Thursday, May 9, 2013


I love it when I'm studying and then BAM! light hits me right in the face. For the past few days, I have been studying the Atonement, and I want to share with you what I have been thinking about and feeling!

The following is directly from my journal that I have been writing while studying.
Disclaimer: these are my thoughts and that does not mean the questions I have posed for myself or things I have learned are doctrine. They are just my thoughts and things that have helped me understand or at least feel peace.

I'm reading a talk by Elder Ballard called "The Atonement and the Value of One Soul."

"The Savior’s precious birth, life, Atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane, suffering on the cross, burial in Joseph’s tomb, and glorious Resurrection all became a renewed reality for us. The Savior’s Resurrection assures all of us that someday we, too, will follow Him and experience our own resurrection. What peace, what comfort this great gift is which comes through the loving grace of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind."

What does all this mean to me? Well, His birth was, first of all, a miracle. Second, His birth signified that His life here on this earth was like mine. He lived a life of man. During that life, He was tempted by Satan. And, I'm sure that His temptations were far more painful and harder to bear than mine (I think that the closer to God you are, the more Satan tempts you and tries to make you switch sides). He lived a life of perfection. I can't, but because He did, and because He suffered my pains and died for my sins, if I turn to Him, I can live with my Heavenly Father again. Without Christ, I would have no nope of exaltation. I would have no way back to Heavenly Father because of the eternal laws of justice. Without this merciful sacrifice, my life in eternity would be ruined. I would have no progression. I would have no lasting happiness. 

Indeed, this brings great peace and comfort to me. He has felt it all. He has felt everything I am experiencing, and more, because He felt it for everyone. And still, He wants me to follow His plan. I don't need to try to change His mind about the plan. He knows what is best. 

When He was on the cross, was there a time when He felt like the plan for Him was wrong? Did He want to turn back? I don't know. There are times, even when I have received revelation, that I question the plan. There are times that I want to turn back because the road is too difficult. Sometimes, I feel like God has left me on my own (even though, I really do know that He hasn't).

He exclaimed, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Is it possible that this pain was more than He thought it would be? More than He expected? Was it almost more than He could bear? Did He truly believe that God had completely left Him? Did God leave Him alone?  Have I not felt all of that before?

I have. And so has Christ (maybe. or maybe my thoughts on this are wrong, but it definitely makes me feel more understood by Him). And because Christ has felt that, it helps Him to succor me.  

When Jesus was on the cross, His will (at that time, and you will see why I think this) was to not fulfill the Atonement. "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done." In D&C 19, it says that He "would" that He might not drink the bitter cup. But because of who He is and His character, He overcame His will by doing the will of God. Christ loved God so perfectly, that He did God's will, even when it was so painfully hard. Christ trusted God's plan, and I'm glad He did because if Christ had given up, we wouldn't have a Savior. 

Christ has felt more pain than I ever will or could. Even He, who was perfect, felt so much pain that He was tempted to not want to complete the sacrifice. If God was willing, Christ was okay with not completing the sacrifice. He did it because it was His plan. Maybe without a push from God (because God sees all), Christ wouldn't have done it. Maybe He was losing sight of the eternal perspective, and He needed the strength of the angels to come help Him.

Christ could have saved Himself from it all. But He didn't because of His love for God and His love for us. When He died, He gave His life up as a ransom for us. He didn't die because anyone forced Him to. He gave it up when He was ready, when He knew the Lord's will was done. 

No comments:

Post a Comment