Oh, I just think that is so powerfully written, and I am left feeling so awed by the impossible gift of the atonement. I can't comprehend it-- I can't even imagine it, really-- and yet, I do feel it. I feel the personal and tender effects of it in my life on a regular basis and I am so stunningly grateful for it.
"When I was first awakening to Christianity I found it difficult to fully sympathize with Jesus. I didn’t doubt that what he endured was awful, much more awful than anything that man has endured. But after all, he wasn’t a regular guy. Didn’t being a demi-god give him just a wee bit of an edge?
It took me years to realize that, in fact, Jesus’ supercapacity did not work in his favor, so to speak. Actually, the opposite was true. Yes, he was stronger–much stronger–than any of us. But that just meant he was able to bear far more. It didn’t make it easier. It just made the depths much, much deeper. And that’s just the beginning. Not only did the depths exceed any place within our ability to grasp, but he also had the capacity to free himself from those depths at any given time.
This is the stunning truth of Christianity: that a being not only voluntarily suffered beyond our puny mortal comprehension, to free us puny mortals, but also sustained his suffering through his own power. His body did not manufacture its own misery, as a woman’s does during labor. He was not just a willing participant in an act beyond his control. The circuit of pain could remain open only through his own unflagging will.
I still cry every time I think about Thomas’s delivery. I’m frightened by the memory of pain so keen and commanding. And I’m ashamed of my weakness, ashamed that I had, even for a fleeting time, looked for an out.
But God is wise enough to not offer us outs in times of creative extremity. No, that’s a torment he reserved only for himself."
The rest of Elder Hafen's talk discusses two other areas (aside from compensating for sin) where the Lord's grace (through the atonement) blesses us. Those two areas are: 1)sweetening the bitter things in life and then 2) coming to the point of attaining divine perfection.
"The Savior desires to save us from our inadequacies as well as from our sins. Inadequacy is not the same as sinfulness—we have far more control over the choice to sin than we may have over our innate capacity. The Lord will not save us our sins, but them. However, he can save us our inadequacies as well as them. A sense of falling short or falling down is not only natural, but essential to the mortal experience. But, after all we can do, the Atonement can fill that which is empty, straighten our bent parts, and make strong that which is weak."