going to feel like this forever—ring true in this very moment. I can feel the darkness starting to lift.

May this be a message of hope for anyone who wonders if they are doomed to forever feel what they are feeling right now. I can say with all of the energy of my heart that I know I’m not going to feel like this forever…..and neither are you!


A Soul’s Supernova

Last year, a friend I hadn’t seen in a while lost her child in a tragic, unexpected way. She demonstrated this amazing strength and inspiring faith as she posted about what happened.

Person after person wrote a message of love and sympathy, including me. And while I was typing and wondering what I could possibly say to be of any comfort whatsoever, it occurred to me in that very moment that someday too soon the notes of sympathy, the flowers, the tight hugs when words just weren’t enough—they would come to an end.

I can’t pretend for a moment to know what it’s like to lose a child, but I hate to think about how this friend of mine must have felt when the sympathy texts faded out and people no longer checked in with her to see how she was coping. It must have been soul-crushing for her as everyone else snapped back into their regular routines when her world would never be the same again.

I hope no one reading this right now has had to bury a child. It’s in the realm of unimaginable trials. But no matter what it is you have faced before, or currently face, or will face in the future, at one time or another we will encounter that one trial that divides our lives in two:  life before it happened and life after.

I know there are many out there who are, right now in this exact moment, treading the waters of unspeakable grief.

Perhaps for you the grief is so poignant you wonder if any other emotions even exist—and if you’ll ever feel any of them again.

Perhaps you feel frustrated as you watch the rest of the world just move on and keep living when it feels your universe has literally stopped.

Perhaps if feels impossible to exist and simply be when you figuratively see the life you once loved in broken pieces on the floor.  

Occasionally, a star will end its life in a massive explosion called a supernova. This occurs when there is so much pressure on the core of the star that it literally collapses, sending debris and creating an incomparable explosion. In some cases, a once brilliantly bright star becomes but a black hole.

Sometimes the trials we face feel like a “soul’s supernova”—when, in a moment it seems, life as we know it crumbles, when there is so much pressure and shock and grief pressing against your heart that you feel it might literally burst, sending the pieces of your soul into the vast abyss of time and space.

And so, like a star that becomes a black hole, you’re left with the tragic remains of a would-be fairytale.

About a year ago, I had my own soul’s supernova. I’m not ready to blast the details of it into cyberspace just yet, but I will say this:  I never thought I’d bounce back from it. My soul, for a time, became a black hole of hopelessness.

It went on for months, this trial I couldn’t really talk about, this sadness so deep it was nearly impossible to even try to explain to anyone else. There were days and moments when it felt the world was mocking me with the happiness everyone else seemed to claim. Everyone else was still moving forward with life when I felt so stuck.

One night, during the worst of it all, I felt the comforting truth that when my universe stops, so does Christ’s.

That’s true for you too.

When we feel engulfed in our own sorrow, the Savior spends time with us there, in that dark place. He’ll come to us when it seems no one else can. He mourns with us. He sends peace. He offers reassurance that some way, somehow, the pieces of our broken hearts can be put back together.

And since this post is kind of about stars, let me draw attention to one of the many titles given to Christ:

The Bright and Morning Star

The Savior is a star that will never stop emitting the light we so desperately need, a star that shines in darkness.

I look at my life now compared to what it was a year ago and everything has changed. That soul-crushing trial is over. It didn’t just magically disappear overnight and it still affects my spirit in some ways, but I’m able to see just how much the Bright and Morning Star has healed me since then.  

It’s as if, in His infinite goodness, Christ reversed this supernova of my soul. He restored happiness and purpose where there was darkness and pain. He undid my heart’s explosion with healing only He can offer.

Elder L. Whitney Clayton said, “All of us will, at some time or another, have to traverse our own spiritual wilderness and undertake our own emotional journeys. In those moments, however dark or seemingly hopeless they may be, if we search for it, there will always be a spiritual light that beckons to us, giving us the hope of rescue and relief. That light shines from the Savior of all mankind, who is the Light of the World.”

Jesus Christ really is the Light of the World. He is the Bright and Morning Star. He is the glorious Savior sent by a loving Father, and He shines unceasingly for us.

10 Scriptures that have brought me Closer to Christ


#1.  John 14:18

I will not leave you comfortless:  I will come to you.

I love verses when Christ speaks directly to us, and I love this promise. When I am grieving, when I am wracked with sorrow, when I feel like my world and my happiness are shattered, it’s as if I can hear the Savior speak these very words directly to me.


#2.  Alma 7:11

And he 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.

This verse highlights the all-encompassing nature of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. To think His atonement is infinite in its depth and coverage leaves me speechless and bursting with gratitude. We can tell Christ nothing of pain and suffering—He knows it all. He walked every lonely, painful path. He understands every trial perfectly. He suffered everything—literally everything—for you and me.


# 3.  Mosiah 8:20

O how marvelous are the works of the Lord, and how long doth he suffer with his people.

This scripture really resonated with me the last time I read through the book of Mosiah. Not only did Christ suffer for us, He suffers with us. His is the ultimate example of compassion and empathy.


#4.  Alma 5:60

And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep

Everyone yearns to belong, to be part of something, to feel accepted and loved. Christ welcomes all with open arms and He seeks after the one. I matter to Him, and so do you.


#5.  2 Nephi 9:21

And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.

This scripture really hit me the other day. One of the most heart-wrenching things to me is knowing that innocent children suffer, whether it’s abuse, neglect, loneliness, bullying, illness…..I’m grateful for this verse that emphasizes how infinite Christ’s suffering was. He literally suffered for “every living creature,” and that includes children. He can empathize with these perfect little souls when no one else can. As a parent, this is so comforting to me.


#6.  Isaiah 49:16

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

I remember reading this scripture as a high schooler, just after my family moved to a new state. Even though the students in my new high school were friendly and welcoming, I felt very alone. This was a powerful reminder that Christ understood that loneliness and that I wasn’t forgotten, for He had literally graven me upon the palms of His hands. There have been many times since high school that I found comfort in this same scripture.


#7.  Mosiah 16:9

He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.

Ever feel like the world is just so dark—like your world is just so dark? Jesus Christ truly is the light of my life, a light that will never ever burn out.


#8.  Alma 5:33

Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.

When I think of Christ, I think of unbounded mercy. He doesn’t forgive reluctantly. He doesn’t rub our noses in our failures and mistakes. No, He stands ready to “receive” us with open arms the very moment we repent. And He forgives completely.


#9.  John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

I have these ah-ha moments occasionally where I realize that worldly solutions will not work for the pain I feel or the grief I experience. When it seems peace eludes me entirely, this promise from the Savior Himself calms my troubled heart. He is the only true source of peace.


#10.  3 Nephi 11:14

14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

This is where Christ appeared to the Nephites in the Americas. I get a lump in my throat when I envision this scene and what it must have been like for these people to come forth, one by one, to feel the prints of the nails in the Savior’s hands and feet. We will each get that opportunity one day, the opportunity to be in the presence of the man who died for us and to feel the scars He bears in our name.

I love this quote by Elder Holland:

“In a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, our Lord of this sacrament table has chosen to retain for the benefit of his disciples the wounds in his hands and his feet and his side–signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and perfect. Signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn’t love you. It is the wounded Christ who is the captain of our soul–he who yet bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love and humility and forgiveness. Those wounds are what he invites young and old, then and now, to step forward and see and feel.”

I’ll never have the right words to convey my gratitude for the Savior. I’m thankful for the trials in this life that have urged me to embrace Him and His healing balm. I can honestly say He has never let me down. I’m grateful for His mercy, His grace, His healing, and His infinite love.


Dear Reader



Dear Reader,

I can’t pretend to know what you are going through. I don’t know the details of your life, the silent pleadings of your heart, or the shattered dreams of your past. I don’t know what it is like to to face the things you face, to carry your daily load. I may not understand your grief or your heartache.

But I know someone who does.

As Elder Bednar so eloquently put it, “There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.”

If you’re feeling alone in your suffering, may this be a reminder that you are not alone or abandoned. Christ is aware of you because He died for you. Whatever battle you are fighting in this very moment, He fought it first and He won! With His help and His grace and His love, you can too.

I’m so grateful for Jesus Christ. He is the answer to every problem and the prescription for any affliction. I love Him more than I can say. I know He loves YOU, dear reader.

Go forth and trust the Savior of the world.

Call upon Him.

Embrace Him.

Serve Him.

Remember Him.


Praying for you always,


Discipleship can be your Talent

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I’ve been thinking about talents lately, mostly about how too often I circle back to the conclusion that maybe I don’t have any. I am not musically-inclined. My athleticism is sub-par. When it comes to my dancing, the only person who thinks I’m good is my one-year-old. Public speaking? Woof.

To add to that, I don’t even feel very interesting. I’m not wealthy or intelligent. I am not well-travelled, bilingual, or particularly funny. I have a very modest Instagram following.

It’s really easy to feel inferior to what the world deems successful and worthy of attention.

My mom has been instrumental in helping me see that the word “talent” is so much bigger than all of that. That’s saying something too, because she’s insanely talented herself—in obvious ways. My mom is a very gifted calligrapher, teacher,  cook, artist, and interior designer. The woman can transform a space into something Pinterest-worthy on a very slim budget. It’s remarkable. These talents of hers have blessed me immensely, but as I examine my life, it is my mother’s more ambiguous talents and gifts that have meant the most.

Here are just a few examples:

She is more in-tune with the Spirit than anyone I know. We’re taught recognizing the Spirit is like learning a language, and I dare say my mom is fluent.

She is the best listener, an excellent advice-giver, and has been my personal therapist for over two decades (and she’s never charged me a dime).

She is thee most thoughtful and charitable person I know. She can make anyone feel special and valued. She always gives unpleasant people the benefit of the doubt and doesn’t hesitate to do good to those who have wronged her.

She is supportive and encouraging. She pushes me to pursue my dreams despite the setbacks, despite my failures. She is the reason for stacks of uplifting hand-written notes—notes I’ve revisited in times of discouragement and hopelessness.

My mother is an amazing gospel teacher even though she’d never admit it.

Her tenderness and compassion have calmed my depressive storms.

When I became a mother, she was there by my side instructing, encouraging, and carrying the load with me.

Most importantly, she introduced me to a perfect Savior she has spent her life following.

Obviously these things mean infinitely more to my life than that acoustic guitar solo I heard last week or the Olympic figure skating routine I just watched. When it comes to my mom, who she is has blessed my life more than what she can do. The best way to sum up her strengths? DISCIPLESHIP.

My mother is truly a disciple of Jesus Christ. She strives to do as He would, and it’s just an added bonus that I can talk to her face-to-face and hug her and sometimes even convince her to scratch my back. She is a piece of Him here on this crazy, chaotic earth, and her discipleship is blessing my life—and the lives of so many others—every single day.

God has thoughtfully placed other Christlike people like my mama in my life, people who make their life mission about others.

I was deeply impressed by one of my seventh grade students several years ago. This bubbly student of mine had many friends in the class, but one afternoon, while we were working on a project in the library, she subtly left her group of friends to go sit by and talk with a painfully shy student who was sitting alone. She did it so graciously, so sincerely, without making a scene of it. I guarantee my shy student will remember this act of love more than she will remember any of the performances at the school talent show that year.

I think anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an act of kindness can testify of that. Sure, an episode of Dancing with the Stars can be super entertaining, and watching NBA all-stars do what they do best is freaking jaw-dropping sometimes, but those are not the kind of things that reach deep into our souls and impact us in such a way that we feel truly valued, truly loved, truly worth someone else’s time.

Now, I hope it doesn’t seem like I am somehow discrediting athletes and dancers and all those with very apparent talents. I’m not. Those are valuable attributes. But my point is that the less conspicuous gifts matter too.  Said Elder John C. Pingree, “While some spiritual gifts may not be prominent by the world’s standards, they are essential to God and His work.”

Too often we shrug off our various spiritual gifts as talents, when really these are the abilities and strengths that matter most. Discipleship encompasses spiritual gifts in action.

Another person who comes to mind when I hear the word “discipleship” is President Monson (oh, how I miss him). He was a humble man who devoted every waking breath to addressing the needs of others. His talents included noticing the unnoticed, heeding the promptings of the Spirit, and extending love and tenderness to EVERYONE. Always, he put people before tasks. He was a peacemaker, an optimist, a gold-medalist do-gooder. I love what was said of him at his funeral:  In a world now saturated with ‘selfies,’ [President Monson] modeled selflessness.”

People like my mom, my former student, and President Monson inspire me to think less about how good (or bad) I am at something and more about what I can do for someone else. People like my mom, my former student, and President Monson inspire me to be more like the Savior.

As I study the life of Jesus Christ, I see a constant stream of goodness. Sometimes His goodness meant performing a life-altering miracle, like raising someone from the dead or granting sight to the blind. Sometimes it meant extending forgiveness to the anguished. Sometimes it simply meant washing feet. He loved, healed, forgave, taught, and served. He was loyal, charitable, selfless, kind, sensitive, merciful, compassionate, understanding, and gracious. His life has taught me that sometimes our influence isn’t meant to be seen, but felt.

He was the most powerful man to ever walk the earth, yet He never flaunted His abilities. He never did something good only to glance  look over His shoulder to seek validation from Peter or John. He suffered and died for all of humanity and never even took the credit. His life was always about you and me.

Christ has just always been there for me. Recently, He has helped me cope with a medical diagnosis and all its repercussions. He has lifted me. He has helped me see myself with a little more kindness. He has grieved with me. He has extended forgiveness when I couldn’t forgive myself. He has lightened my load and given me the courage to push through some pretty dark days. He has made all the difference.

Christ urges us to follow His lead, to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5). Said Sister Barbara Thompson, “He taught that no one is too important to serve others.” He invites each of us to be His disciples.

So, if ever you feel gypped in the talent department, remember that DISCIPLESHIP can be your talent, and that it’s the most noble thing you could ever pursue. It is not self-indulgent or competitive. It does not require a well-edited picture, clever post, or audience. It demands a willing heart in lieu of hours of perfect practice. And it is the path—the only path—to true, lasting, and fulfilling JOY.


What Daily Faith in Jesus Christ Looks Like


My first (and hopefully last) near-death experience occurred three winters ago. While driving home from a close friend’s wedding reception in the middle of the night, I found myself in the midst of a relentless snowstorm.  I reached the canyon that separated me from my warm bed around 2 AM. The threatening snowfall and slick roads before me foreshadowed disaster, but I was too exhausted to notice.

About halfway through the canyon, the blizzard blocked my view of the road, and I suddenly lost all control of the car. I completed two 360s across both slick lanes, and skidded about 100 feet along the side of the road until I crashed into a tightly packed, towering snowbank.

It took me a few seconds to register that

a.) I had crashed


b.) I had just experienced a series of miracles.

For one, no other cars occupied the road when my car decided to clumsily figure skate across it. Two, I barely missed the steep drop that would have sent my car rolling into a dark abyss below—and probably my death. And three, I hadn’t suffered any injuries.

But I was stuck. Very stuck. And alone.

Apparently, the rear of the car struck the snowbank with so much force that it completely wedged itself against it. No matter how hard I pressed the gas, the car wouldn’t budge.

I knew I couldn’t get out of there alone, so I called my dad (the fact that I had service was yet another miracle) and prefaced my dilemma with, “I’m okay, but…”

He said he’d be there right away.

While I waited for my dad to arrive, three different parties stopped to help. The first couple confirmed that I was OK and that help was coming. The second man tried to push my car awkwardly from its back corner while I hit the gas, but no luck. When a police officer stopped and pulled a towing rope from his car, I felt a speck of hope, but that hope diminished when we realized his small police car lacked the strength to pull my mom’s giant SUV out of there.

These kind people wished to help, but none could offer the very thing necessary to rescue me—my dad and his massive truck.

As he came rolling into view in that dark canyon, relief swept over me. We attached the police officer’s towing rope to both vehicles and my dad successfully pulled me from the snowbank.

I’ve reflected on this experience a lot. I found myself literally stuck on that cold, snowy, lonely night, but so many times since I’ve found myself spiritually stuck.

Have you ever felt spiritually stuck? Helpless? Powerless? Desperate?

For me, feelings like this usually come when I cannot foresee an end to an ongoing trial, or when I feel powerless in my circumstances. I often feel stuck when I’m torn about a major life decision and feel unsure about which road to take. Sometimes I feel spiritually stuck as I helplessly watch those I love most suffer intensely and I have no idea how to help. I feel stuck after I resolve to kick a bad habit, but fail. Again and again and again. And sometimes I just feel stuck in a spiritual rut, as though my efforts to live the Gospel yield little spiritual fruit.

Just as my dad rescued me from my predicament, so too can Christ come to our rescue when all other solutions fail.  

But He should never be our last resort. I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) to bypass worldly solutions to my problems and to go straight to He who said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). My own grit, tenacity, confidence and abilities alone can’t save me, yet Christ always can.

The answer is simple. When you feel stuck, beckon the Son of God, He who is “mighty to save” (2 Nephi 31:19). Have faith in Him.

Sometimes the invitation to “have faith” feels too broad for me, too unspecific, but I can wrap my head around having daily faith in the Savior.

So, what does daily faith in Jesus Christ look like? For me, it looks like this:

It is getting out of bed in the morning even though I’d rather pull the covers over my head and not face the demands of life.

It is saying a kneeling prayer and pleading with God to grant me the strength, through His Son, to face any hardships that come my way.

It is opening my scriptures and finding Him there.

It is pleading for divine help to conquer the temptations that intermittently creep into my life.

It is seeing the Sacrament for the sacred ordinance it is.

It is asking for patience while promised blessings pend.

It is accepting my difficult circumstances and trusting that it “will be but a small moment” and ultimately be for my good (Doctrine & Covenants 121:7).

It is muting my complaints when I don’t get my way and expressing my gratitude when I do.

It is relying on heavenly answers instead of the logic of men.

It is repenting every day. It is trying a little harder every day.

It is attending the temple when I really just want to take a nap.

It is stepping out of my self-centered box to find and help “the one.”

It is attending church even though I spend 90% of it chasing a very energetic toddler around.

It is teaching that same toddler, in the simplest of ways, about Jesus.

It is doing my best to magnify my church calling, no matter how insignificant that calling is in my eyes.

It is loyally living those commandments most difficult for me.

It is eliminating from my life anything and everything that does not invite the Spirit.

It is making time for family history and praying with my husband and feeding the missionaries.

It is living and doing with sincerity, because that’s the only way Christ knew how.

It is making Christ the center of my life and tuning out worldly distractions by learning of Him and living like Him.

These are the culminating acts of a faith-filled life, and as I review this list, I realize I have a long way to go. But I definitely know that deliberate acts of faith—proactive discipleship—merit heavenly help.

No matter why we feel stuck—or how we got there in the first place, as we consistently demonstrate faith in Jesus Christ, He promises us a noble rescue. From sin. From sorrow. From weakness. From the trials that are not our fault—and all the ones that are. His outstretched arms and scarred hands will pull us from the mire of doubt, despair, and helplessness.

Alma testified to his son Shiblon—and to you and me and all of us—that “there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ” (Alma 38:9).

He is the way. He will come to your rescue.