Thursday, March 24, 2011


 To me, there are few things harder to teach than the Atonement.
It's not that it is necessarily very complicated to explain; it isn't.  It's not that it isn't important; it is.  It is the foundation of everything that we teach.  And I think, ironically, this is part of my dilemma. Everything we teach is built off of Christ's Atonement, insomuch that sometimes it gets buried under all the doctrines, commandments, and scriptures we are so eager to share with our investigators.  Sadly, the very thing that should be center stage in our lessons is left to wallow behind the curtain; enshadowed, obscure, nearly forgotten.
 Now, I'm not saying all missionaries are guilty of this!  I can only speak for myself.  So I want to make up for this, in however small a way I can, by sharing for you my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

 Now, the Atonement does not begin in the garden of Gethsemane, as we tend to teach in passing.  No, Christ's voluntary sacrifice reverberates along time's spectrum in both directions: beginning with God's forming His plan of salvation for us in our pre-earth life, reaching across eons of time to our final judgement. It was, and is, truly infinite; without time or breadth.
 If you are like me, at this point you are already overwhelmed.  How can something be infiniteHow could Christ suffer everything?  If you look at this with a purely scientific perspective, it will only result in confusion and a headache.  Trust me, I've tried.

 The fact of the matter is, Christ did suffer everything.  Remember that time you said "I hate you!" to your little sister because she broke your batman toy, and the bitter remorse that plagued you all the rest of the day, with the image of her sweet little face wet with tears burned into your memory?
 He felt that.
 Remember when your family dog finally got too old and sick to keep going, and you had to wave goodbye to her as she smiled at you from the back of the truck, knowing you'd never see her tail wag again?
 He felt that.
 Remember the literal pain in your heart as you walked away from a friend who had betrayed you; leaving nothing but dashed hopes, hurt feelings, and painful memories?
 He felt that.
 He suffered everything we could all suffer in the human experience. Whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual, it transcended all barriers, encompassing the entire realm of suffering and sorrow.

 Why did He do this?  Why did He willingly and knowlingly volunteer to do this?  Why did He, perfect and wonderful as He was, choose to be subject to the full fury and temptation of the world, and the adversary?
  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
 It all happened because God loves us, and so does our Savior Jesus Christ.  They want us to make it home. He died so that it could be so.
 In the name of our Redeemer, Savior, and Brother, Jesus Christ,

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