In a couple of weeks, I will be taking my Grandpa to Washington D.C. for a special event they are having at the World War II Memorial for surviving WWII veterans.  This will be one of the great honors of my life.

My grandfather went to war thinking he was going to be on the front-lines of battle.  However, on the way to his assignment, the atomic bombs were dropped and the war was soon over.

ptsd

Although he was mostly involved in cleaning up and the aftermath of war, it still affected him and he saw things that he had never even thought of.  As an 18 year old boy, it was very disturbing for him.  While he was on the island of Saipan, he became severely ill and lost so much weight that they honorably released him and sent him back to the United States to recover.

I spoke with him the other day and he told me that life after the war was extremely hard.  He would have nightmares, stress, and didn’t want to speak with anyone.  He went to some counseling, but he said the real therapy was when his dad gave him some land to work and he could lose himself riding horses on the range, praying, and unloading his burdens on God.

This morning, I watched a short film on some brothers who had served in the Iraq and Afgahnastan wars, who had struggled with severe PSTD as well as drug addiction to try and numb the pain.  I loved their testimony of Jesus and how they describe the healing that came over them as they turned everything over to Him.

Here’s the video:

This reminds me of a scripture from the Book of Mormon as the prophet, Alma, describes becoming born again through giving his sins over to Jesus (see Alma: 17-20):

17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, havemercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

Although I have never fought in war, I have had my own personal battles, as we all do, and I have also experienced this healing that comes through the Atonement of Christ.  I won’t pretend to understand what it is like to suffer and struggle with PTSD or any other of the affects of war that our soldiers go through, but I do know that Jesus understands and pray that we can share the Good News with not only our brothers and sisters who may not understand the peace, strength, mercy, and healing that comes by casting our burdens on Him and allowing Him into our hearts.

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