Tag Archives: atonement

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I hope that in sharing this, I might be able to uplift someone who’s walking where I’ve walked. Please take what you can from it, and share it with those you know who need it most.

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What If This Was Simple?

Minutes are precious and good thoughts rare, so to ensure that neither time nor insights are wasted, Sister Willis has agreed to combine her inspirations with my own thoughts for a couple of months!  She is my new companion – almost fresh from the British Isles. You’ll get to know her better in the coming weeks, but for today, by way of introduction, she has contributed the following…

Of all the great questions of life presented by the greatest of philosophical minds, I consider just one to  have the potential to be a fruitless and idle question except when it is considered with guided application and the willingness to act upon the thought that generated it; what if?  With the Christmas season so close to its end and having made a poorly effort of inviting the spirit of Christmas into my life during my missionary service, I dared to pause for a moment and wonder what had made Christmas so significant in previous years in comparison to this one.  Family, food, the giving of gifts – none such activities are inherently adverse to productive time, but…what if I had no living family?  What if there was no food for the table?  What if no one cared for the gifts we gave? What if the commercial attachments and surrounding activities that have become associated with this festive season were removed?  Does Christmas become void?  Perhaps on the part of many, it does; where faith is lacking, so are expectations; without expectations there can be no motivation; without the birth of the blessed Christ child, we have nothing but empty traditions that were made manifest by time and man and that alone.  So, what if Christ was born?  What if He is the Son of God?  What if there was more substance to life than what the eyes could see, the hands could touch and the ears could hear?  Would it be important?

 Alma 32:27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

Perhaps, it would be worth evaluating the sincerest desires of our hearts?  Consider the simplicity of the most common of those desires…happiness.  Generally, we spend the majority of our lives in pursuit of those things that will secure our happiness; we add plans, theories and complications, but what if it was as simple as having faith that happiness does not require materials, but the simple knowledge that there is a God who loves us and sent His own son to atone for us, thus making eternal happiness an option instead of an impossibility?  Act upon the desire to be happy – especially at such a joyous time of year.  It is without complication.

Garments Made White

For the past couple of months, our mission has been focusing on the Atonement. We’ve talked about it, trained on it, studied it, and pondered on it as we strive each week to intentionally prepare to be worthy of the sacrament. I’ve personally forgotten the most crucial step- To apply it. The way to understand the Atonement, is to use it! As usual, I’m sure this is probably obvious to many of you, and I might have said it was, too. But I learned it in my heart this week.

“Without repentance, there is no real progress or improvement in life. Pretending there is no sin does not lessen its burden and pain. Suffering for sin does not by itself change anything for the better. Only repentance leads to the sunlit uplands of a better life. And, of course, only through repentance do we gain access to the atoning grace of Jesus Christ and salvation. Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when we speak of it. It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace. Rather than interrupting the celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for true celebration.” – Elder D. Todd Christofferson

I have no interest in airing my own dirty laundry, but I have a very strong desire to share this lesson that I learned. I want you to know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the greatest gift that could ever be given. It’s real, and it’s personal, and I know that it works because I’ve experienced its power for myself. For years, I’ve asked myself the same question, over and over again, after hearing, reading, or thinking about the Atonement.

How does it work?

It works when you use it! Through repentance, that’s how. And then you understand. As I think back about the times in the past that I thought I understood the Atonement, I believe that I understood as much as I was prepared for at any given time. And I’m sure I have more to learn. If you have any more specific questions, please feel free to ask me- Or your nearest priesthood leader 🙂

 

 

Amazing Grace Part Two!

I know I already wrote about grace yesterday, but I was studying something else this morning, and I came across this scripture:

1 Cor 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not [adequate] to be called an apostle, because I bpersecuted the church of God.  10 But by the agrace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I blaboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

And I loved it so much that I had to share it! I think we all have days that we feel like Paul, who left his wicked ways to follow Jesus Christ. Days when Satan gets us down and makes us feel like even though we know the atonement works for us, that our weaknesses might leave us less than qualified for the task at hand.

Paul recognizes that through the grace of God and his own hard work, that he was able to become a great leader and a powerful missionary. I think it’s profound that he says, “I am what I am”. How many of us accept ourselves for who we really are? He knows he made mistakes in the past, he knows he’s been forgiven of them, and he knows that through the atonement, doing his best is really enough.

Then he reiterates humbly that he is what he is because of the strength, assurance, and enabling power that God had given him.