Tag Archives: atonement

Strength

I wanted to share part of this article by Elder David A. Bednar.  It is entitled “The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality.”  (I encourage you to read the whole article.  It is amazing.) This is what He says:

“The grand objective of the Savior’s gospel was summarized succinctly by President David O. McKay (1873–1970): “The purpose of the gospel is … to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature.”1Thus, the journey of mortality is to progress from bad to good to better and to experience the mighty change of heart—to have our fallen natures changed (see Mosiah 5:2).

The Book of Mormon is our handbook of instructions as we travel the pathway from bad to good to better and strive to have our hearts changed. King Benjamin teaches about the journey of mortality and the role of the Atonement in navigating successfully that journey: “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christthe Lord” (Mosiah 3:19; emphasis added).

I draw your attention to two specific phrases. First—“putteth off the natural man.” The journey from bad to good is the process of putting off the natural man or the natural woman in each of us. In mortality we all are tempted by the flesh. The very elements out of which our bodies were created are by nature fallen and ever subject to the pull of sin, corruption, and death. But we can increase our capacity to overcome the desires of the flesh and temptations “through the atonement of Christ.” When we make mistakes, as we transgress and sin, we can repent and become clean through the redeeming power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Second—“becometh a saint.” This phrase describes the continuation and second phase of life’s journey to make “good men better” or, in other words, to become more like a saint. This second part of the journey, this process of going from good to better, is a topic about which we do not study or teach frequently enough nor understand adequately.

I suspect that many Church members are much more familiar with the nature of the redeeming and cleansing power of the Atonement than they are with the strengthening and enabling power. It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for us—that is fundamental and foundational to the doctrine of Christ. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us—not only to direct us but also to empower us.

Most of us know that when we do wrong things, we need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives. The Savior has paid the price and made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints—for good men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully. We may mistakenly believe we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves, through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities.

The gospel of the Savior is not simply about avoiding bad in our lives; it also is essentially about doing and becoming good. And the Atonement provides help for us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good. Help from the Savior is available for the entire journey of mortality—from bad to good to better and to change our very nature.

I am not suggesting that the redeeming and enabling powers of the Atonement are separate and discrete. Rather, these two dimensions of the Atonement are connected and complementary; they both need to be operational during all phases of the journey of life. And it is eternally important for all of us to recognize that both of these essential elements of the journey of mortality—both putting off the natural man and becoming a saint, both overcoming bad and becoming good—are accomplished through the power of the Atonement. Individual willpower, personal determination and motivation, effective planning and goal setting are necessary but ultimately insufficient for us to triumphantly complete this mortal journey. Truly, we must come to rely upon “the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Nephi 2:8).”

Because I have been given much

Each of us has been given so much as children of God.  Everything that we have is from God.  I love the hymn, “Because I have been given much.”  Reflect on part of the lyrics:

“Because I have been given much, I too must give… because of my great bounty lord each day I live…I shall give love to those in need, I’ll show that love by word and deed…Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.”

Christ has gone through all that we have gone through so that we might be happy and return to Him again.

What Has God done for you?

Have you ever wondered what God has done for you?  If you have… Here is an explanation from one of His apostles on the earth today, Dallin H Oaks:

“At a stake conference many years ago, I met a woman who said she had been asked to come back to church after many years away but could not think of any reason why she should. To encourage her I said, “When you consider all of the things the Savior has done for us, don’t you have many reasons to come back to church to worship and serve Him?” I was astonished at her reply: “What’s He done for me?” For those who do not understand what our Savior has done for us, I will answer that question in His own words and with my own testimony.

Life of the World

The Bible records Jesus’s teaching: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Later, in the New World, He declared, “I am the light and the life of the world” (3 Nephi 11:11). He is the life of the world because He is our Creator and because, through His Resurrection, we are all assured that we will live again. And the life He gives us is not merely mortal life. He taught, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28; see also John 17:2).

Light of the World

Jesus also taught, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness” (John 8:12). He also declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He is the way and He is the light because His teachings light our path in mortal life and show us the way back to the Father….

The Atonement

The culmination of our Savior’s mortal ministry was His Resurrection and His Atonement for the sins of the world. John the Baptist prophesied this when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Later Jesus taught that “the Son of man came … to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). At the Last Supper, Jesus explained, according to the account in Matthew, that the wine He had blessed was “my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

Appearing to the Nephites, the risen Lord invited them to come forward to feel the wound in His side and the prints of the nails in His hands and His feet. He did this, He explained, “that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world” (3 Nephi 11:14). And, the account continues, the multitude fell “down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him” (verse 17). For this, the whole world will ultimately worship Him.

Jesus taught further precious truths about His Atonement. The Book of Mormon, which elaborates the Savior’s teachings and gives the best explanation of His mission, reports this teaching:

“My Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross … , that I might draw all men unto me, …

“… that they may be judged according to their works.

“And … whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. …

“And no unclean thing can enter into [the Father’s] kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end” (3 Nephi 27:14–16, 19).

And so we understand that the Atonement of Jesus Christ gives us the opportunity to overcome the spiritual death that results from sin and, through making and keeping sacred covenants, to have the blessings of eternal life.

Challenge and Testimony

Jesus issued the challenge “What think ye of Christ?” (Matthew 22:42). The Apostle Paul challenged the Corinthians to “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). All of us should answer these challenges for ourselves. Where is our ultimate loyalty? Are we like the Christians in Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s memorable description who have moved their residence to Zion but still try to keep a second residence in Babylon?1

There is no middle ground. We are followers of Jesus Christ. Our citizenship is in His Church and His gospel, and we should not use a visa to visit Babylon or act like one of its citizens. We should honor His name, keep His commandments, and “seek not the things of this world but seek … first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33, footnote a; from Joseph Smith Translation,Matthew 6:38).

Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten and Beloved Son of God. He is our Creator. He is the Light of the World. He is our Savior from sin and death. This is the most important knowledge on earth, and you can know this for yourself, as I know it for myself. The Holy Ghost, who testifies of the Father and the Son and leads us into truth, has revealed these truths to me, and He will reveal them to you. The way is desire and obedience. As to desire, Jesus taught, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). As to obedience, He taught, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). I testify of the truth of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

A message of Christ

 

Please share with me your thoughts from this video….

Choose to Believe

I want to share this quote with you today.  It really is true.  we all need to choose to believe in the atonement and to forgive ourselves and move on with our lives. This is what Robert D. Hales said:

“Choose to believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Choose to accept the Savior’s forgiveness.  And then choose to forgive yourself and move forward in a new way, with a new heart, and in a new perfect brightness of hope.  He has the power to remember our sins no more.  Now we must do likewise.  To refuse to forgive ourselves after fully repenting is to reject the Savior’s gift to us, purchased with His blood.” –Robert D. Hales

Who Made You?

Sometimes we may feel broken or downtrodden.  We may feel like we never should have existed or like we never should live now because of things we have done.

At these moments in our lives we need to remember who our creator is.  He can heal us.  He can make us stronger than we were before we were broken.

Remembering our Heavenly Father at Thanksgiving

Our Father in Heaven is the person responsible for all we have.  If it were not for Him, we would not even have our own lives.  How grateful I am to my Father in Heaven for the numerous blessings that I have received and that I will yet receive.  Mostly, I am grateful for His Son, Jesus Christ, who has made it possible for me to return back to my Father in Heaven washed clean from the things of the world.