Saturday, March 7, 2009
The atonement of Jesus Christ is a broad topic but have chose to focus on three themes of the atonement. First the power of the atonement to forgive sins and to cover all things to allow us to enter into the kingdom of God, Second how the Lord Jesus Christ has the power to Succor his people because of his atoning sacrifice. Third through the atonement we will all be resurrected.
I think it's important to understand what the atonement is, as used in the Scriptures to atonement is to suffer the penalty for sins, thereby removing the effects of sin from the center and allowing him or her to be reconciled to God. It’s understood that the atonement could only be performed by Jesus Christ because he was the literal son of God in the flesh. Even he the greatest of all pleaded with his father if there was any other way that mankind could be redeemed but he did his father's will and partook of that bitter cup. Because of this great sacrifice all people will be resurrected from the dead no matter their condition or state. But only those that live his gospel and keep his commandments and truly apply his atoning sacrifice into their lives will receive the ultimate gift which is to live with God and your family for eternities.
When we started our journey here on earth your father gave you a gift he gave you a large backpack and a backpack had nothing in it. Every time you sin on this journey in immortality you must pick up a rock and place it in this backpack, some of the rocks are smaller some are larger but it comes to a point where the backpack is to heavy you cannot bare the wait or the load of the backpack unless some of the rocks are taken out. I want you to then image that your older brother comes along and wants to help you along this journey so he pleads with your father and is able to help you carry the load and wants to remove the rocks. But we all have been there when the backpack is too much to carry rocks must be removed, I know that the only way the rocks can be removed is through the Savior Jesus Christ. Our father has given him that power because he lived a perfect life, and because he is taken upon him all of our sins. I think this is hard to fathom them that someone could literally take upon them the sins of all mankind. But that is exactly what he did he bore every sin that was or will ever be committed. In D&C 19 16 -17 it explanes what will happen to us if we do not repent while we have the chance. “For behold, I, God suffered these things for all that they might not suffer if they would repent; but if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; which suffering caused myself God, have suffered these things for all, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer bold body and spirit and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink nevertheless, glory be to the father, and I partook and finish my preparations on to the children of men.”If we do not repent while in this state we will suffer even as Jesus Christ suffered for our own personal sins, as explained in doctrine and covenants 19 we cannot bear that burden we cannot comprehend the pain that the Savior went through for each of us. Then there is the joy of knowing that when we have repented of our sins, the lord has made us a promise. “Behold he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the lord will remember them no more.” I have felt the true and lasting Joy that can be experienced from the gift of repentance. The lord will have no remembrance of your sins if you truly have repented of your sins I know that to be a fact.
The Lord suffered so much more pain than just taking upon himself our sins he also took upon him our heart ached our sorrow our grief anything that you can imagine the Lord suffered. I remember when I first heard this wondering how it is possible that someone could suffer all of these things then I remembered a passage in the book of Alma 7 11 -13 and it reads “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled witch saith he will take upon him the pains and the sickness of his people. And he will take upon him death that he may lose the bands of death witch bind his people; and he take upon him there infirmities, that his bowels may be filed with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out there transgressions according to the power of his deliverance and now behold this is the testimony which is in me.” This passage of scripture explains the atonement perfectly here was a perfect man or should we say God. He came down to a foreign land to redeem his people. To know that the Savior knows my temptations knows my weaknesses makes me stronger. To know that the Savior is taken upon him my sicknesses my infirmities humbles me. The definition of the word succor is as follows; Literally, to run to, or run to support; hence, to help or relieve when in difficulty, want or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering; as, to succor a besieged city; to succor prisoners. http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/search/word,succor. I know that I think of the word succor in a whole different way after understanding that it literally means that the Savior is running to us before we have even committed a sin, before we have even experienced the sorrow the grief with the pain of committing sin. The Savior wants to relieve us from our burdens. I know that the Savior Jesus Christ truly does succor his people he has succored me in my time of need. And has supported me and lifted me up in my time of heartache. There is no other way to be completely clean from sin and sorrow, we must use this atoning sacrifice in our lives daily. We must learn to repent morning and evening but we'll must also remember never to take for granted this great sacrifice which was preformed for mankind. I often think that Satan wants us to think that there is no way that the lord can help us when we are going through a hard time or thatwe are not worthy to speak to our father, there is no greater time to talk to the lord then when you are in need of his comfort or his guidance. As once said “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Winston Churchill I hope and pray that will we not give in to the adversary and his temptations, but that we may keep our self’s unspotted from this world and clean from the blood and sins of the generation.
Jesus Christ resurrection is the crowning event of the atonement someway incomprehensible to me; Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day. So it has been said at him as the father of mortality so Christ is the father of immortality. All men whether good or evil will be reunited with their body in a perfect state. “The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul. And every limb and joint shall be restored to its body may even a hair of the head shall not be lost but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.”Alma 40:23 that is a free gift that Jesus Christ gives to all men. I know that this resurrection that has been prophesied since the beginning of this world will come to pass. All men will be reunited with their body, this is the free gift of the atonement to enable the full effects of the atonement we must repent and keep the Commandments that God has outlined for through and by his holy prophets and Scriptures.
In conclusion I know that the atonement has the power to forgive sins, and has the power to succor us at all times and in all places may we strive to use this atoning sacrifice in our daily lives will before it is too late. All mankind will be resurrected I know that to be true. In closing I know that the Savior suffered for us personally that he knows us that he is there to help us and wants us to be reunited with him and with her father for eternity. His suffering I cannot comprehend but I do know that he suffered for me individually and for all mankind. I have come to the conclusion that there is no sin to great no burden to small that the Lord does not care about. My prayer is that we as a people may speak of the atonement on a more frequent basis thus enabling us to understand this great sacrifice. As elder Eyring once said if you are talking about anything that matters you are talking about the atonement.