Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Miracle of the Atonement

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(find the talk here)

Sometimes we have to get to the depths of despair in order to experience the depths of humility necessary to partake of the atonement. Elder C. Scott Grow said, “We access the Atonement through repentance. When we repent, the Lord allows us to put the mistakes of the past behind us.” But finding our way to repentance is not always easy. Sometimes we have a lot of bitterness and anger and guilt. Finding my way to humility is usually my roadblock to repentance and partaking of the atonement – not only in my own weaknesses, but in my hurt.

“He heals not only the transgressor, but He also heals the innocent who suffer because of those transgressions. As the innocent exercise faith in the Savior and in His Atonement and forgive the transgressor, they too can be healed.” There is something required of us to be healed when we are suffering because of the sins of others – we have to forgive. “The Atonement is available to everyone all the time, no matter how large or small the sin, ‘on conditions of repentance.’” For the one who has been wronged, that repentance comes through forgiving the person we feel has wronged us. “Repent—repent, lest … your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not,how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.” If we don’t come to the Lord and partake of the atonement our suffering will be so hard to bear. I find myself carrying around a lot more than I really need to be carrying around because of that lack of humility that will allow me to repent and forgive.

“As you consider your own life, are there things that you need to change?Have you made mistakes that still need to be corrected?” I know that there are things that have need to change, but getting to the depths of humility where repentance is possible can be hard, especially when there is bitterness and hurt. I know that I need to let go of the hurt and forgive so that I can be healed, and so that I can change. “Forgive those who have wronged you. Forgive yourself.” It sounds easy, but it is hard – both to forgive others and to forgive ourselves. I struggle with both sides of forgiveness – both forgiving myself and forgiving others. “When we sin, Satan tells us we are lost. In contrast, our Redeemer offers redemption to all—no matter what we have done wrong—even to you and to me.” Satan’s lies come when we deny forgiveness, too. Maybe we aren’t good enough to forgive. Maybe the person we need to forgive isn’t worth it. All these are lies. The atonement covers all sin and all pain.

Elder Grow mentioned that Christ “inherited power over physical death.That allowed Him to sustain His life as He suffered ‘even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death;’” I have always understood that the Savior had power over death and that’s why he was resurrected, but it is profound to think that the suffering that Christ endured would have caused a man to die – but Christ had power over death. He was the only one who could suffer for us.

What changes do you need to make in your life? Do you need to more freely forgive, whether yourself or another? Do you need to be more humble so that you can change things in your life? How have you allowed the atonement to work in your life? Have you come unto Christ and been healed?

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