I want to try making things right because picking up the pieces is way better than leaving them the way they are.
He knew these last lines by heart and mouthed them now in the darkness. My reason for life. Not living, but life. That was the touch. And she was his reason for life, and why he must survive.
Let go and let God. Don’t dwell on your past mistakes. When you do that, your past keeps you from moving forward. The wonder of the Atonement is that you don’t have to be the same person you were yesterday, last year or even a minute ago. Through Christ, and through the power of repentance, you are continually being reborn.
It’s when I have to acknowledge the past and all of those nameless, faceless people I’d assassinated, that I unravel inside.
...I fear that some of us understand just enough about the gospel to feel guilty--guilty that we are not measuring up to some undefinable standard--but not enough about the Atonement to feel the peace and strength, the power and mercy it affords us.
Sometimes you're not ready to give the world quite what it wants. And that's okay, because the Earth is generously patient.
Now, the atonement of Christ is the most basic and fundamental doctrine of the gospel, and it is the least understood of all our revealed truths. Many of us have a superficial knowledge and rely upon the Lord and his goodness to see us through the trials and perils of life. But if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.
...and when we die we die alone I cry, I cry aloneLike a piece of stone I am thrown into the wavy ocean of lifeto atone...to atoneOnly to atone...
Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
Death has come and atoned for all. I have no grievance against the soul of the man before me. Instinctively do I recognise that it soars high above the gravest faults and the cruellest wrongs (and how admirable and full of significance is this instinct!). If there linger still a regret within me, it is not that I am unable to inflict suffering in my turn, but it is perhaps that my love was not great enough and that my forgiveness has come too late. …
We know that in some way, incomprehensible to us, his suffering satisfied the demands of justice, ransomed penitent souls from the pains and penalties of sin, and made mercy available to those who believe in his holy name.
The most important doctrine I can declare, and the most powerful testimony I can bear, is of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. His atonement is the most transcendent event that ever has or ever will occur from Creation’s dawn through all the ages of a never-ending eternity.
May every voice proclaim thy praise.And every knee bow in thy presenceThe tangible promise of our faith.May thy Charity, like a mantle, Lift us to God on high.
Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society must take the place of the victim, and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness.
Jesus is a descendant of David, the beloved of God. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God who was born into this world and died and rose again. Saint John calls him the Word and the Light. When he died, he did so as atonement for our sins, and when he rose, he did so to defeat the power and curse of death and hell on this once-holy world. Do you believe in him?
The center of my sins stuck behind a blocked door, circled by hollow deeds spread on my lifetime’s floor
In Him we have . . . the forgiveness of sins . . . —Ephesians 1:7Beware of the pleasant view of the fatherhood of God: God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That thought, based solely on emotion, cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament. The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ. To base our forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive our sin and reinstate us to His favor is through the Cross of Christ. There is no other way! Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony at Calvary. We should never take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification in simple faith, and then forget the enormous cost to God that made all of this ours.Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. To forgive sin, while remaining a holy God, this price had to be paid. Never accept a view of the fatherhood of God if it blots out the atonement. The revealed truth of God is that without the atonement He cannot forgive— He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God through the atonement of the Cross. God’s forgiveness is possible only in the supernatural realm.Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is small. Sanctification is simply the wonderful expression or evidence of the forgiveness of sins in a human life. But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.
Still the dream persists, suppressed but always there, that somehow by some miraculous effort of the heart what was done could be undone. What form would such atonement take that would turn back time and bring the dead to life? None. None possible, not in the real world. And yet in my imaginings I can clearly see this cleansed new creature steaming up out of myself like a proselyte rising drenched from the baptismal river amid glad cries.
He cannot do anything deliberate now. The strain of his whole weight on his outstretched arms hurts too much. The pain fills him up, displaces thought, as much for him as it has for everyone else who has ever been stuck to one of these horrible contrivances, or for anyone else who dies in pain from any of the world’s grim arsenal of possibilities. And yet he goes on taking in. It is not what he does, it is what he is. He is all open door: to sorrow, suffering, guilt, despair, horror, everything that cannot be escaped, and he does not even try to escape it, he turns to meet it, and claims it all as his own. This is mine now, he is saying; and he embraces it with all that is left in him, each dark act, each dripping memory, as if it were something precious, as if it were itself the loved child tottering homeward on the road. But there is so much of it. So many injured children; so many locked rooms; so much lonely anger; so many bombs in public places; so much vicious zeal; so many bored teenagers at roadblocks; so many drunk girls at parties someone thought they could have a little fun with; so many jokes that go too far; so much ruining greed; so much sick ingenuity; so much burned skin. The world he claims, claims him. It burns and stings, it splinters and gouges, it locks him round and drags him down…All day long, the next day, the city is quiet. The air above the city lacks the usual thousand little trails of smoke from cookfires. Hymns rise from the temple. Families are indoors. The soldiers are back in barracks. The Chief Priest grows hoarse with singing. The governor plays chess with his secretary and dictates letters. The free bread the temple distributed to the poor has gone stale by midday, but tastes all right dipped in water or broth. Death has interrupted life only as much as it ever does. We die one at a time and disappear, but the life of the living continues. The earth turns. The sun makes its way towards the western horizon no slower or faster than it usually does.Early Sunday morning, one of the friends comes back with rags and a jug of water and a box of the grave spices that are supposed to cut down on the smell. She’s braced for the task. But when she comes to the grave she finds that the linen’s been thrown into the corner and the body is gone. Evidently anonymous burial isn’t quite anonymous enough, after all. She sits outside in the sun. The insects have woken up, here at the edge of the desert, and a bee is nosing about in a lily like silk thinly tucked over itself, but much more perishable. It won’t last long. She takes no notice of the feet that appear at the edge of her vision. That’s enough now, she thinks. That’s more than enough.Don’t be afraid, says Yeshua. Far more can be mended than you know.She is weeping. The executee helps her to stand up.
The English word Atonement comes from the ancient Hebrew word kaphar, which means to cover. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and discovered their nakedness in the Garden of Eden, God sent Jesus to make coats of skins to cover them. Coats of skins don’t grow on trees. They had to be made from an animal, which meant an animal had to be killed. Perhaps that was the very first animal sacrifice. Because of that sacrifice, Adam and Eve were covered physically. In the same way, through Jesus’ sacrifice we are also covered emotionally and spiritually. When Adam and Eve left the garden, the only things they could take to remind them of Eden were the coats of skins. The one physical thing we take with us out of the temple to remind us of that heavenly place is a similar covering. The garment reminds us of our covenants, protects us, and even promotes modesty. However, it is also a powerful and personal symbol of the Atonement—a continuous reminder both night and day that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are covered. (I am indebted to Guinevere Woolstenhulme, a religion teacher at BYU, for insights about kaphar.)Jesus covers us (see Alma 7) when we feel worthless and inadequate. Christ referred to himself as “Alpha and Omega” (3 Nephi 9:18). Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ is surely the beginning and the end. Those who study statistics learn that the letter alpha is used to represent the level of significance in a research study. Jesus is also the one who gives value and significance to everything. Robert L. Millet writes, “In a world that offers flimsy and fleeting remedies for mortal despair, Jesus comes to us in our moments of need with a ‘more excellent hope’ (Ether 12:32)” (Grace Works, 62).Jesus covers us when we feel lost and discouraged. Christ referred to Himself as the “light” (3 Nephi 18:16). He doesn’t always clear the path, but He does illuminate it. Along with being the light, He also lightens our loads. “For my yoke is easy,” He said, “and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). He doesn’t always take burdens away from us, but He strengthens us for the task of carrying them and promises they will be for our good.Jesus covers us when we feel abused and hurt. Joseph Smith taught that because Christ met the demands of justice, all injustices will be made right for the faithful in the eternal scheme of things (see Teachings, 296). Marie K. Hafen has said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ was not given us to prevent our pain. The gospel was given us to heal our pain” (“Eve Heard All These Things,” 27).Jesus covers us when we feel defenseless and abandoned. Christ referred to Himself as our “advocate” (D&C 29:5): one who believes in us and stands up to defend us. We read, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler” (Psalm 18:2). A buckler is a shield used to divert blows. Jesus doesn’t always protect us from unpleasant consequences of illness or the choices of others, since they are all part of what we are here on earth to experience. However, He does shield us from fear in those dark times and delivers us from having to face those difficulties alone. …We’ve already learned that the Hebrew word that is translated into English as Atonement means “to cover.” In Arabic or Aramaic, the verb meaning to atone is kafat, which means “to embrace.” Not only can we be covered, helped, and comforted by the Savior, but we can be “encircled about eternally in the arms of his love” (2 Nephi 1:15). We can be “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11). In our day the Savior has said, “Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love” (D&C 6:20).(Brad Wilcox, The Continuous Atonement, pp. 47-49, 60).
Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins; we tend to concentrate on that merciful fact. But isn't it also true He lived to show us a lifestyle free from sin? So, wouldn't following in his footsteps be something like preventative medicine?
The central ideas of Christianity — an angry God and vicarious atonement — are contrary to every fact in nature, as also to the better aspirations of the human heart; they are, in our present stage of enlightenment, absurd, preposterous, and blasphemous propositions. Christians well know that the much-decorated statue of the Church, as it now stands, is not of pure chiseled marble, but of clay, cemented together by blood and tears and hardened in the fires of hatred and persecution. And still we hear the cry, 'The whole world for Christ'.
Jesus has borne the death penalty on our behalf. Behold the wonder! There He hangs upon the cross! This is the greatest sight you will ever see. Son of God and Son of Man, there He hangs, bearing pains unutterable, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. Oh, the glory of that sight! The innocent punished! The Holy One condemned! The Ever-blessed made a curse! The infinitely glorious put to a shameful death! The more I look at the sufferings of the Son of God, the more sure I am that they must meet my case. Why did He suffer, if not to turn aside the penalty from us? If, then, He turned it aside by His death, it is turned aside, and those who believe in Him need not fear it.
All who believe and obey the glorious gospel of God, all who are true and faithful and overcome the world, all who suffer for Christ and his word, all who are chastened and scourged in the Cause of him whose we are—all shall become as their Maker and sit with him on his throne and reign with him forever in everlasting glory.
But how does the Atonement motivate, invite, and draw all men unto the Savior? What causes this gravitational pull-- this spiritual tug? There is a certain compelling power that flows from righteous suffering-- not indiscriminate suffering, not needless suffering, but righteous, voluntary suffering for another. Such suffering for another is the highest and purest form of motivation we can offer to those we love. Contemplate that for a moment: How does one change the attitude or the course of conduct of a loved one whose every step seems bent on destruction? If example fails to influence, words of kindness go unheeded, and the powers of logic are dismissed as chaff before the wind, then where does one turn...In the words of the missionary evangelist, E. Stanley Jones, suffering has an intesnse moral appeal. Jones once asked Mahatma Gandhi as he sat on a cot in an open courtyard of Yervavda jail, 'Isn't your fasting a species of coercion?' 'Yes,' he said very slowly, 'the same kind of coercion which Jesus exercises upon you from the cross.' As Jones reflected upon that sobering rejoinder, he said: I was silent. It was so obviously true that I am silent again every time I think of it. He was prfoundly right. The years have clarified it. And I now see it for what it is: a very morally potent and redenptive power if used rightly. But it has to be used rightly.
I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: He is nothing but a boy -- a little boy!
Superficial views of God and His holiness will produce superficial views of sin and atonement. God hates sin. It is His uncompromising foe. Sin is vile and detestable in the sight of God . . .The sinner and God are at opposite poles of the moral universe.
The death of Christ is their meritorious cause; the Spirit of God and his effectual grace their efficient, working instrumentally with power by the word and ordinances.
If a criminal was once a saint & a saint was once a criminal, then who is the criminal & who is the saint?
The Biblical writers not only had no knowledge of these things, but they had a perverted concept of life and the universe. Their concept was that man was a victim of blood pollution and his only salvation was by a blood atonement.I remember once seeing a small pamphlet entitled, 'What the Bible Teaches about Morality.' On opening the little booklet, it was discovered to be nothing but blank pages! Another such pamphlet might very appropriately be published entitled, 'What the Bible Reveals about Disease, Medicine and Health,' and blank pages should be used for all the Bible contains about these vital subjects.On the contrary, these benefits have been denounced by the believers in the Bible, and by the representatives of the Bible's deity as being contrary to 'God's Plan.' Does not the Bible plainly state that only by the sweat of his brow is man to labor for the bread he eats? Here is the exact Biblical quotation: 'In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread...' and why? Only because he sought knowledge.And does not the Bible God place a curse upon man for the knowledge that has been such a solace and benefit to him? Here is another exact Biblical quotation: '... cursed be the ground for thy sake; in pain thou shalt eat of it all the days of thy life.'The Bible is a lie.It is a fake and a fraud.I denounce this book and its God. I hold it in utter detestation.Every man and woman who has contributed to the relief of the pain and suffering of humanity has been an infidel to the Bible God! Every new invention, every new discovery for the benefit of man violates these Biblical edicts!I say, seek knowledge—defy this tyrant God—it is your only salvation.
...Because the sacred fire that lights all nature liveliest of all in its own image glows. All these prerogatives the human creature possesses, and if one of them should fail, he must diminish from his noble stature. Sin only can disenfranchise him, and veil his likeness to the Highest Good; whereby the light in him is lessened and grows pale. Ne'er can he win back dignities so high till the void made by guilt be all filled in with just amends paid for by illicit joy. Now, when your nature as a whole did sin in its first root, it lost these great awards, and lost the Eden of its origin; nor might they be recovered afterwards by any means, as if thou search thou'lt see, except by crossing one of these two fords; either must God, of his sole courtesy, remit, or man must pay with all that's his, the debt of sin in its entirety. Within the Eternal Counsel's deep abyss rivet thine eye, and with a heed as good as thou canst give me, do thou follow this. Man from his finite assets never could make satisfaction; ne'er could he abase him so low, obey thereafter all he would, as he'd by disobedience sought to raise him; and for this cause man might not pay his due himself, nor from the debtor's roll erase him. Needs then must God, by his own ways, renew man's proper life, and reinstate him so; his ways I say - by one, or both of two. And since the doer's actions ever show more gracious as the style of them makes plain the goodness of the heart from which they flow, that most high Goodness which is God was fain - even God, whose impress Heaven and earth display - by all His ways to lift you up again; nor, between final night and primal day, was e'er proceeding so majestical and high, nor shall not be, by either way; for God's self-giving, which made possible that man should raise himself, showed more largesse than if by naked power He'd cancelled all; and every other means would have been less than justice, if it had not pleased God's Son to be humiliate in fleshliness.
The miracles of Jesus are nevertheless more than individual blessings. They are also symbols and types that reveal the full scope of Jesus' identity as the mighty Jehovah, the Creator, the one who provides for his people, and above all the Christ, who wrought the great Atonement, conquering sin and death. For people in every age Jesus can redeem from sin, change hearts and heal souls, strengthen and empower, and bring about a glorious resurrection, which are the greatest miracles of all.