So this week was pretty hard. The work was really slow and all of our investigators are what we call moly (wishy-washy). Anyways, we were asked by our mission president to study the atonement for this week and prepare a talk for the Christmas Conference tomorrow. I learned a lot while I did this and want to share it with you all. My present to you as I can’t give you anything more right now. I love you all!!
God is a just God. Because Adam and Eve fell and became mortal, we became bound to the laws of man. We were given the knowledge of right and wrong, which means we could progress and make covenants but it also meant we could sin, that we will sin because of the natural man. Therefore we are stuck in a path of damnation as explained in 2 Ne 2:5. Because God is also a God of mercy and loves us, He provided a way for the law to be justified and in turn justify us. This is through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We cannont save ourselves. He is perfect and therefore not bound to the temporal law as we are. This made it possible for him to take on all sins, aflictions, and pain. God is never changing therefore He continues to be a just God and requires of us work that we may prove we are worthy of Christs help. God gave us agency to use. If we choose righteously we receive the just consquences. Alma 12:31-32. We need to be as the people of King Benjamin. These people didn’t just hear the words of their King but they learned from them. They cried out with enthusiasm, ´We believe´. They allowed the atonement to change their hearts. They acted in faith, making covenants with God to be better. This is what I found to be the cycle of Righteousness. I Moses 6:60 we read: For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified.
Let us look at each part of this. First by the water ye keep the commandment. This is understood as baptism. In Moroni 8:25. From this we learn that to be baptised we need faith. Faith is what makes this all possible. We need to have faith in Jesus Christ. He performed the act of the Atonement so that our faith wouldn’t be in vain. This faith brings us to baptism, starting us on the cycle of righteousness. When we are baptised we covenant to take upon us the name of Christ and remember him always. Our baptism is not just an act but a giving of our lives to Christ and continually making and keeping his commandments. This is what makes baptims so sacred and important for us to do. The reason it is the first step. In the cycle of righteousness, because we are human and mortal we cannot keep all covenants perfectly. This realization of the natural man humbles us to repentance. Back to Moses 6:60. The second part, we are justified throught the Spirit. What does it mean to be justified? To be justified is to be cleansed and help guiltless. It is in a state of humility that the Lord is able to help us. Part of using the atonement is admitting that we need help. For the power of the atonement to work we need to ask for forgiveness. We need to be actively engaged in our repentance and cleasing process. It’s like dying of thirst and not drinking of the water being given to you. Alma 7:11-13. Like it says in these scriptures who better for us to rely on then the one that has experienced it all. The one that knows all and has already given himself for us.
This leads to the next part of the cycle–by the blood we are santified– because of the sacrifice of the blood of Christ and His resurrection we are able to be resurrected and sanctified. But what deos it mean to be sanctified? To be sanctified is to be made holy. To be holy is to be set apart for a sacred purpose, to hold a sacred office. Our purpose is that we might have joy and live with God for the eternities. We can have some of this joy now. When we use the atonement to be justified we are sactified a little right now. We become more perfect in our imperfect states bringing us closer to God. 3 Ne 12:48. When we are in closer proximity to God we have more desire to be like him. We do this by keeping the commandments and making covenants with Him, thus completing the cycle. As we move through the cycle of repentance and sanctification through the Atonement of Jesus Christ our knowledge of Him and His love for us grows. With time we can become like the brother of Jared–wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him.– I want to leave you with an invitation and my testimony. Moroni 10:32-33.
I’m so grateful for my Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. I know the atonement to be real. I’ve used it in my life. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and paid the price for my sins and was resurrected for my happiness. I am eternally indebted to Him. I know that when we come unto Him we are filled with eternal joy. I am very grateful for this. I’m grateful He gave me the opportunity to be with my family for eternity. God knows us each individually. He knows what we need when we need it. I’m grateful for prayer and the opportunity I have to converse with Him, show gratitude and ask for forgiveness. I know the Book of Mormon to be true. It is the word of God. It is our tool to know God and Christ. I am eternally grateful for this. I hope that I can do even a little of Gods work and help others have the same joy i feel. I love the lord with all my heart. I leave you with this testimony and love in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
love you all,