Sunday, September 20, 2015

Personalizing the Atonement

Imagine you're watching a movie in your basement when someone knocks on the door.  You open the door to see two personages standing in front of you, their light radiating brighter than the sun. You know who they are so you invite them in to watch the movie with you. You sit down on the couch and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ sit on both sides of you. When you press play on your movie, it's no longer what you were watching, but instead it is a movie of your life from birth to death. As you watch, the movie is coming up on a part where you know you've messed up, you  know you've made a big mistake, you know you've sinned. You cover your face with your hands, terrified, when Christ puts his hand on your shoulder and says, "Don't worry, I've got your back." And right as the movie is about to show your big mistake, it skips to the next scene. You look over at Heavenly Father and He didn't even notice. By the end of the movie, all Heavenly Father has seen is how much good you've done in you're life. He stands up, wraps you in His arms, and tells you how much He loves you. You look back at Christ and He's smiling. You turn to hug Him next, thanking Him for His sacrifice and atonement making it possible for you to return to Heavenly Father's presence. 

The strength, love, and spirit in this story blows my mind. As I closed my eyes and imagined this, I couldn't help but tear up because of the immense love that I could feel from my Heavenly Father and my Savior. Before hearing this story, I didn't realize how personal the Atonement really is. I then began thinking about all of the times in my life that I not only needed relief from sin, but comfort in trials. Once I learned to start personalizing the Atonement, I was able to realize that Jesus Christ really has felt everyone's pain, but most importantly- my pain. I stopped thinking about the Atonement as this amazing thing done for everyone, and began thinking of it as this amazing thing done for ME. Because I know that if the Atonement would've just been to save me, Christ still would've done it, He still would've suffered all the pain in the world just for me. He would've done it for any of us as individuals because He has that much unconditional love for us. Because He did this, He knows exactly what I hold dear in my heart and what hurts me the deepest. He knows the pain of each and every thing I have gone through. He knows exactly what I need when I need it and He knows exactly how to help me. And most of all, He loves me through all of my mistakes and failures. He loves me at my lowest points. He suffered and died for ME and for MY sins so that He would be able to help me through all of life's challenges. Jesus Christ will always be there to put his hand on my shoulder and say, "Don't worry, I've got your back." 

I often think about why we experience pain. Why we have to go through the things we do. No human being on this earth is immune from experiencing pain or sorrow. Some people turn away from God in anger, and others draw nearer unto Him. He infinitely knows the pain we all face, so I beg you to not turn away from Him because He will help you, He will carry you through. The Savior is our biggest advocate, the greatest healer, and in Him we can find peace and solace and comfort from our pains, afflictions, and sins. No matter what you've done, no matter what you've gone through, no matter how low you feel, or how far gone you've travelled, His grace is sufficient. His Atonement is personal. And please never forget that our Savior Jesus Christ died for YOU so that YOU could come unto Him and feel relief from pain and sin. The Atonement is one of the most personal aspects of this gospel and in this church. So why do we experience pain? Because pain is necessary for our growth, pain is necessary for us to grow closer to Christ. And no matter how far you've gone, you can always come back and experience that growth. He will always be there for us, no matter what because He's felt what we feel and He knows why we act the way we do. He understand us more than we understand ourselves. And He loves us more than anyone else does. 

 "If there are here some of you who have been tricked into the conviction that you have gone too far, that you have been weighed down on doubts upon which you alone have a monopoly; that you have had the poison of sin that makes it impossible ever again to be what you could have been, then hear me! I bear testimony that you cannot sink farther than the light and sweeping intelligence of Jesus Christ can reach. I bear testimony that as long as there is one spark of the will to repent and reach, He is there! He did not just descend to your condition, he descended below it; that he might be in and through all things the light of truth."

1 comment:

  1. You're incredible Jenna. I love you and your writing.