Everyone loves new things. New shoes, a new shirt or new glasses can bring a smile to your face. A new baby brings the promise of all things good and hopeful. New Car is the most popular air freshener scent because it elicits an excitement for change and improvement.
New buds on a tree or bush, and tulip shoots pushing through the hardened winter soil show that despite a season of difficulty and cold, change and growth are coming. All of these things are a promise of good things to come.
Of the many names used for our Savior, one that brings hope and promise was given by the Apostle Paul, who said that through His mediation and Atonement, Christ became “an high priest of good things to come” (Hebrews 9:11). Through Him, hope and belief are possible.
The season of Easter is a time of promise and hope. We can anticipate good things to come due to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “Everyone needs to be able to look forward to some respite, to something pleasant and renewing and hopeful, whether that blessing be near at hand or still some distance ahead. It is enough just to know we can get there, that however measured or far away, there is the promise of ‘good things to come’” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “An High Priest of Good Things to Come,” Ensign, Nov. 1999).
Peter, as a disciple of Christ, was also just a man striving to find and reach his full potential. During a ravaging storm in the middle of the night, the Savior saw his potential and knew his capabilities. “And he [Jesus Christ] said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus” (Matthew 14:29). Peter saw the outstretched hand of the Savior. He heard His encouraging invitation. He trusted His divine assistance. He recognized Him as the “high priest of good things to come.”
A few years ago, as a family, we decided to try something none of us had ever done before. With the help of a guide, we wanted to belay down into a slot canyon. A slot canyon is a long, narrow channel. It has sheer rock walls and often has water at the base. All six of us stood at the top of the canyon with our gear on, and then one at a time, we connected ourselves to the fixed rope. Without seeing the bottom, and facing backwards, each of us individually would slowly walk over the edge, and belay down into the unknown canyon to a guide waiting below.
Everyone was anxious and excitedly terrified to try this adventure. I decided I would be the last to go to ensure that each member of my family was able to be successful. The guide at the top was helpful and kind to each of us. But, when it came time for our youngest daughter to descend into the canyon, her fear was greater than her ability to move. She was completely paralyzed.
Our kind guide knelt down beside her, looked her in the eyes and said, “Trust.” He told her to say that over and over as she descended into the canyon. Before too many minutes passed, that word encouraged her enough to lean back and let her gear pull on the rope. When she could feel the safety of it, she was then able to walk backwards into the canyon and eventually descend to an incredible sight. There were good things to come below that ledge!
The gift of the Atonement promises good things
Our Savior wants us to understand that we can trust Him. He wants us to learn to lean on Him and to be connected to Him. He wants us to feel the safety that comes from this. Through His incredible gift of the Atonement, we are promised all good things. His indescribable sacrifice over 2000 years ago enables us to overcome all challenges.
This Easter, with the newness of spring, and the excitement of new growth and promise, we can be reminded of our Savior’s glorified Resurrection. Because of His Resurrection, we are promised the same. And because of His merciful sacrifice for each of us, these assurances are possible.
“Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His ‘more excellent ministry’ with a future of ‘better promises.’ He is your ‘high priest of good things to come’” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “An High Priest of Good Things to Come,” Ensign, Nov. 1999).