Thursday, January 27, 2011

We Believe: Atonement and Mercy

Article of Faith #3: We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

We believe that Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of the world.  He was the only one who could sacrifice himself for the mistakes and transgressions for the whole human race.  He willingly suffered until He bled from every pore because of love for each and everyone of us.  He then suffered brutality and shame as He was led from trial to trial.  Beaten, spat upon, mocked, whipped, and crowned with plated thorns, Jesus Christ then marched to Calvary where He suffered upon the cross.  He laid down His life willingly; no one could take it from Him.  On the third day He rose and became "the first fruits of them that slept (1st Corin. 15:20)."

We believe that not only were the pains of our sins suffered by our Savior, but also every pain and heartache we can experience in this life.  The prophet Alma taught "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and  afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people...that he may know how to succor his people. (Alma 7:11-12)"  Christ can give us aid in any circumstance we face because He has been there and knows the pains that we are bearing.

We believe however, that just because Christ suffered our pains and our sins, life is not a free ride.  As the prophet Nephi taught, "It is by grace we are saved, after all we can do (2nd Nephi 25:23)".  God has given us the laws of the gospel for us to live and to obey.  Just as a gift given at Christmas means nothing until the recipient opens and uses the gift, so does Christ's unmatchable gift of the Atonement only take effect as we use it in our everyday lives.

We believe that one of the greatest blessings of the Atonement is that of mercy.  Because Christ suffered the price for our sins, He can extend mercy unto us for those things which we have repented of.  Through Christ's mercy, judgement day can go from a day of despair and darkness to a great and marvelous day of peace and joy.  Through that gift of mercy we will have the opportunity to live with our Heavenly Father and our families for all eternity.

How grateful I am for the Atonement.  Through Christ we have a Friend that we can turn to when things go bad.  We have the greatest Supporter the universe has ever known when we have our trials.  We have a Savior, who paid the price for our sins and did for us that which we could not do for ourselves; paved the way for eternal life.  I know that Christ lives and loves us more than we can understand.  I know that obedience brings blessings for this world and the world to come.  Mercy is the great gift Christ has extended to each of us, so let us take it in and use it on a daily basis.

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