Monday, July 10, 2017

Accepting the Atonement

In this week's New Testament lesson, we had to read a chapter in the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young. It was about accepting the atonement in our lives. I feel like the atonement is something we, myself included, take for granted. The attitude of the world among many Christians is "just be a good person, we will all be saved." And while yes, all of us will overcome death, our experiences on the other side of this earthly life can be vastly different from each other. We all sin. We all make mistakes that make us unclean in some way. The beauty of the atonement is that we can be clean again when we let its healing power into our hearts. The key word being "let." I remember learning a very powerful thing through personal study and personal revelation. I was reading in Alma 5 and when I came to verses 22 and 23. They read, "22 And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? Behold, what will these things testify against you? 23 Behold will they not testify that ye are murderers, yea, and also that ye are guilty of all manner of wickedness?" My immediate question upon reading this was "how do our garments become stained with blood, and why would we be called murderers if we never killed anyone?" And then it hit me. The blood on our garments is Christ's. We have his blood on us because he died FOR us. To dumb that down, basically it means we are responsible for his death. And we are, aren't we? If it wasn't for the sins we would commit and our natural human-ness, he wouldn't have had to suffer in order for us to have a way back. Here's the cool thing about his blood though. In Alma 5:21, it talks about how Christ's blood can CLEANSE our garments and make them white. So how can blood, which stains by the way, both stain and cleanse? Because it depends on the intention. Christ's blood NOW, because he is a resurrected being, is made of spirit. That spirit cleanses. For instance, if we accept the sacrifice made for us, and take part in the atonement, then his blood cleanses us and makes our garments white. But if we don't live our lives in a way that shows him we accept his sacrifice, his mortal blood, the kind that stains, is on our hands. And THAT is what makes us murderers in the day of judgement that it talks about in verse 23. If we don't accept the Atonement, we are counted as murderers of Christ. I understand that this is "Gospel according to Jill," but it just makes sense to me like that. I just wanted to share.

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