We often hear the counsel to “rely on the atonement”, to “use the atonement”, to “trust the atonement”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t exactly know how to do those things. Lately however, I’ve been focusing more on my relationship with Jesus Christ and I have received some insight that’s been really helpful to my personal reliance on Him. Ive figured out the one thing that makes Him so vital to all of us, which is His Atoning sacrifice.
Ive come to believe there is a better way to use the atonement and here are my thoughts about how to do so:
We need to get past “using and abusing” the atonement, which none of us consciously do, but think of all the times we say “oh I screwed up (a bit too much on the side of “premeditated sin”) but it’s ok because of the atonement!” That’s not how the atonement is meant to work. It’s not a cushion to justify all of our mistakes. It’s there to help us recover and rebuild and move on after we sincerely and truly repent. What I feel we need to learn to do is to “live on the atonement”.
If we view the atonement of Jesus Christ as the source of our strength, ability and character, I believe we will become true disciples of the Master. Will we be perfect? No. But we will be
closer to Christ, and therefore that much closer to perfection, which means (in the Greek translation) “whole and complete; finished”. So how do we live on the atonement? I’m not an expert, or anyone of any professional status so definitely don’t take this as anything more than the humble, outspoken testimony of a missionary, but I feel the way we come to “live on the atonement” is to remember a few basic essentials:
#1- Remember who you’re living for. This time on earth is a gift from God. It is a time for us to help God accomplish His purposes and in the process (because God is this good! And really knows how to get the most out of time and people) become who He needs us to be.
#2- Don’t deprive God of opportunities to work miracles in your day to day experiences. Miracles have not ceased, nor will they so long as we have faith and give them the chance to happen for us.
#3- Be as Christlike as you can. This may seem obvious, but it’s probably the hardest. Keeping the atonement in the forefront of our minds will help us be the true, Christlike disciples we all want to be.
#4- Be positive. Negativity is a poison that is administered by the Adversary. When we let the light of positivity burn out Satan seeps in, and digs and digs and digs, and picks and picks and picks until we find ourselves in a seemingly hopeless pit that we feel we will never overcome. Positivity, faith, and diligent effort to live on the atonement will keep us out of these pockets of darkness and misery.
#5- Sincerely repent. Don’t just repent daily because you’re supposed to. Stop telling God “I’m sorry…” And then going out and doing the same thing you just “repented” of. Be sincere with God, and everyone. Be real.
In Alma 26:12 we read:
“Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things…”
Truly living an Atonement and therefore Christ centered life allows us to blossom into the disciples we all need to be. That’s really the essence of why we are here, persevering to the end of this “miracle mile” adventure. We are here to become acquainted with Christ that we might be able to work with Him to accomplish all of Gods purposes so we can return, fully prepared to be with God and all of our loved ones for the rest of eternity. How blessed are we? What a truly marvelous
It is my testimony that it is possible, no matter where you are at this time in your life, no matter how you currently feel towards God or the Savior, no matter where you’re at in your testimony, career, relationships, life, etc…. you have every chance and opportunity to become the very best you can be. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, who your parents are, what you’ve been through, or what you’re going through. Jesus Christ has already been there, done that, and He overcame it and now look where He is? The whole purpose of all He went through was to show that it’s possible for us to achieve the same; exaltation and eternal life. I know Christ lives. I know the atonement is real. I know we can become all God wants us to become. I know living on the atonement, and truly striving to follow Him is the key to happiness and success.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.