Allen wrote a short letter to Mike and I instead of a longer general letter, but there was a part I wanted to share with you. I had told him about my lesson this week in Gospel Essentials and some of my thoughts about the topic and this was his response:
anyways... thats my favorite thing to talk about is the atonement. geffrey r hollands talk "the loneliest journey ever made" is probably the best thing i have found about that. the thing that i never understood before which im starting to see more now is the whole part oft the atonement that helps the innocent. were saved from sins but were also strengthened in trials. "footsteps in the sand" is a great one there. we never seem to recognize the help we are recieving in the moment but when we look back almost always we are able to recognize how much help is really there the whole time.
i can remember when i was really little... i dono if was 10 or how old... i do remember though it was before you had your operation on your first knee when your knees were doing the worst.. and i remember you laying down in bed because they hurt so bad.. and i remember praying in my room that god would make my knees hurt unstead of yours.. ( its interesting to me the small memories that i do still have and others that i cant recall for the life of me ) the prayer wasnt answered the way i expected it as a little kid, but things have worked out. (: your still hurt and that hasnt seemed to change and i dont know your feelings about that but one thing that i have kinda felt about the savior and the atonement... is it has seemed to work kinda like this for me. god wants us to learn and grow more than he wants us to be comfortable. and since this life is all about learning.... learning christlike attributes... not very often does something big and miraculous (like a blessing that miraculously takes away the trial). it can and does but not very often. ive found for me that if we compare a trial in life to a long walk, the atonement isnt going to drop a car off so we can just drive to the end... but i feel like christ will come and walk with us so we arent walking alone. didnt take the long walk away, we are still walking but we have the comfort of company. and then if the time comes that we've hit our limit, thats when christ will carry us. think about life if we always got cars to take us to the end of our problems, things the savior said like "go the extra mile" and how he carried his own cross... would have a lot less meaning for us.
Allen has an amazing focus on the things that are most important. I appreciated knowing his experience as a child and the faith he exhibited on my behalf.
Mike and Paula