Will, But Thine, Be Done”
The Savior takes upon himself our sins and infirmities.
We need the atonement of Jesus Christ.
A study of this lesson will strengthen our testimonies so that we can receive
forgiveness, peace, and eternal life because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Scripture references for study:
26:36–46; Mark 14:32–42;
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 25 Handout (PDF
The Garden Of Gethsemane
James E. Talmage: "Jesus and the eleven apostles went forth from the
house in which they had eaten, passed through the city gate, which was
usually left open at night during a public festival, crossed the ravine
of the Cedron, or more accurately Kidron, brook, and entered an olive orchard
known as Gethsemane, on the slope of Mount Olivet." (Jesus The Christ,
"Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane,
and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two
sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding
sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell
on his face, and prayed..." (Matthew 26:36-39)
Luke says, "And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and
kneeled down, and prayed" (Luke 22:41).
Mark recorded, "And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground,
and prayed..." (Mark 14:35).
Bruce R. McConkie: "We cannot recount with surety the order in which
each thing happened, nor reconstruct with certainty the sequence of Jesus'
spoken words, this night in this garden in this 'other Eden, in which the
Second Adam, the Lord from heaven, bore the penalty of the first, and in
obeying gained life.' (Edersheim 2:534.) What has been preserved for us
is only a sliver from a great tree, only a few sentences of what was said,
only a brief glimpse of what transpired. It would appear that Jesus and
the disciples spent some hours there in Gethsemane; that one (or many!)
angels were present; and that Jesus poured out his soul in agony as he
interceded for the faithful and felt the weight of the world's sins upon
his own sinless soul. There is no mystery to compare with the mystery of
redemption, not even the mystery of creation. Finite minds can no more
comprehend how and in what manner Jesus performed his redeeming labors
than they can comprehend how matter came into being, or how Gods began
to be. Perhaps the very reason Peter, James, and John slept was to enable
a divine providence to withhold from their ears, and seal up from their
eyes, those things which only Gods can comprehend." (Mortal Messiah,
Even as the Lord approached Gethsemane, Mark records that he
to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy" (Mark 14:33).
Feeling the weight of that burden he prayed, "O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as
thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39).
After a time the Lord returned and found that even his three faithful brethren
were asleep. He said to Peter, "What, could ye not watch with me one
hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed
is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:40-41).
"He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying,
O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it,
thy will be done." (Matthew 26:42)
"And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for
their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him."
As one reads of Peter, James, and John sleeping, one wonders if this was
more than natural fatigue. I believe that the Master had to carry this great burden
entirely by himself.
He must have returned to them, feeling the heaviness of the burden, hoping
that they might ease it in some small way, but such was not the case.
Matthew tells us that he went away a third time and repeated the
same words in his prayer (Matthew
WHAT WAS THIS CUP OF WHICH THE LORD DID NOT WISH TO DRINK?
The sins of the world.
We see in this sacred moment the mortality of the Lord. Like all of us,
he shrank from the burden of pain. But his love for the Father and for
each of us was so great, that he willingly took on that burden.
"And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening
him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly:
and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
In this verse we begin to catch a glimpse of the heaviness of the burden.
D&C 19:16-18. Christ suffered for us.
It is a sobering thing to ponder the sacrifice of the Savior. This burden,
this suffering, this agony, came upon the Jesus because of the sins that
we have committed.
He made this sacrifice because of his love for each of us. Do these thoughts
create within you a greater desire to repent and more fully follow the
Consider the words of these modern Apostles:
John Taylor: "Jesus had to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself....
And as he in his own person bore the sins of all, and atoned for them by
the sacrifice of himself, so there came upon him the weight and agony of
ages and generations, the indescribable agony consequent upon this great
sacrificial atonement wherein he bore the sins of the world, and suffered
in his own person the consequences of an eternal law of God broken by man.
Hence his profound grief, his indescribable anguish, his overpowering torture,
all experienced in the submission to the eternal fiat of Jehovah and the
requirements of an inexorable law.
"The suffering of the Son of God
was not simply the suffering of personal death; for in assuming the position
that he did in making an atonement for the sins of the world he bore the
weight, the responsibility, and the burden of the sins of all men, which,
to us, is incomprehensible.
"Groaning beneath this concentrated load,
this intense, incomprehensible pressure, this terrible exaction of Divine
Justice, from which feeble humanity shrank, and through the agony thus
experienced sweating great drops of blood, He was led to exclaim, 'Father,
if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.' He had wrestled with the
superincumbent load in the wilderness, He had struggled against the powers
of darkness that had been let loose upon him there; placed below all things,
His mind surcharged with agony and pain, lonely and apparently helpless
and forsaken, in his agony the blood oozed from His pores." (The Mediation
and Atonement, pp149-150)
Bruce R. McConkie: "There is no language known to mortals that can tell
what agony and suffering was his while in the Garden. Of it Farrar says:
'A grief beyond utterance, a struggle beyond endurance, a horror of great
darkness, a giddiness and stupefaction of soul overmastered Him, as with
the sinking swoon of an anticipated death. . . . How dreadful was that
paroxysm of prayer and suffering through which He used.' (Farrar, p. 624.)
"And as to the prayer in the Garden--repeating,
as it did, his divine promise made in the councils of eternity when he
was chosen for the labors and sufferings of this very hour; the divine
prayer in which he said, 'Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine
forever' (Moses 4:2)--as to the prayer in the Garden, 'That prayer in all
its infinite Reverence and awe was heard; that strong crying and those
tears were not rejected. We may not intrude too closely into this scene.
It is shrouded in a halo and a mystery into which no footstep may penetrate.
We, as we contemplate it, are like those disciples--our senses are confused,
our perceptions are not clear. We can but enter into their amazement and
sore distress. Half waking, half oppressed with an irresistible weight
of troubled slumber, they only felt that they were dim witnesses of an
unutterable agony, far deeper than anything which they could fathom, as
it far transcended all that, even in our purest moments, we can pretend
to understand. The place seems haunted by presences of good and evil, struggling
in mighty but silent contest for the eternal victory. They see Him, before
whom the demons had fled in howling terror, lying on His face upon the
ground. They hear that voice wailing in murmurs of broken agony, which
had commanded the wind and the sea, and they obeyed Him. The great drops
of anguish which fall from Him in the deathful struggle, look to them like
heavy gouts of blood.' (Farrar, p. 624.) And so they were." (Mortal
James E. Talmage: "Christ's agony in the garden is unfathomable by the
finite mind, both as to intensity and cause. The thought that He suffered
through fear of death is untenable. Death to Him was preliminary to resurrection
and triumphal return to the Father from whom He had come, and to a state
of glory even beyond what He had before possessed; and, moreover, it was
within His power to lay down His life voluntarily. He struggled and groaned
under a burden such as no other being who has lived on earth might even
conceive as possible. It was not physical pain, nor mental anguish alone,
that caused Him to suffer such torture as to produce an extrusion of blood
from every pore; but a spiritual agony of soul such as only God was capable
of experiencing. No other man, however great his powers of physical or
mental endurance, could have suffered so; for his human organism would
have succumbed, and syncope would have produced unconsciousness and welcome
oblivion. In that hour of anguish Christ met and overcame all the horrors
that Satan, 'the prince of this world' could inflict. The frightful struggle
incident to the temptations immediately following the Lord's baptism was
surpassed and overshadowed by this supreme contest with the powers of evil.
"In some manner, actual and terribly real
though to man incomprehensible, the Savior took upon Himself the burden
of the sins of mankind from Adam to the end of the world." (Jesus The
Listen to some quiet, sacred music. As you listen to this music, consider the burden which the
Savior took upon himself in your behalf.
HOW DOES PONDERING JESUS' SUFFERING AFFECT YOU?
It is humbling and sobering to consider the thought that all our dumb and
thoughtless sins were carried by the Savior in the agony of the Garden. Within
me it creates a renewed desire to live more righteously in an effort to show a
How true are the words: "I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.... I marvel that
he would descend from his throne divine, To rescue a soul so rebellious
and proud as mine" (I Stand All Amazed, Hymn #193).
We Need The Atonement Of Jesus Christ
WHY DO WE NEED THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST?
Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, we are subject to physical death,
which is the separation of the body and the spirit.
"Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death; and we
are made partakers of misery and woe" (Moses 6:48).
When we sin, we bring spiritual death upon ourselves because we separate
ourselves from God. Our sins make us unclean and unable to dwell with God.
"Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation,
then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God; and no unclean
thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever" (1
Because we cannot overcome physical or spiritual death by ourselves, Heavenly
Father sent his Only Begotten Son to offer the Atonement.
"And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil.
And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or,
by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off;
and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and
become miserable forever. Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through
the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice
for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken
heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law
be answered. Wherefore, how great the importance to
make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may
know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save
it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who
layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the
power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the
dead, being the first that should rise. Wherefore, he is the first fruits unto
God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men;
and they that believe in him shall be saved." (2 Nephi 2:5-9)
WHAT BLESSINGS ARE AVAILABLE TO US BECAUSE OF THE SAVIOR'S ATONING SACRIFICE?
Because the Savior submitted to death and was resurrected, we will all
be resurrected, overcoming physical death.
"And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands
of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have
no sting, there could have been no resurrection. But there is a resurrection, therefore
the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."
Because he took upon himself our sins, we can repent of our sins and be
forgiven, making us clean and worthy to dwell with God.
"Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth
according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people,
that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his
deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. Now I say unto you that ye must repent,
and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot
inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance,
that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb
of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and
to cleanse from all unrighteousness." (Alma 7:13-14)
Because he took upon himself our infirmities, he understands our difficulties
and knows how to help us.
"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. And he will take upon him death, that
he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take
upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according
to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his
people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12)
We receive peace in him as we humbly follow him.
"Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit,
and you shall have peace in me." (D&C 19:23)
Marion G. Romney: "It took the atonement of Jesus Christ to reunite
the bodies and spirits of men in the resurrection. And so all the world,
believers and non-believers, are indebted to the Redeemer for their certain
resurrection, because the resurrection will be as wide as was the fall,
which brought death to every man.
"There is another phase of the atonement
which makes me love the Savior even more, and fills my soul with gratitude
beyond expression. It is that in addition to atoning for Adam's transgression,
thereby bringing about the resurrection, the Savior by his suffering paid
the debt for my personal sins. He paid the debt for your personal sins
and for the personal sins of every living soul that ever dwelt upon the
earth or that ever will dwell in mortality upon the earth. But this he
did conditionally. The benefits of this suffering for our individual transgressions
will not come to us unconditionally in the same sense that the resurrection
will come regardless of what we do. If we partake of the blessings of the
atonement as far as our individual transgressions are concerned, we must
obey the law....
"When we commit sin, we are estranged
from God and rendered unfit to enter into his presence. No unclean thing
can enter into his presence. We cannot of ourselves, no matter how we may
try, rid ourselves of the stain which is upon us as a result of our own
transgressions. That stain must be washed away by the blood of the Redeemer,
and he has set up the way by which that stain may be removed. That way
is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel requires us to believe in the
Redeemer, accept his atonement, repent of our sins, be baptized by immersion
for the remission of our sins, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the
laying on of hands, and continue faithfully to observe, or do the best
we can to observe, the principles of the gospel all the days of our lives."
(CR, Oct 1953, pp35-36)
HOW CAN WE SHOW OUR GRATITUDE FOR HIS SUFFERING?
D&C 18:10-16. The worth of souls is great.
We show our love and gratitude for the Savior by repenting of our sins
and leading others to do the same.
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
No man can comprehend the agony which the Savior passed
through on our behalf. There are no words in any language to adequately
describe this scene and convey the depth of suffering of the Savior. He
passed through a valley deeper than any known in human experience. He did
it for us. He is the Infinite and Eternal sacrifice that makes immortality
and eternal life possible for us. Does he ask us to pass through the same
suffering? No. He simply asks that we repent of our sins and follow him.
Let us show our gratitude for him by repenting, living a good life, and
sharing the message of the gospel.
Record your thoughts on the events recorded in this lesson. In what ways
can you show your gratitude for the Lord's suffering?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Conference Reports (CR).
Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage.
The Mediation and Atonement by John Taylor.
The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, Volume
4, by Bruce R. McConkie.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
11 May 2015