Sunday, February 28, 2016

His Grace

Paul taught that it is not through our own works that we will be saved but through the grace of Jesus Christ who redeemed for us. In order to be saved by His grace we need to fully live the gospel, repent of our sins and apply the Atonement to our lives. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can live after we die but that we can live more abundantly . The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can be cleansed and consoled but that we can be transformed. Scriptures make it clear that no unclean thing can dwell with God, but no unchanged thing will even want to.” Because of the grace of Jesus Christ we can be saved when we fully do our part. Doing our part requires us to activate the Atonement in our lives and is more than just keeping the commandments. So many people feel that they don’t need a Savior and that they can do it alone. While it does require us to put forth good works we cannot achieve grace on our own we need our Savior. Sometime as members of the church we let our lives get very busy and in the mist of all the chaos we lose sight of what is really important and start going through the motions of living the Gospel but not really actively seeking to live it. My oldest this week was a good example of simplifying his life and putting Christ first. He plays tackle football and today after church he came home and announced, “There’s no football practice Wednesday night because I’m going to the temple to do baptisms with the young men’s.” I love that he made the decision on his own. He could have used the excuse that he had practice but he put church first. That is how we become true disciples of Christ by putting Him first. When we are actively putting the Lord first and using His atonement we will then be saved trough His grace. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Atonement

Many people believe that the atonement of Christ is for repenting of sin. We know that sin leads us to a spiritual death and only through repentance and the power of the atonement can we be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life. But the Atonement covers more than just sin. The Savior suffered for every heartache, trial, suffering, and sin we may experience while here on this earth. During our many trials we are faced to endure in this life it is easy to ask “Why me?” or say “Life isn't fair.” It is true that this life is hard and we are meant to go through trials as a refining and strengthening process. The Apostle Peter taught that if we faithfully endure our trials we have been promised to be strengthened through the Atonement where we can then receive joy and exaltation. Elder Robert D. Hales stated, “Suffering is universal; how we react to suffering is individual. Suffering can take us two ways. It can be a strengthening and purifying experience combined with faith, or it can be a destructive force in our lives if we do not have the faith in the Lord's atoning sacrifice. The purpose of suffering, however is to build and strengthen us.” While life might not feel fair and our trials may seem to be going on forever we are meant to have trials to make us stronger. When we feel alone and that know one understand we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus Christ knows as He atoned for each of us. Because He atoned for each of us He can also help us know and understand how to overcome our trials. The Atonement is how we can be healed comforted however if we lose sight of our faith in Christ then our trials also have have the power to weaken our faith and trust in our Savior. Elder Neil L. Andersen said, “When faced with a trail of faith-whatever you do, you don't step away from the Church! Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trail of faith is like leaving the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes into view.” When we step away from Christ then Satan has won. We need our Savior and His Atonement. We need to draw close to Him and have the faith that we can overcome and receive Eternal life through His sacrifice for us.