For the last post in the Atonement series, I wanted to share with you my testimony of Jesus Christ. I cannot begin to tell you how much I learned as I studied the scriptures and prepared the topics we discussed over the last few months. My love for the Savior greatly increased. As I partake of the sacrament every week, I am able to focus on things that help me center my thoughts on the Savior and how His Atonement allows me to re-commit to becoming a better disciple of Jesus Christ.
From His humble beginnings, His earthly ministry, His death and resurrection, to His continual love for you and for me, Jesus Christ put His Father’s plan and our welfare above all else. Without His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, the Father’s plan to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of all of His beloved children could not have been realized. We knew that mortality was an essential part of the Father’s plan to grow and return to Him, but we did not know the extent of all the trials and temptations we would endure. We are still learning, and we will continue to learn. As we recognize our weaknesses, we are able to turn to the one who already experienced it all—Jesus Christ. He understands everything we are going through, and we can receive the comfort and strength that we need.
We may at times find it difficult to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes, other times we may not want to forgive those that wronged us, but as we turn to the Savior and realize that we cannot make judgments about others’ choices and must seek help to gain the courage to learn to forgive, we will find healing little by little. We must partake of Christ’s living water in order to become new creatures and continually find the healing we seek. Baptism by one holding the proper authority is a requirement to enter the path of discipleship. We make covenants with God. Christ’s living water leads us to an understanding that the well of His love and teachings has no end. We have to make the effort to partake of the love He freely offers. Jesus Christ can bind up and heal the brokenhearted. We must turn to Him and allow Him to heal us, even if that healing takes time. We must learn to accept His will in all circumstances and rely on prayer when doubts arise, and remain for a while, so that we can be strong enough to see the eternal perspective of it all, even if it doesn’t happen right away.
When we remember that we are not alone, that Jesus Christ is with us every step of the way while we are enduring trials, we are refined as we emerge from our fiery furnaces. One day, you and I will be called to complete our earthly probation. Our bodies will be set aside to rest, while our spirits await the resurrection. The miraculous power of the Atonement and Christ’s priesthood keys to deliver us from death will culminate in the glorious resurrection. We will live again! Our bodies and our spirits will join once more and never be separated. When I think of the love God has for us, I can’t help but think of the resurrection. After all we endure and learn in this life, only one other person besides Jesus Christ truly understands your experiences. That person is YOU. You endured the trials and sicknesses. You made mistakes. You grew in understanding of many things. There is only one of you. Christ suffered, died, and rose again so that you could be YOU again one day!
Right before Christmas, I was pondering that. I want to share with you the thoughts I recorded that day.
I was reading about the Savior’s Atonement and how the plan was instituted before the world was. He chose His path. He could’ve turned away from His destiny at any time, but Christ chose to suffer for us and die for us so that ALL of us would have the opportunity to achieve eternal life and not die permanently. Had He not gone through with the plan, we would all perish and cease to exist. No resurrection. No repentance. No chance to return to God. It would’ve been guaranteed physical and spiritual death. No chance to progress. I’m so grateful for His infinite love for me and all of us. I can be ME forever thanks to Him. The last few days I’ve gained a greater appreciation for free agency and for mortality. This body has been with me since birth. We’ve struggled together and had joy together. My body understands me and allows me to live. After death, I’ll be really sad to be separated from it. But at the Resurrection, all will be made right. And I’ll have everlasting joy knowing that my body and I will be one forever. I wouldn’t want it any other way. And it’s all thanks to the Savior.
I hope that my testimony strengthens yours! If there is anything that you take away from the Atonement series, I hope that it is the love that Christ has for you. If you don’t know that He loves you, pray until you feel His love. It is there. An infinite love that we cannot fully comprehend.
For the closing hymn of this series, I would like for you to listen to “How Great Thou Art.” I won’t be sharing my thoughts on the hymn because I want you to reflect on the Savior’s Atonement as you listen to the hymn. Write down your thoughts and feelings. If you have a favorite version of the hymn, by all means, listen to that version! If you are open to the one that I currently love most, click here for GENTRI’s rendition.
My soul truly does sing “How Great Thou Art!” Words cannot express how grateful I am for all the Savior did for us and for all He continues to do for us! Thank you for joining me on this journey as we learned more about our Savior and His Atonement together! May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek Him throughout your life!
The Atonement Series