As missionaries we study every principle, doctrine, teaching and
scripture that the Lord and His servants have provided for us. We
study in order to help others come unto Christ and in so doing help
convert ourselves more to the Lord and His gospel. The most important
of all His teachings, principles and doctrine that we can study also
happens to be the most difficult for our feeble minds to comprehend.
Of course I speak of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Seriously, we could all spend our entire mortal lifetime dedicating
our time to the study of the atonement and still not understand a
tenth of what all it entailed. All I know is that I am eternally
grateful for the atonement. Not only for what it does for me but for
my family and all others who I've come to know and love in my life. I
am also very grateful for the one who suffered and "descended below
all things" (D&C 88:6) so that the will and plan of God could be
Before I was a missionary I was a very normal girl, in a very small,
very normal town, living a very normal and dull life. I would read the
scriptures for personal progress and seminary but it wasn't until I
was in a Book of Mormon class in college that I understood the
smallest part of what the atonement was. To atone for something means
to reconcile or restore and furthermore, when the word is broken down,
"at-one-ment" the meaning is even clearer. Quite simply it is the
bringing together of things that were separated.
Now, as a relatively seasoned missionary, I know much more about the
atonement than that. More importantly I can see and appreciate the
sacrifice willingly made for all of Heavenly Father's children.
During my studies of the atonement I was trying to figure out more of
what it meant for myself so that I'd be able to help others understand
it as well. I was so excited when I had a small epiphany moment during
a personal study one morning. I was reading in 2 Nephi 2 & 9, I had
read these chapters so many times before but this time there was
something nagging at me to keep looking, keep reading, you're almost
there. Then, CLICK. Light bulb. I could finally understand how the
atonement satisfied the demands of the law of justice. I actually
didn't know that there was a fog over that part of my understanding in
the first place but once it cleared I saw just how much light was just
waiting to break through.
Jesus Christ suffered everything for each and every one of us. Without
the atonement we would all become "subject to that angel who
fell...and became the devil, to rise no more."
"And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils,
angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our god...to
remain in misery." (2 Nephi 9: 8,9)
We could not suffer the demands of justice, that great debt, on our
own. The only way for us to be saved is for someone else to rescue us
and that could only be our perfect, sinless big brother Jesus Christ.
He paid the debt we could never pay and now we are subject to him. All
He asks is that we keep His commandments. All He asks is that we come
unto Him. All He asks is that we love Him. We can show our love by
faith, obedience and repenting of our sins. When we do as He asks of
us we have full access to the blessings and gift of His atoning
sacrifice. If we do not repent the Lord has said "If they would not
repent they must suffer even as I." (D&C 19:17)
I testify that because of Him my sins are wiped away as I repent. I
know that He lives. I know that because of Him my family can be
together forever. I know that because of Him I can always have hope
for the future. Because of Him I am able to help in His glorious work.For all of these things I am eternally grateful.