Posted in Atonement

Understanding the Fruits of the Atonement

I Testify

Includes a short report of 10 Scriptural References of the gospel principle, the Atonement.

First Reference under atonement, taken from the Bible Dictionary.

Note: I have taken the liberty to alter and supplement the definition of atonement, as found in The Bible Dictionary, to more fully and accurately define the aspects found therein.

The word atonement describes the setting “at one” of those who have been estranged and denotes the reconciliation of man to God. Sin is the cause of the estrangement, and therefore the purpose of atonement is to correct or overcome the consequences of sin. From the time of Adam to the death of Jesus Christ, true believers were instructed to offer animal sacrifices to the Lord. These sacrifices were symbolic of the forthcoming death of Jesus Christ and were done by faith in Him (Moses 5:5–8).

Jesus Christ, as the anointed One, and Only Begotten Son of God and the only sinless person to live on this earth, was the only one capable of making an atonement for mankind. By His selection and foreordination in the Grand Council before the world was formed, His divine Sonship, His sinless life, the shedding of His blood in the garden of Gethsemane, His death on the cross and subsequent bodily resurrection from the grave, He made a perfect atonement for all mankind.

All are covered as pertaining to the resurrection, for all shall rise from the dead with immortal bodies because of Jesus’ Atonement. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22)

All little children are innocent at birth, and will automatically be covered by the atonement until developmentally accountable.

The forgiveness of sins is conditional however, on repentance. Each person’s individual forgiveness touches them to the degree that they have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, and obey the gospel.

The services of the Day of Atonement foreshadowed the atoning work of Christ (Lev. 4; 23:26–32; Heb. 9). The scriptures point out that no law, ordinance, or sacrifice would be satisfactory if it were not for the Atonement of Jesus Christ (Heb. 10:1–9; 2 Ne. 9:5–24; Mosiah 13:27–32).

Sin is rebellion. (1 Jn. 3:4) It is a refusal on men’s part to submit to the laws of God (Rom. 8:7). By transgression, man loses control over his own will, and becomes the slave of sin (addiction). (Rom. 7:14) So incurs the penalty of spiritual death, which is separation from God (Rom. 6:23). The Atonement of Jesus Christ brings all mankind before the bar of God, to be answerable for their own manner of life. The means of atonement is provided by the Father (John 3:16–17), and is offered in the life and person of His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:19).

Second Reference:

Under Atonement, the measure of Grace, as it relates to the atonement.

2 Nephi 10:24
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

In other words, pray to the Father for forgiveness, repent and know that it is not your penitence alone, or even good works you do through the atonement and grace, but that even after all this we fall short, and need Him. For we can do no good without Him. We would even die spiritually and physically except for the atonement.

That’s the second great secret, that even the adversary will at one point come to himself and make his way back as the ultimate prodigal son, after the burning and purging clean in outer darkness.

Third Reference:

Under Atonement, Mercy, as it relates to the atonement as a fruit of the atonement.

Isaiah 54:7
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

A poem I wrote which substantiates this scripture.

Mercy

Mercy is the substance,
Which stops our downward fall,
And gives place for grace,
To then lift us to our potential.

It is the sure steady rock,
Which we can all rely upon.
It’s essence and founder,
Is Christ our Savior.

He gained this victory and power,
As He lived and sacrificed His life,
With charity as the oath and standard held,
And champion which prevailed.

Christ is the Word, possessing
Every perfect godly attribute,
Which were poured forth,
From the garden, cross, and tomb.

He bought our way to freedom,
Living and giving His life in perfect light,
Shewing us mercy in loving submission,
And giving all the power to rise.

Mercy and grace work side by side,
And hand in hand, for without them,
We could not comprehend,
Or be lifted out of the power of Satan.

Mercy is God’s gracious gift,
Our great loving rescuer.
Grace is shared by Christ,
His gifts of perfecting power.

Forth Reference:

Under Atonement, Charity, the pure love of Jesus Christ.

2 Nephi 33:7
I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat.

Nephi had developed great charity for all his people, and knew that he would be greeted with such a wonderful reunion on the other side when he passed.

Fifth Reference:

Under Atonement, Hope, as a gift of the Spirit from the atonement.

Listen to the powerful words from Joel as he relates the word of the Lord.

Joel 3:16
The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

Sixth Reference:

Under atonement, Faith, as it is a gift of the Spirit from the atonement.

Matthew 9:29
Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

Seventh Reference:

Under Atonement, Repentance, as a gift of the atonement.

Acts 3:19
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

The refreshing spoken of for us is the second coming, when the presence of the Lord will be here, and refresh the earth, and all that be from the time since the world began.

Eighth Reference:

Under the Atonement, Perfection, a fruit of conversion through the atonement.

Moses 8:27
And thus Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord; for Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generation; and he walked with God, as did also his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

To me being a perfect man in this life, in understanding and in grace, means nothing more than to be born again, walking in the love of the Lord, and having the constant companion of the Gift of theHoly Ghost, and knowing to whom you belong. In living all according up what you know to the very best of your ability.

Ninth Reference:

Under the Atonement, Humility, as is a gift of the Spirit.

James 4:10
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Humility is a strength.

Tenth Reference:

Under the Atonement, Patience, a parent virtue of many other attributes of Christ.

Revelations 14:12
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Shane

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Posted in Atonement, The Fall

Adam and Eve and Us: Part Two

Note: A lesson as is geared towards younger children.

Adam & Eve are our first parents. They were created by God in a state similar to how children like you are, except that they looked like grown up adults.

They lived in a beautiful garden called after the name of our mother earth: Eden.

They were very pure and also very smart like adults can be, but they didn’t understand that there was such a thing as bad. They were innocent and good.

God told them about a tree called The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and said that they shall not eat of it, and that in the day they do, they shall surely die.

God wanted to introduce them to a way in which they could learn and become like Him. This could only happen if they were to know what bad was, and experience it as an opposite to their good.

Eve thought and thought, and was even tempted by an unwise evil spirit, who had fallen out of the presence of Heavenly Father for rebelling against Him. He was sent to earth to tempt us here to do wrong, but Adam and Eve could do no wrong, until it was introduced to them, and they were to disobey their Father.

Adam never would have eaten the fruit, which fruit was a called a fig, except that God had commanded Adam and Eve to stay together, and God had told them that they would be cast out, if they had eaten of the fruit. Eve was very thoughtful, and realized that they would need something to change for them, if they were to become like their Heavenly Father. She partook of the fruit, and Adam then partook, so that he could stay with His wife Eve, as Heavenly Father had commanded him to.

Their bodies soon changed after they partook of the fruit, which was not good for them, and they began to die. This was also disobeying their Heavenly Father, and was wrong.

Once Adam and Eve were knowingly introduced to this plan of Happiness, in which they would understand from their experiences the difference between good and bad, they had to work their best to always do what is good, for this is what will help us all to be happy. In this way, they could appreciate good, and understand it better.

Let’s consider a song that will help us understand that we are here from God, to also learn from our experiences, as Adam and Eve did. I Am a Child of God (Page 301, LDS Hymnal)

Adam and Eve were introduced to this fruit by a bad spirit whose name is Lucifer.

Soon after Eve and Adam partook of the fruit, their bodies started to fall unto death through this unhealthy fruit, and their spirits also for disobeying their Heavenly Father, who they knew and loved. The atonement literally is what keeps them alive, both spiritually and physically.

With this change, their spirits now had to fight to do good things, for their bodies now wanted and craved things that were not right or healthy.

This dying of their bodies, and disobeying of our Father is what is called The Fall, which happened during the earth’s Fall season of existence, and caused them to no longer have their spirits and bodies in unison, meaning that before the fall, what their spirits perceived and thought, is what their bodies experienced also.

From that time forth, their bodies would want to do bad. Adam and Eve would see and comprehend things with their body’s natural senses, thoughts and feelings, and would now have to fight for their spirits to be the ones in control.

This condition is what is known as having a veil placed over our spirits, so that we don’t remember our pre-earth life with God, His presence, or what His love feels like. Our bodies are our veil.

As children, we can have a better understanding and love for God, but as we grow older, we need to rekindle that love and affection for God, by learning of His great love, merciful plan to live with Him again, and return to having our spiritual hearts and minds as our understandings in life, similar to as Adam and Eve did before their bodies fell, except that we now have the opportunity to understand opposition, just as Adam and Eve, once they had partaken of the fruit.

We can choose to become better and better like God every day, and understand that good is different than bad, and we can choose the good because we love God and happiness.

It is because of the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ, that we can do this good. This is what is called agency, or, the ability to do good, even when we are fallen.

The light of Christ, which is a fruit of the atonement, is in all of us, and is what keeps us all alive, so that we can learn to repent and do good.

We are out of the presence of God, and will all physically die, as was said by Heavenly Father, but Jesus Christ will make us all live again, through His own resurrection. 

Because of the atonement, we can be made whole spiritually and physically, this time having the ability to progress like unto our Father in Heaven, because of our earthly experiences.

As we always repent and follow our Savior Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, we can be happy and have joy, and ultimately become like our Savior and our Father in Heaven, who is our true Father. This will happen long after we have been resurrected and live with Them, for they will personally teach us how to be like Them.

Jesus is the Christ. He is the Great Mediator and Head of The Plan of Salvation for the children of our beloved Father in Heaven who cherishes us. We are here because of Him. We will return because of Him. We will one day be like Him because of Him. What blessing our redeemer is to all. May we honor Him and love Him by keeping His commandments. I know we can all do this, and I bare my testimony that we will all do this, and return in glory to be an eternal family with our Father in Heaven.

Truly Jesus Christ is not some back up plan, He is the plan. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Shane

Posted in Atonement, faith, Patience

Walking With The Savior

For the Past Two Months I have been unemployed. As I have stretched myself through this learning and growing experience, I did come across a video by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, an apostle of the Lord in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In which I came to know that there is a reason for this particular time and season in my life.

It is not only a test of my trust and faith to learn to rely on the Lord, but also my Savior Jesus Christ, has set up this time as an experience to draw me closer and grow.

As I fully experience my time with my Lord, as He takes the world out of me, and gives me His eternal world and kingdom in return, I can take my place as His special son, and become His steward for what He would have for me.

As I prepare in this manner, for the job He has prepared, I will be the man He makes of me, even to be as He.

I bear my testimony, that as I access the atonement of our Savior, through my relationship with Him, I will become closer to becoming like Him.

Shane

Posted in Atonement

The Great Atonement, our Part: Part Two

The biggest half of accessing the atonement comes first, as we faithfully study the Lord, his commandments, and all things pertaining to faith, hope, trust, charity, purity and repentance. In essence, the gospel. As we do this, we are already using the atonement in this regard, to heal and make changes in our lives, hearts and minds. Then will come part B.

First, let me explain to you that it is the Holy Ghost, which administers every bit of the atonement in our lives, to our souls and bodies. When you have the Holy Spirit with you, granted as a gift from God, which He disposes of in degrees at His discretion, depending on the heed which we give to Him, you can have His presence stronger.

You can also have the Holy Spirit even stronger, and as a constant companion, if you are baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, becoming the recipient of The Gift of the Holy Ghost. This bestowal is different than just having the Holy Ghost.

When you have The Gift of the Holy Ghost, prompting you in some manner, whether in the form of testifying of Christ and His truths, or personally teaching you of a truth you need to know to heal, or reminding you of Christ and His loving ways and comfort, you can have this form of heavenly aid by your side always. The key is to obey every prompting and personal commandment the Holy Spirit providers. Utilizing this revelatory aid from heaven, is a source of great strength and healing.

God will use the atonement to help you have a higher path, brought about in your thoughts and feelings, all because the Holy Spirit, enabled through the atonement’s work, can assist you to have a higher, more elevated level of thoughts and feelings, thus providing healing and better outcomes in your life.

I will now explain the subject of this post in what follows, as it relates to the experience of accessing the atonement, in the case and needs of addiction.

There are many factors in line with addiction recovery, and many people’s experiences with it are different. Each proves to be a special, unique and specific road, wherein the Lord walks down each path individually with the individual.

Each person has specific needs, circumstances and trials, which need to be addressed. One thing is for sure though, even as a person is supposed to enter into daily personal prayer, scripture study and regular Temple attendance, as a member of Christ’s church, utilizing their knowledge of the gospel, they access the atonement and become better. Yet even so one thing is still missing – Part B.

One needs to personally invite the Savior Jesus Christ into their personal lives to help them. He needs to be their guide, and allowed to be the maker of all the calls and decisions, through the Holy Ghost, in their trusting, faith fulfilling pathway of recovery. Let Him in to do the work of preparing the way, and follow His lead in what he needs from and for you, with Him.

We need to actually be aware of Him in, and as a part of our lives, cognizant of the relations and interactions we are having with Him. To become truly converted through living with and for Him.

In this there is real life, the way God wants all of His children to live, with He as our guiding destiny.

Shane

Posted in Atonement, faith

The Great Atonement, our Part: Part One

Many people have often born strong witness of the power of the atonement in their lives, with adding somewhere in that declaration that, “I don’t know how it works, I only know that it does.”

Recently, I had an impression and inspirational understanding of how it does work. I will start off by saying that the Lord did experience everything with us, so this means He’s with you right now. He is with everyone and the thoughts, feelings, experiences and acts you are having and doing right now, every moment.

When in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ experienced our life as He going through it. Or in other words, as if He was us. Of course, when He went through it (our life), He expended and sent forth every good and righteousness expression and spiritual act of gifts and input into it unto the fullness.

This means that we can come unto Him, tap into what He experienced in our lives, and utilize what he gave us, turning it into what He would have it be, our rescue and resurrection, and anything and everything righteous and true, which He can give us. In our experiences, He takes from us ill, and gives and adds to us His will. This is because He became as us in His atonement, making us as one with Him, as we choose to repent and live righteously.

As I think of this, I am led to deeply desire to make every acting effort to make use of His powerful love and enlightened enablement, through which He extendes to each of us through His atonement, the power to change and be awesome.

As we think of our lives and the use of the atonement of our Savior in it, we need to remember this, that we have every power and gift extended and granted unto us, through His expression of great and loving sacrifice, of both mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and in every other way, being wrought out through His atonement, that we need to, and must take merit and use of all of it, for this is its purpose.

It is in this, that we can come to know our Savior, that He is with us. You can even say that as He went through His atonement, He came to know us, and now that we are living our lives searching for Him and using His atonement, we are coming to know Him.

He has already come through our lives, with the remedies, cure and victories for our every need, both in time and in eternity. Some things will be overcome in the next life, but all things for sure, for the faithful followers of Christ, who passionately use His loving atoning sacrificing gifts, and endure. The atonement is not just for mortal bounds, but for our eternal progression as well.

What is the secret of or to life? To learn how to, and readily and actively use the atonement in our lives to the fullest.

This is the only true success and measure of a man, in his personal, family and all other aspects of his life. To be a man as He, a godly man. So how do we learn to use the atonement? This will be explained more in, The Great Atonement, Our Part: Part B.

The atonement makes it possible for us to mentally seek a higher plain in us, to grow in spiritual maturity, and change our natures, and the desires of our hearts and minds.

From lust to love, indecency to decency, degradation to nobility. It comes about by our using our God given agency, to yield ourselves, body and spirit, heart and mind, to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and use our agency to make correct choices. Bringing our souls more in line with the truth and love, guided by the Holy Spirit, thus becoming more righteous and pleasing unto God.

It is truthfully the atonement that allows and gives us our agency, for without it, we could not choose good, for there would be no influence of good in us to act with. Every time something nice is done, it is performed through the atonement, whether the person realizes it or not.

Following the Spirit and making good choices over time and every time, changes our natures to become more sanctified and pure. This is what it means to use our Lord’s atonement.

To use the power He has given us, by being with us every step of the way, He has provided the only way. This is the great cause and call then to all, to be the living recipients of the Son of God and His fruits.

Look for more in Part Two

Shane