The Promise of Sunday // How the Gospel Saved Me From Suicide

March 27, 2016


SLC LDS Temple spring flowering trees

I sat in the driver’s seat of my mother’s car, waiting for her to finish at a doctor’s appointment. I was in the throes of an intense anxiety attack. The pain of living with an abusive stepfather, intense body hatred, a failing job search after college, recovering from a sexual assault, my unmanageable anxiety, depression, and self-hatred was too much to bear. My life had no meaning. I had no hope for the future, there was nothing to look forward to that could be any better. There was a bottle of narcotic drugs leftover from an ankle surgery sitting in my purse, much more than I would ever need. A flat soda was in the cup holder. Life would never get better. The pain I felt was too much. No one would miss me. My cup was too bitter and there was only one way to end the pain and darkness. I decided this was the end.


Rewind 2000 years. Despite His perfection, Jesus was despised, rejected, & cast aside. He voluntarily took our punishments upon Him, felt all of our sorrows, all of our hard days. He suffered perfectly and He suffered alone. He was then crucified, murdered unjustly. The only perfect man suffered through literally the worst day in history.

How dark was that Friday when Christ was lifted on the cross? The earth shook, grew dark while terrifying storms beat upon the earth. The veil of the temple was rent in twain. His mother, his friends, his apostles and disciples were devastated. Jesus Christ, the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was somehow conquered by wicked men. This Friday ended with crushing and and exhausting sorrow that devastated and confused those who loved Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ could be killed, if His enemies could win, what hope could the rest of us have?

But, as we well know, the devastation of that Friday did not last. Less than 3 days later, the unthinkable, the unprecedented occurred. The resurrected Lord conquered the grave, beating the permanence of death. He achieved the unthinkable and appeared triumphant as the Savior of all mankind. The endless weeping ceased, the tears dried. The confusion cleared. The broken testimonies grew again. The lips that had pleaded prayers of grief and confusion now loudly proclaimed the glorious news, praising God. Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, was risen, the proof that death is temporary and the beginning of something better than ever imagined.

Mortality is messy. Everyone has a Friday. No matter how obedient you are, how consecrated your life is: you will have a Friday. More than one, in fact. You all probably are well aware of this. I’ve had more Fridays than I care to count, and I know there are more to come.

But just as 2000 years ago, the doom of our Fridays will not endure. Sunday always comes. Sometimes those Sunday moments come soon after our dark Fridays. Sometimes we have to wait years for Sunday to arrive. Sometimes it seems like the sun is rising for everyone around us, while we still wait, broken and seemingly alone. But it is my testimony is that Sunday always comes.

God sees things far beyond our capacity to see. We see brokenness, we see despair...He sees opportunities to show His love, His miracles, and His power. The followers of Jesus did not see this magnificent end - they could only see His death. But, the death of Christ allowed Him to show His great power in overcoming the grave. A more modern example we’re all familiar with is in the Provo Tabernacle - as it burned, so many felt that there was no hope, no saving the building. Their gem and special place was gone. No one could see what God had planned. Heavenly Father saw a Sunday moment, where He could take ashes and turn them to the most sacred space on earth. Only God has the power to take the seemingly unsaveable, the broken beyond repair, and make it greater than it’s previous existence.

So too it is with us. We don’t see our potential clearly; we see the sorrows with myopic tunnel vision. I never thought any Sunday would come for me and I had no vision of what God could do with my broken state. I wish I could say this only happened once, but I’ve had so many Fridays and struggled to find faith that Sunday would come. I’d like to think I’m getting better with so much practice. ;)

Easter is the crowning example of the principle of compensation. I love Easter because it testifies of eternal families and perfected bodies, but I love it for so much more than that. Sunday always comes. We are always delivered. No matter how irredeemable you feel, how broken you think you are, how far from God you feel - Sunday always comes. If I didn’t believe in the Sundays, I would’ve given up during one of my Fridays. I wouldn’t be here.

If I didn’t believe in the Sundays, if I didn’t believe in the miracle of the resurrected Lord, this is not where I would be. I didn’t join this church because I love rules, or giving away 10% of my income, or not drinking, or dressing modestly. I didn’t join this church because I’m good at being in the minority, choosing God in a godless world. I’m no good at that.

I joined this church because as I learned about Jesus Christ, His sacrifice and resurrection, I was overcome by this perfect love. He suffered for every mistake I’ve made. Every time I’ve fallen short. I am irredeemable without His sacrifice. Every time I’ve struggled, every bad day - he’s felt that. Every time I’ve wanted to die, He’s felt that. Feeling our sorrows in the flesh was voluntary, so he could know how to best succor us. He experienced all of our Fridays, in just one day. And He has enabled every Sunday through His miraculous and glorious resurrection.

I’ve seen the Sundays in my life. I’ve seen this principle of compensation make up for the losses, broken hearts, deaths, anxiety, depression, suicide. I saw the healing, the miracles, when I thought nothing could be better. I joined this church because the Atonement of Jesus Christ changed my being. His love softened me, His sacrifice gave me hope. And I’ve stayed obedient, I’ve stayed a member...not because it’s been easy. I've seen dear friends leave the church and I've totally understood why. Life honestly would’ve been easier at times if I had left the church. When my testimony felt upside down and inside out, I held on to this perfect love. I held on to the Atonement, this infinite sacrifice and the miracle of His resurrection. I keep my covenants, I attend church, not to accrue points in heaven, but to honor His sacrifice and resurrection. After all Jesus Christ has done for me, this is the least I can do.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, In all things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8:37)

Jesus Christ chose death and suffering for me. I know He rose again on that Easter morn. Jesus Christ lives! Glorified and perfected. There is no truth greater than this. When my bitter cup seems too hard to bear, I lean on Him who drank the infinitely more bitter cup and claimed victory over the grave. I hold on in the Fridays, because Sunday always comes. This is the good news of the gospel. This is the promise of Easter.

I believe in Christ, so come what may.




(The concept for the talk was inspired by a talk from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin - "Sunday Will Come" I read this talk right before the death of my grandmother 8 years ago and the message has stuck with me ever since.)

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22 thoughts

  1. Nanny Jo would be as proud of you for your strength as I am and glad that you have stayed around for the past Sundays and all of those to come. I love you so!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your insight and strength. I needed to hear this and remember....We are never alone!

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    1. Thank you for your comment! You are right - we are never truly alone! That's what Satan wants us to believe!! Keep being strong! :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm so glad you liked it!!

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  4. Thank you for this beautiful testimony. My daughter sent it because I have been struggling so. It is full of light and hope and promise.

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    1. I'm so happy that it could help!! My favorite scripture is D&C 121:7, "thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment." I know that's true! And whatever you're struggling with, it'll be made up for at some point.

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  5. Joseph B. Wirthlin gave a beautiful conference message entitled "Sunday Will Come". About a year ago I had a friend whose son unexpectly died and I was searching for words of comfort for her. In his message he said "No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next life, Sunday will come." That is a truth that we all need to remember and hold on to in our darkest of days.

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    1. That is one of my favorite talks!! I also used it for comfort when my grandmother died.

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  6. Thank you for posting. I have been at this depression/anxiety for over 30 years now. I share your testimony. And add that hard work on our part is part of the Atonement. If it was not for my belief , I would thrown in the towel a long time ago. God bless. I believe in miracles!

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    1. I totally agree! If there is something we can do to make our situations better, we should do it! Sometimes we are powerless and really do have to rely on those miracles! I've also been in the depression & anxiety most of the last 28 years - it may never go away, but I'm learning how to fight it better with the help of Jesus Christ!!

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  7. I'm so happy that this has helped you. However, one of the hardest parts of living with anxiety, panick, depression etc is knowing that it will never end. I know this is horrible to say but at least when the Savior went through that horrible day, He knew it was His last day of the pain and suffering. I KNOW our pains won't ever come even near to what He experience and suffered; I don't mean to demean what he went through or lessen it. I guess I'm just trying to figure out how to get through this life knowing the pain and suffering never ends until life ends.... But i am happy that you have found peace and help and I appreciate you sharing this and giving us some much needed hope.

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    1. I agree - that is definitely one of the hardest parts of dealing with adversity during your whole life. I haven't found perfect peace and hope and help yet - even today I had a panic attack! I just wrote this post as an Easter talk for church - not to say I'm perfectly cured, but just to say that I believe in Jesus Christ and I know that no matter how long I have to wait, Sunday will come and my adversity will end AND be made up for!

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  8. Thank you for being open about your struggles. It's at least a way we can deal with our depression and anxiety...sharing and helping others to find healing. As much as we love the Savior and appreciate His sacrifice, we often forget it was for us!

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    1. You make such a great point! We talk about the Savior all the time and yet have a hard time making a deep personal connection to it and remembering it was for us! Thanks for sharing your insights!

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  9. Thank-you. I'm with you on this. Thank-you!

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    1. Thank YOU! I'm glad you liked it!

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  10. Thank you for your candor, courage, and faithful example.

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    1. Thank you! I'm trying to be all of those things, still working at it :)

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  11. Ramona Cashmore4/01/2016 11:12 AM

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful talk Elyse - it is so well written. What a great Easter sacrament meeting your Ward must have enjoyed. I love how you (and Elder Wirthlin state) the idea that our Fridays can be overcome by His Sunday. I too have suffered depression, anxiety, and the guilty weight of sin, and like you, have felt the saving power of Christ’s atonement in my life, and am so grateful for His infinite love and grace. It is truly a miracle work!

    One thing I feel needs to be clarified though, and that is in how you worded Christ's death. It is true he was taken, brutally flogged, nailed to a cross, and left to die, but ultimately "they" did not kill or murder Him. Christ suffered until He completely finished the work of the atonement, and once completed, He willingly allowed Himself to die. No one else had the power to actually take or end His life - only He did. Just as He has power over the forces of life and all of nature, He has the power to lay down His life... or not. Thankfully He did lay it down, so He could bring about the next part of the Father’s Plan - His power over death. Knowing He willingly and faithfully carried out every painful, agonizing, mortally unbearable aspect of the Atonement, without giving up or backing down, makes His Atonement and Resurrection that much more amazing and glorious. Like the hymn says, I truly do stand all amazed!

    Sorry this was a little long but I just didn’t want there to be any confusion on that one point. Thanks again for sharing your testimony in such a powerful way! I hope to read more of your thoughtful posts.

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    1. Hi Ramona,

      There's definitely no confusion on that point. I totally agree and know that He willingly gave up His life, making the Atonement even more amazing! My choice of words was to demonstrate the intentions of those who crucified Him. I hope that maybe clears up confusion. Forgive me for the miscommunications.

      I'm glad you liked the post! Thank you for your incredibly thoughtful comment!

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