Tag Archives: atonement

Easter is Almost Here!


Easter is just around the corner.  It is such a wonderful time of the year!

Spring is coming, grass is greening, flowers are blooming, baby chicks and bunnies are everywhere – especially at the stores.  🙂

All these are a reminder of the greatest event that ever happened.  The atonement of Jesus Christ – His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary, His death, and His subsequent resurrection – affects every person.

“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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”  John 3:16-17.

Jesus Christ has given everyone, everywhere, the free gift of resurrection, thus doing away with the sting of death.

“But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.”  Mosiah 16:8.

That is the glory of Easter and spring – coming back from death.  And even better, through repentance we can be forgiven for our sins because Jesus Christ paid the price for them.  He has provided a way for us to return to live forever with God, our Eternal Father, and His Son,  Jesus Christ!

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Stress Makes You Forget Things


I had quite the stressful week last week.  I got caught up in world events, and had an incredibly difficult family emergency come up.

As I was dealing with the thoughts and feelings that these things brought on, the world started to look darker and darker.  I had difficulty sleeping.  My days were filled with worries and prayer.

Little bits of help came through here and there.  Reaching out to the family in need, talking things over with Beloved hubby, running across a couple good quotes or messages, such as: “If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying.  It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie (from the daily Franklin Planner).

But I continued to feel worried and stressed.  I tried contacting people I thought could help, but the miracle answer wasn’t forthcoming.

Finally, yesterday morning, the thing I had forgotten was sent to me as a text: fast and pray.

I was dumbfounded.

Usually I am the first to think of fasting when great problems arise.  But this particular week it had not even crossed my mind. 

I started to relax a little already.

Fasting has helped me through some tough problems in my life.  And it is helping me now.

Additionally, when I went to church yesterday, almost everything seemed specially ordered to help me:

  • Another friend to share my concerns with was there.
  • A missionary who is leaving our area today spoke about how he has learned that the Atonement of Jesus Christ will help us through our sorrows and difficulties in life.
  • One speaker talked about having a sure foundation in our lives, that we need to check our foundations and make sure they aren’t cracked or crumbling, and if they are, we should quickly repair or replace it correctly through repentance or whatever is needed rather than trying to ignore or cover up the problem, and to accept and build our lives around the foundation that is always there for us – faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.  It was very inspirational!
  • In Primary the lesson was about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ has helped several different people, including Saul in the New Testament and Alma the Younger in the Book of Mormon who both had fought against the church of Christ but then repented and became great missionaries, and even Enos in the Book of Mormon who was a good man and remembered the teachings of his father so asked God for forgiveness and received forgiveness for his sins because of the Atonement of Christ.

All these things have helped bouy me up, and though the concerns of last week are not resolved, I am happier and have a greater hope in Christ and the difference His Atonement makes in our lives.  🙂

Christ’s Atonement and Grace


My mother sent me a beautiful article about Christ’s atonement and grace.  It is entitled, His Grace is Sufficient, and was given by Brad Wilcox in a devotional at Brigham Young University on July 12, 2011.

In his talk, Brother Wilcox (what we members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints call each other since we are all children of God) explains that rather than looking at the atonement and grace as Jesus making up the difference after all we can do, it is much more akin to a mother providing music lessons to her child.

The mother pays the piano teacher, she pays the debt in full.  So she can ask for something from her child.  What does she ask for?

That the child practice.

Does the child’s practice pay the teacher?

Does the child’s practice pay back the mother?

No to both.

Practicing is how the child shows appreciation for the wonderful gift his mother provided.  It is how the child takes advantage of the opportunity his mother is giving him to live his life on a higher level.

And the mother doesn’t receive happiness by getting repaid for the lessons, but by watching her gift being used, to see her child improve his life.

If the child complains that her requirement to practice is unreasonable and too difficult, it may be because he doesn’t see the big picture the same way that she does, how much better his life could be if he chooses to live on a higher level.

It is the same with Jesus Christ.  He paid for our sins, satisfying the demands of justice.  Therefore He gives us His requirements – to follow Him and keep His commandments.  He invites us to live on a higher level.

If we complain that His requirements are unreasonable and too difficult, it may be that we do not see the big picture in the same way that Christ does, how much better our lives could be if we choose to live on a higher level.  We have not comprehended what He is trying to make of us!

We try and try to follow His commandments – not as a punishment nor even as payment for what He suffered for us.  The purpose of His rules, His requirements, is to change us, to bring us to a higher level.

We are not earning our way into heaven; we are learning heaven.  We are preparing for heaven, practicing for it.

The purpose of grace is to change us.  Remember not only what Jesus saved us from, but also what He saved us for – to be like Him and to enjoy all the blessings and happiness that He has!

25 Days of Christ – Day 16


What about little children?  Are they in limbo or some horrible place if they die without being baptized?  Is that what our loving Father in Heaven would do?

No.  He planned for them from the beginning also.  Here is one of His most beautiful messages I know of:

Moroni chapter 8.  This one chapter has so much in it, so many layers.  Enjoy!  🙂

“1 An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni; and it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry. And on this wise did he write unto me, saying:

“2 My beloved son, Moroni, I rejoice exceedingly that your Lord Jesus Christ hath been mindful of you, and hath called you to his ministry, and to his holy work.

“3 I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.

“4 And now, my son, I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you.

“5 For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children.

“6 And now, my son, I desire that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed from among you; for, for this intent I have written this epistle.

“7 For immediately after I had learned these things of you I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying:

Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me.

And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.

“10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.

“11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.

“12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!

“13 Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.

“14 Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.

“15 For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.

“16 Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.

“17 And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.

“18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.

“19 Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy.

“20 And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption.

“21 Wo unto such, for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment. I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me. Listen unto them and give heed, or they stand against you at the judgment-seat of Christ.

“22 For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing—

“23 But it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works.

“24 Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law.

“25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;

“26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.

“27 Behold, my son, I will write unto you again if I go not out soon against the Lamanites. Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction except they should repent.

“28 Pray for them, my son, that repentance may come unto them. But behold, I fear lest the Spirit hath ceased striving with them; and in this part of the land they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God; and they are denying the Holy Ghost.

“29 And after rejecting so great a knowledge, my son, they must perish soon, unto the fulfilling of the prophecies which were spoken by the prophets, as well as the words of our Savior himself.

“30 Farewell, my son, until I shall write unto you, or shall meet you again. Amen.”

And through modern revelation we know that the age of accountability is 8, therefore children under 8 have no need of baptism.  As Christ said, “little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them.”

Heavenly Father loves your children!

25 Days of Christ – Day 8


Christ came to the earth to show us the right way to live.  He is also our mediator, bridging the gap between Heavenly Father and His children.  As the mediator, Christ pays the price that we are not able to pay so we can return to live with our Heavenly Father.

We’ve learned that, because of sin and weakness, we cannot return to live with our Father in Heaven, as no unclean thing can dwell with God.  We can not buy our way into heaven.  And we can not pay for our own sins.  We needed someone to make up the difference for us between what we can do and what is left to do.  “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” 1 Timothy 2:5.

Christ did this for everyone.  In the Garden of Gethsemane He suffered for the sins of all people!  He has already paid the price for our sins.  What we do to accept that gift is to repent of our sins and try to live as Christ lived.

He did this because of His great love for us.  He loves you so much that, if you were the only person in the world, I believe He would still have gone through the atonement for just you.  🙂

 

25 Days of Christ – Day 7


You now know about God’s great Plan of Happiness for all of us, His children.

But why did Christ have to suffer and die for us?  Can’t we just work out our own salvation, or perhaps just pay our way into heaven?

Great questions!

In the pre-existence, when everyone lived with Heavenly Father as His spirit children, He knew that when we came to the earth we would make mistakes.  And when we make mistakes or sin we are no longer clean and cannot go where He is.  “And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.”  Alma 11:37.

Heavenly Father wanted us to return to Him and He knew that we would not always choose the right.  So He made a provision for His children whereby they could be redeemed if they wanted to.  He set up a Savior who would pay for our sins, and He taught the principle of repentance.  Christ taught, “And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.”  3 Nephi 27:19.

And what about buying our way into heaven?  “He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion” 2 Nephi 26:29.

Christ came to earth and lived a perfect life.  Thus He was sinless and could atone for our sins.  We accept His atonement when we repent of our sins and become washed clean “in [Christ’s] blood”.

 

 

25 Days of Christ – Day 6


“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Moses 1:39.

As wonderful as living with Heavenly Father for eternity is, there is one more gift He planned for us.  And that is to live there together with our families!

The gift of being resurrected – having our spirit and body reunited, never to be separated again – is a free gift bestowed automatically on everyone, the wicked as well as the righteous, because Christ died and was resurrected.

But the gift of eternal life – living forever in the presence of God – is conditional, made possible through Christ’s atonement when He suffered for all our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane.  We accept this gift as we repent of our sins and change our lives to become more Christ-like in our thoughts, words, and actions.

The gift of living forever with Heavenly Father together with our families is the most beautiful gift He offers.  It is the crowning pinnacle of Heavenly Father’s plan, His Plan of Happiness!  But it is also conditional.  Certain principles and ordinances are required.  They include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing. With each of these ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord.

 We are sealed together forever as families by someone who has the priesthood of God, the power and authority to act in God’s name.  Christ organized His church and bestowed His priesthood on His apostles when He was alive on the earth.  He restored His church and again bestowed His authority in these latter days upon His prophet, Joseph Smith.

Today the sealing power of the priesthood that binds families together forever is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This sacred ordinance, or ceremony, is performed in the temple, the House of the Lord.

Because all who have lived on the earth have not had the opportunity to be baptized, or sealed, by proper authority during life on earth, baptisms may be performed by proxy, meaning a living person may be baptized in behalf of a deceased person. Baptisms for the dead are performed by Church members in temples throughout the world. They act as a proxy for the deceased.  In the temples all the necessary ordinances are performed, by proxy, for those who have died without receiving them.

It is a glorious and beautiful plan that was designed long before the world was even created!  God loves every one of His children and desires all to return to Him.  Christ prepared the way so that all who desire to do so and are willing to follow His commandments, receiving the necessary ordinances in person or by proxy, will be partakers in the entire Plan of Happiness!