February 9, 2011

My Brother, My Hero

Meet my brother, Recruit Cooper Buchanan. Currently, my hero. In October of 2010 Cooper entered boot camp for the US Marine Corps. Growing up, I remember telling my brother specifically, "Don't you ever join the military!!" I loved my brother, and didn't want anything to happen to him. The military meant battles, war, guns, fighting, and fatalities. 13 years later, Cooper was signing a contract and planning a future career with our country's finest.

I know little about boot camp, so I will not dwell on the topic. All I know is that it takes bravery, courage and honor to complete the 13 week program that is rumored to the the most intense of all the branches of the military.

Cooper was supposed to graduate on January 21, 2011, but is currently waiting for the three stress fractures in his leg to heal. Indeed, the most intense 13 weeks he has ever experienced.

Cooper is a hero to me for so many reasons. I know he was nervous to enter boot camp. I can only imagine that the drill sargents did little to calm his nerves. But he pressed forward, enduring all things to offer his services, and possibly even his life if required to our country. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

I'd like you to meet my other brother, Jesus Christ. Forever, my hero. In the meridian of time, Jesus Christ was born in a lowly stable in Bethlehem. He grew in wisdom and stature, and at a young age was about his Father's business. At the age of 30, he began his ministry. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, fed the hungry, comforted the down hearted, visited the sick, and gave relief to the captive. He taught with power from on high, and all who follow him are forever changed. His teachings, his doctrine, and his gospel have been etched in the hearts of his disciples through the ages.

My brother Jesus Christ was mocked and ridiculed. "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." (Isaiah 53:3) Eventually, he was rejected by his own, and betrayed by one closest to him. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." (John 1:11)

Jesus Christ performed the ultimate sacrifice. While kneeling in solemn and humble prayer in a garden in Gethsemane, my brother took upon himself the sins of the world. Every pain, every heartache he experienced with us. Each scarlet sin, and black misdeed he paid the price for. He shed every tear we will ever shed with us. My brother, Jesus Christ redeemed the world that night.

Then my brother, my hero, and my Savior was betrayed, mocked, scourged, and crucified for the sins of the world. Three days later, he rose again. Jesus Christ broke the bands of death, and lives again today. Because of his sacrifice, we too will live. We must do our part as we strive each day to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, have faith in Him, and repent.

I don't know everything about the Atonement, but I know that it takes bravery courage, honor and love unmatched. I can only image that it was the most intense experience in the history of mankind.

"Semper Fi." The motto of the US Marine Corps. It means always faithful. I testify that our brother, even Jesus Christ is always faithful to us. Let us be faithful to him.