I Know that My Redeemer Lives…

I do not know what perfect faith is. I have always supposed it to be the child like faith of never doubting, always believing. That would be a very good description of the faith of young Danny Malcolm as a boy being raised in my family and among the saints of my junior Sunday school and primary classes. I do not think what I was experiencing was so-called “borrowed faith,” nor the less productive “blind faith.” I just always found it easy to believe the truth. It just came to me to believe. It was something that I could see clearly, so there was no cause to doubt.

Some of the things I knew as a child, even from post-infancy, was that I have a Heavenly Father and that He loves me. His son Jesus Christ is my elder brother, and He too loves me, even enough to die for me, but I suppose I did not understand so young exactly what that meant. I knew there was a prophet named Joseph who saw Them with his own eyes, Father in Heaven and Jesus. Whenever I heard that story told I would feel warm inside. My chest would tingle and expand, and my eyes would become moist. I came to learn that feeling was the Holy Ghost testifying of truth, and I never forgot it. I have never stopped feeling it.

The First Vision by Del Parson

At times things would happen, evil things would be told me, that could expectedly cause some doubt to stir, but I always knew that there was a God in heaven, with His Son Jesus Christ, and Joseph was Their prophet. For me, it has always been as simple as that. I have a testimony in God the Eternal Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. I have a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Through my childhood and youth that testimony grew incrementally with experience and learning through the Holy Spirit. One day, though, my witness of my Savior would begin to grow exponentially.

My religious beliefs were packaged up pretty well. I thought I had a grasp and understanding of the basics, so to speak. For a simple teenager I had been a voracious student of the scriptures and other literature regarding religious doctrine and human history. The truth is that I lacked an understanding witness of the most basic and essential part my religion, without which we have no religion at all. I did not really understand that with all the miracles and wonders performed by God, His Jesus and by prophets of old and present, what was really at the core of our religion. Yes, I knew He suffered and died for us, but I really did not understand why. I really did not understand how very much we need that atonement, how far it reaches, and what it really is.

In recent years I have learned of the following quote by Elder J. Rueben Clark on the importance of the atonement: “Brethren, it is all right to speak of the Savior and the beauty of His doctrines and the beauty of the truth, but remember, and this is the thing I wish you to always carry with you, the Savior is to be looked at as the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world. His teachings were ancillary and auxiliary to that great fact.”

“Brethren, it is all right to speak of the Savior and the beauty of His doctrines and the beauty of the truth, but remember,… the Savior is to be looked at as the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world. His teachings were ancillary and auxiliary to that great fact.”

Elder J. Rueben Clark

I had a series of experiences that lead to a single event and put me more firmly in understanding the importance and reach of our Savior and Redeemer. It was around my 19th birthday. I was preparing as with most of my friends to serve a mission to preach the gospel of Christ wherever the Lord would send me, but I was in need of something more to really be the missionary the Lord needed. I attended a Saturday evening session of stake conference, a meeting that usually only adults attended. I was alone that evening among the several hundred adults in the East Stake Center chapel. None of my family nor friends my age were in attendance, so I sat against the wall, in a right-side (from the perspective of the pulpit) pew about halfway back with people all around me that I did not know. There were of course several sermons given that night, but I must admit I do not remember a word that was spoken, I only remember a sacred hymn, one that would speak to me as if I had written it myself, as if it had come from my own heart by the Savior’s voice.

The hymn came, as I recall, around the middle of the meeting. We were all asked to stand and sing, which is sometimes done mid-way through so that we can all stretch our legs, but it was more than that for me. The standing was the beginning of an arousal of the spirit in me that I have never and will never forget. I stood and sang, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” As the words lifted from my lips on wings of tones generated by breath deep from my diaphragm like a rushing wind across my vocal cords, the feeling of the spirit ever increasing both energized and illuminated bright light testimony that I could not, I would not restrain. There was no bush where I would hide this candle from site. I believe I could not resist it had I tried, but I would not, even if I could.

“I Know That My Redeemer Lives” was written by Samuel Medley (1738–1799), and was included in the first hymnbook of the Church, compiled by commandment to Emma Smith in 1835. The present tune, as currently published, was later composed by Lewis D. Edwards (1858–1921).

When I stood and began to sing, that rushing wind powering my vocal cords also seemed to blow across my brow, enlighten my mind, and invigorate my entire being. The tingling sensation that would normally cause goosebumps empowered every sense within me to stand straighter than I have ever stood and sing brighter than I had ever sung. Truth was manifesting itself with power and force only known when accompanied by the Spirit of God.

I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives to bless me with His love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

As I continued to sing the feeling which undeniably came over me grew stronger until I felt greater strength than I had ever felt before, not a strength of my own, but a strength mercifully brought on by humble submission to the power of God.

He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with His eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.

All of my weakness and inadequacy were set aside as I came to understand that nothing was impossible because He lives, because He did what He did for us, what only He could do, for me, for you, for all.

He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while He lives, I’ll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.

All at once I felt as if I were standing alone with heavenly choirs of angels surrounding me, but looking around and seeing that the choirs so heavenly heard and felt by my ears and soul were in accompaniment to the rejoicing saints filling the chapel with godly praise, I felt no more alone but in the community of faith.

He lives! All glory to His name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”
He lives! All glory to His name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”

I still do not remember who spoke after that, nor the other songs sung and prayers offered, but on that night in my journal I recorded that I had never before felt the Spirit more strongly. I knew that I had been redeemed, and that my Redeemer lives. That witness grew from that day forth, and has never stopped growing. I still lack understanding, but it grows with every passing day, some days more than others, but it grows with every day that comes and goes.

Jesus at the Door by Del Parson

I have also learned some thing of the Spirit of God. He is always present for us. I know at times it seems we drive Him away with our unwise choices, but it is more clear that we just stop listening and being receptive to His still small voice whispering to us always the truth of the redemption of all mankind, including and especially our own. Like with the Savior standing at the door and knocking, it is ours to open the door and let Him into the fertile soil of our hearts that our witness may grow from a small seedling to a mighty grove. The truth is always with us if we remember our witness, the testimonies we have both heard and proclaimed, and we continue to welcome, or welcome anew, the voice and influence of God’s Holy Spirit.

It is like the general conference coming this weekend, the weekend we celebrate Christ’s atoning sacrifice and His glorious resurrection into life eternal. God’s anointed prophets, seers and revelators, and other inspired servants, will speak to us by the power of the Holy Ghost and under the direction of our Savior. It will happen. If we choose not to turn on the television, or listen to the broadcast, or read the proceedings in the Liahona, it will nevertheless still happen. Like the scriptures simply waiting to be opened, like the Spirit waiting to be heard, like the Savior waiting to be welcomed, general conference will be available to us if we but open our ears, our eyes and our hearts and receive what the Lord has for us.

Christ in Gethsemane by Harry Anderson

It is the same with the Holy Ghost. He is ever present to testify of the truth of all things, and most importantly that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of all mankind, and that He lives. This is the testimony that I bear, the thing I know in my heart, first by faith and then as a personal witness of His being. I know that Heavenly Father lives and loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His firstborn Son, His only begotten in the flesh, to live on this earth, to learn and experience the totality of what it is to be mortal, and by the strength of His immortality to endure the infirmities, the suffering, the heartaches, and the consequences of the sins of human kind. In Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary He suffered these things beyond the capacity of us all combined, from every age and from every world, and then even unto death. By His atoning sacrifice He indeed redeemed us all, and on the third day, by His godly power He rose and conquered the grave for us all, leaving an empty tomb and a renewed world. I am ever grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. I have witnessed His power first hand in my life and in countless lives around me. I know that my Redeemer lives. This is my testimony and my unretractable witness. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Daniel Malcolm is an entrepreneur, journalist, photographer, husband to Monica and father of twelve. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.