Each Fast Sunday (the first Sunday of each month), I plan on writing a spiritual post. There are a few other bloggers that also do this that I will link to from time to time. I believe that I have an obligation to share my religious views with others. They bring me so much joy and purpose in my life, and I wish for everyone else to feel that joy and to be able to know the purpose of their lives.
Before I begin, let me just say that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am only a member. While what I say, I hope, sticks to the views of the church, I don’t speak for the church. If I make a mistake, or if I understand something the wrong way, please remember that I am only human. .
This month, I am writing about the Atonement. I picked this topic for two reasons. Number one being that this month has the Easter holiday in it. (weird that it’s in March, right?) The second reason is that the youth program in my church has a different topic each month, and this month it is the Atonement.
The Atonement is something that I have had a hard time understanding during my life. I think that a man who gave a talk in my church said it best when he said, “We don’t understand exactly how it works, but we know that it works well.” (I’m not sure if that was his original quote, or if he was quoting someone else, I couldn’t find it anywhere). Bruce R. McConkie, a now deceased apostle of the church gave a talk where he explains the atonement in simple, consice terms. In that talk, he says that, “the atonement of Christ is the most basic and fundamental doctrine of the gospel, and it is the least understood of all our revealed truths.” This statement has led me to have a desire to learn more and better understand this fundamental doctrine.
So, here’s what I do know about the atonement. Because of the suffering of our brother, Jesus Christ, we all have the opportunity to repent and become more like him. Because of Him, we don’t have to be perfect during this life. We can be forgiven for our sins. I believe that no unclean thing can enter the kingdom of Heaven. I also believe that we can be made clean through the blood of Christ. He paid the price for our sins.
Because of what Christ willingly did, we will all be resurrected. We are to keep the commandments, love others, repent, and have faith in Him to show gratitude for his sacrifice. There is an article in the New Era, a magazine published monthly for the youth of my church, that talks about this concept. It is in the August 2012 edition, and it is called His Grace Is Sufficient. The article compares what Christ did to a mother paying for piano lessons. As a student, you are not expected to pay your mother back for the lessons. You show your gratitude to her by practicing. We show our gratitude to Christ by following His commandments. We do all that we can, but it isn’t enough. Because Christ paid for our sins, He makes up the difference, after all we can do. Just like a student who fails to practice will be embarrassed and ill prepared at a recital, if we fail to follow the commandments, we will be ashamed to stand before God at that last day. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to feel that way. I am trying to live my life in such a way that Christ knows I honor his sacrifice for me. I want to stand before Him at my judgement day and have Him say to me, as the children’s song goes, “You’ve served me well, my little child, come into my arms to stay.”
This video is a clip from a talk that Jeffery R. Holland, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, gave a few years ago at Easter time. It is an amazing talk. If you would like to read or listen to the whole thing, click here.