Pray for Japan

Monday, March 14, 2011
I don't think it's right not to post something about Japan even though everyone we know on Facebook and Twitter already have. I personally only know a few people in Japan and I THANK GOD they are not directly affected by the devastations. I've stopped reading/watching the news about it because I cry every time I do and it hurts my soul. I was talking to Chase about this yesterday and said, "What else could we do? We can donate money but what else can we do?" Sometimes money just doesn't seem enough. Then I read this article in this month's Ensign (a Mormon magazine) and I felt like it was my little answer from God and I couldn't not share it with you...
To Bind Up the Brokenhearted
By Georges A. Bonnet 
In the 1990s my employment with the Church took our family to Africa, where I was assigned to help with relief efforts in Burundi, Rwanda, and Somalia. This was during a devastating period of famine, brutality, and war, and the suffering was overwhelming. 
Thousands were in refugee camps. Hundreds of orphaned children lived in rudimentary shelters they constructed themselves. Cholera, typhoid, and malnutrition were ever present. The stench of waste and death added to the hopelessness. 
I felt driven to offer all the help I could. The Church worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross and other organizations, but I couldn’t help wondering sometimes if our efforts were making a difference in the face of such widespread atrocity and tragedy. It was hard to shake feelings of helplessness and discouragement, and often when I retired for the night, I cried. 
It was during this discouraging time that a familiar passage took on a deeper dimension for me. Citing Isaiah, it tells us that the Savior was “anointed to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that were bound” (D&C 138:42). 
I had seen and spoken with many people who were “brokenhearted” in the most striking ways. They had lost their loved ones, homes, and peaceful way of life. And yet many of them showed signs of having been “bound up.” For instance, often when we approached a makeshift home, its inhabitants would ask, “Will you pray with us?” The people seemed to find happiness and peace in making supplications to the Lord. 
Of course, we cannot look for the impact of the Atonement only in this life. It also comes after. I know there is redemption for the dead and resurrection for all because of the Savior. The pain we experience in this life—however extreme—will be removed and healed through the Atonement. 
Mormon and Moroni, who lived in times of great slaughter and death, wrote about having hope anchored in a loving God whose mercy and justice surpass all understanding (see, for instance, Moroni 7:41–42). Studying these prophets’ statements bolstered my own faith. When I wondered if our efforts were making a difference, I felt assurance that the Savior’s grace is the ultimate redemptive power. Our best efforts may be limited, but His are infinite and eternal. 
There’s no doubt that the world’s conditions create many forms of despair, but none are beyond the reach of the Redeemer to heal. All of us can have the sure hope that through the Atonement of Christ our heartscan be bound up and made whole. With this knowledge, I could go on in my work, knowing that His efforts always succeed. 
All of us can have the sure hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ our hearts can be bound up and made whole.
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19 comments :

  1. I'm still watching the news but I cry nearly every time something about the disaster comes on. Like you, I often wondering what more I could do. Great post - thanks for sharing.

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  2. Ive been watching cnn all day... is gotten so bad. My heart and prayers so out to them.

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  3. what a beautiful article elaine! thank you for sharing...i have had the same thoughts lately as to what we can do to help, besides donating. i feel so helpless and everyday trivial things do not seem as important as they once were. it's been hard blogging and doing other things without thinking how meaningless they really are while there are others in the world suffering. i guess all we can do is have faith that everything will get better and that all the suffering will be healed one day. :)

    Fashion Bag 411
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  4. Lovely. And I love you!

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  5. I love that. So applicable.

    My cousins are Japanese but they don't live there right now... two of my uncles served missions there. I don't have any direct connections, but I feel as though Japan has always been a part of our history and my families. Even if I didn't feel a connection - they would certainly be in my prayers.

    I have tried to write about it, but I just am speechless.

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  6. What a lovely article! I'm gad you shared this.

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  7. Thank you for sharing that! What a great example you are!

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  8. great article. we really do need to be praying for Japan. :)

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  9. Thank you Elaine for sharing this. The horrific images that we see on television are just so painful and the devastation is so extensive that I've felt as you have. Reading this is helpful.
    Thanks again.

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  10. Thank you for sharing this Elaine! It is exactly what we needed to hear right now!! What a great example you are to all of us in bloggerville.

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  11. I seriously just can't check the news stations the past few days. It's too much. Thanks for posting this!

    Kayla
    Freckles in April | a modest fashion and lifestyle blog

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  12. Truly horrifying stuff going on over there.

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  13. There is something everyone of us can do: consume less energy. Nuclear power is not sustainable and if something goes wrong, it does so horribly, as we can see now in Japan.

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  14. I agree, everything is SO horrible, i still can't believe that it happened. And it was especially scary reading Rumi from Fashion Toasts' story about her experience during it :/

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  15. I didn't realize she was there!! I just read it. That is so crazy...

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  16. I too have limited the images I am willing to take in about this series of disasters. I agree that persons of faith do have a reliable way of dealing with these circumstances. Our responsibility is to pray without ceasing...and not to watch television constantly.

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  17. Thank you so much for posting this. It gave me a lot of comfort about everything that is going on in Japan.

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  18. I enjoyed your post.
    One of my Professors (Mimi) was flying into Tokyo when it all happened. They circled for a long time before heading to a different airport to circle some more before landing. She got back and was in studio today. I mentioned that the news always changes and dramatizes the story. She said that is true it was devastating but a lot of people who live in Japan have a strong connection to Nature and are actually quiet understanding when natural disasters happen. It doesn't mean that it isn't hard for them but they don't place blame in not being prepared or what the government could have done. It is a sign of the times and very sad but I am happy that my teacher is okay and that people are working through it.

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  19. Beautiful. Thank you.

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