Posts Tagged 'Atonement'

Dandelions and Birds

Today, as I was sitting in the car with my babies, I was staring at a field of grass nearby. I sat, noticing all the dandelion stems. Not even the pretty tops, but just the stems. Stems that lead right to the roots. Those things that never seem to truly die, but just populate more and more, and take over the beautiful landscapes.

My daughter was also staring out into the same field. Not pulling her eyes from the field, she says, “Mommy, can I go play with the birds?” I realized that I hadn’t even seen them. Not one. As I thought about missing them completely, I realized that of course I would be focused on the dandelions. Why? My life is hard right now. The lives of loved ones is particularly difficult right now. I don’t understand why everything is happening the way it is, and I have a hard time dealing when so many things are out of my control. My focus is on the weeds that just won’t seem to go away.

It is true that we live with a limited perspective based upon our own life experiences, either those of our past, or, as is the case when life is hard, the experiences of our present situations. In 1 Corinthians 13:12 it says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I see through a glass, darkly. The more I thought of this I realized that collectively our life experiences would broaden our perspective infinitely. This is why the Lord can help us when we cannot see the way through difficulty. This is why things that we know, with every part of our minds, to be impossible, are possible through Him. In Doctrine and Covenants 88:6-7, we read, “He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; Which truth shineth. …”. He has gained the infinite perspective through the Atonement. This is the gift that He offers to us each and every day of our lives.

So, you who are having difficulties, you who are struggling, take your limited perspective to God. Ask Him to allow His son to help you to see the birds when all you can see are the dandelion stems. He will help you. He will take you out into the field of life and help you see more, to share some of His perfect perspective, and to be able play with the birds, you don’t even know are there.

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Ponderizing – Week 11 Thoughts

The verse I have chosen to ponderize this week, is 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.

I know there something beyond this life. I have had personal experiences in my life and have heard stories of family members and friends who have experienced things, that have taught me there is life after we die. My understanding and belief of what that life is, comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ, which teaches me that there are great blessings awaiting me there, beyond anything I can imagine. However, the blessings will not be the same for everyone. This is because, in this life we make choices and every choice has a consequence. These consequences do not only come in this life, but they will also come in our life after death. Every choice that is wrong, separates us from God. Because of the eternal laws of justice, all of us would be separated from God after this life. If this was the consequence we all were to receive, without any hope of changing it, there would have been no point in God’s plan to send us to this earth. We would be lost. God, however, made a plan, which allowed for a Savior, to be sacrificed to answer the law and to show mercy to all of us, if we would choose to accept it. This sacrifice was made by the Lord, Jesus Christ, and is called the atonement. With the atonement, Christ provides mercy and grace, which are the only reason any of us can be saved and hope to receive the blessings of God after this life.

How then, do we choose to accept this gift of sacrifice, which the Lord has provided for us? This verse gives us the answer. We must “reconcile [ourselves] to the will of God”. We have to choose the right way. Everyday we make choices. No matter what the world may tell us, there are choices that are morally right and those that are morally wrong. Not every decision we have to make, will be either right or wrong, but a lot of them will be. Those things that are right, will always be aligned with the things that God wants for us. Those things that are wrong, will always be aligned with the things that the devil wants for us, or those things of the flesh. To be reconciled is to settle differences or to bring harmony into our relationship with God. We can only do this by doing the things that He asks of us. Throughout the scriptures, their is a repeated phrase, that teaches us He wants us to keep His commandments. We become reconciled to the will of God, when we make the choice to keep the commandments of God. If we choose to do those things that we know to be morally wrong, we choose to put ourselves in harmony with the devil and his plan to destroy the work of God.

Sadly, there are things in this world, that confuse what is right and wrong. In order to know that we are doing what is right, we must know the expectations that God has set for us. We must know the commandments, expectations, and statutes of God. We can come to know these through prayerful study of the gospel as found in the holy scriptures, as well as from the mouths of His modern prophets. In order to be reconciled to God, we need to study the scriptures and pray for guidance from the Lord.

Finally, when we make mistakes, we reconcile ourselves with God by repenting of those things we have done wrong. Repentance means recognizing we’ve done wrong, asking for forgiveness, making restitution, turning away from sin, and allowing God to change our hearts through the atonement. When we repent, we settle the differences between our choices and what God wants for us. Reconciliation requires repentance.

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.

I know that God is real. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Knowing this helps me to know that we can either choose to stand with God, or stand with Satan. I believe that Satan offers me nothing in return for choosing to follow him, while the Lord offers me everything he has if I choose to follow Him. I know that families can be together forever and that is what I desire as my future. This blessing is only offered to me by God, and can only be made a reality if I become reconciled to God. I know that repentance is real. I know that the atonement is real. Grace is the offering that will save me, but I need to do my best to live as God wants me to live, so that I will want to accept His offering. Knowing and believing these things, gives me direction in this life and I am so grateful for that.

Ponderizing – Week 8 Thoughts

The verse I have chosen to ponderize this week, is
2 Nephi 25:26.

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Jesus-Portrait

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Everything I do to live my faith and my religion, revolves around the understanding that Jesus is the Christ. That He is the Lord who, under the direction of His Father, created the world I live on today. That Jesus is the God of the Old Testament, who spoke to the prophets of old, and cared for His people. He came down to the earth, to live and die for all mankind. He has made it possible for all men to live forever as resurrected beings. He is the only way that we have the opportunity to return and live with our Father in Heaven for all eternity. This opportunity can only come through our acceptance of His infinite atonement. He has done his part, but we need to choose to accept Christ into our lives and live faithful to Him and His commandments. Through the atonement, we can repent and be forgiven of all our sins. The faith and hope I have in Jesus Christ, has blessed my life beyond anything I ever thought possible.

As a covenant member of the church of Christ, I have a duty to share that understanding with others around me. This scripture is one of my favorite verses in all of the scriptures, because I am a parent. I personally find so much joy in believing in Christ, and I have a great desire to share all that I can about this with my children. I believe that families on earth, can be families in heaven. The gospel teaches that each person much choose this for themselves, and so if I hope to have my family with me forever, I have a responsibility to teach them of Christ and the power of His atonement. How will my children know Him, if I do not speak of Him? How will they know that He can bring the greatest joy, if I do not rejoice in Him? How will my children know that He is still actively leading His people today, if I do not teach them about the prophesies of Him that have come to pass and are still to come? How will they know where to go to learn of Christ, if I do not show them the importance of reading the holy scriptures and modern revelations, where the prophets’ writings of Him can be found? How will they know, that Christ is the only way to becoming and remaining free of the bondage of sin, if I do not do all that I can to teach them this truth? This freedom is the only way to have true happiness in our lives. This is eternal happiness.

There are places that people can learn of these things without their parents, such as church, but the best place for children to learn is within their own homes. A parent, who has already gained a testimony of Christ and his mission, would be shirking their greatest responsibility by selfishly keeping this knowledge to themselves. I understand that whether I have my own children or not, my responsibility would still be to help others in my sphere of influence, to learn these eternal truths, because everyone should have the same opportunities to learn them if possible.

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Jesus taught, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) My heart yearns to tell the world as Alma’s of old. “O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.” (Alma 29:1-2) In no other place does this mean more to me, then in my home. Jesus Christ, who’s birth we celebrate at this special time of the year, is the way.

Ponderizing – Week 1 Thoughts

Moses 1:39

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

I chose this scripture this week, because my family has been focusing a talk given by Elder Rafael E. Pino during the April 2015 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His talk is entitled “The Eternal Perspective of the Gospel“, and it references the verse I chose.

I have been looking at the bigger picture this week. This is not something new to me. In fact I do it quite frequently. But I have had some specific thoughts about it. First of all, I believe that part of the purpose of life, is to align my will with the will of God, so that I might become more like Him. If my will is to become aligned with God’s will, then my work needs to be a part of His work, the work “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”.

First, I need an understanding of what this means. What is immortality? We live in mortal bodies, in a mortal world. This means that we all will some day die. This physical death became a part of the life of mankind, when Adam and Eve fell from the presence of God in the Garden of Eden. God’s work was to create a way for mankind to become immortal beings, in order to physically live forever. The atonement of His Son provided the way back. In the Bible Dictionary we read, “All are covered unconditionally as pertaining to the Fall of Adam. Hence, all shall rise from the dead with immortal bodies.” (Bible Dictionary:Atonement) Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, all people are unconditionally provided with resurrection after this life, and therefore, all mankind will overcome physical death and become immortal beings, with bodies of flesh and bone. (Bible Dictionary:Resurrection)

How can I be a part of this work of bringing to pass the immortality of man, when the Savior has already made this possible? I can be grateful for this blessing, because it gives me hope of life after death. I can share my testimony of this with others, and most especially, I can teach this gospel truth to my children. In doing this, I can bring greater hope to others.

What is eternal life? In the Guide to the Scriptures, it is defined as, “To live forever as families in God’s presence. Eternal life is God’s greatest gift to man.” Jesus Christ made Eternal life possible through his infinite atonement. In the Bible Dictionary, we read, “his grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.” (Bible Dictionary:Grace) Eternal life is a gift, that unlike immortality, must be gained. We use our agency in this life, to choose if we will accept this gift. All are blessed to live after this mortal life, but it is up to us to choose how we will live.

How do I make this work a part of my work? First, I must choose to accept His gift of the atonement in my life. How do I do that? Eternal life is accepted when I live my life according to the commandments of God. The Savior has told men to come unto Him and to follow Him. He has shown me the importance of making covenants, such as baptism and temple covenants. The covenants of baptism are the gateway to eternal life and the temple covenants provide the blessings of eternal life, through the sealing power. In the Bible Dictionary we read, “Whenever the Lord has had a people on the earth who will obey His word, they have been commanded to build temples in which the ordinances of the gospel and other spiritual manifestations that pertain to exaltation and eternal life may be administered.” (Bible Dictionary: Temple) I have made these covenants for myself, and have taken the necessary steps to claim the blessings. Jesus taught many, the importance of renewing covenants by partaking of the sacrament, which I have the opportunity to do each week. The scriptures also teach me that I need to believe that He is the Christ, and live according to that belief. I do this most, when I live a life of charity towards others. When I do these things, I will come to know Him. In John 17:3, Jesus prayed, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

Second, I make this work my own, when I share this knowledge with others. I need to teach my children that they can have the ability to return and live with God again. I know these things to be true for myself, but if others are not taught, how will they know? I send my children off to school, so that they can become prepared for the rest of their lives. I want them to be successful, happy and have all the blessing that life has to offer them. God sends all people here, to the earth, to become prepared for the rest of their eternal lives. Now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to help others to know what amazing blessings await them. I will continue to make this my work, by helping others to know of Christ, to know the importance of baptism and temple covenants, and to know the blessings of repentance and partaking of the sacrament. Also, I have the opportunity to be a source of strength to others as they strive to endure to the end.

I hope that as part of this work, my testimony and thoughts shared on this blog, can help others to learn of these things.

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

This life is so much more that our current situations. It is so much more than even birth to death. We have so much to live for. I am so grateful for this understanding and I hope that I can have the courage and strength to do my part in the work of the Lord, that I might partake in His glory.

Joshua Chapter 9

The Israelites were beginning to show themselves as a real threat to those in the land of Canaan and the nearby area. Since crossing the Jordan, they had taken both the areas of Jericho and Ai. The miracles accompanying them, brought fear to the nations of the land.

1 And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;
2 That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.

The kings of the area, gathered together to fight against the children of Israel.

3 And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,
4 They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;
5 And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.
6 And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.
7 And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you?
8 And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?
9 And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the Lord thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt,
10 And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth.
11 Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us.
12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy:
13 And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.
14 And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord.
15 And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.

The Gibeonites heard of the strength of the Israelites as well. They prepared themselves to pretend to be poor ambassadors. They presented themselves to Joshua, in rags and with old provisions and belongings. They begged to be allowed to live among them. The Israelites questioned what their relationship would be. The Gibeonites told Joshua that they would be their servants. Joshua questions where they were from and they told him from a far land. They had heard of all that the Israelites had done with the Lord on their side. They deceitfully led the Israelites to believe that they had traveled far and had worn out their belongings on the journey to find them. The Israelite princes made an agreement with them to allow them to live and be their servants, but did not counsel with the Lord in this. In Deuteronomy 7:2 we read, “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:” The Lord had commanded the Israelites not to make any covenants with people in the land of their inheritance, and I think that they would not have agreed to this had they known who these people really were. I am sure that revelation would have let them know who the Gibeonites were, if they had counseled with the Lord instead of trusting in their own wisdom.

16 And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them.
17 And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim.
18 And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.
19 But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them.
20 This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.
21 And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.

Three days passed, when the Israelites learned that these people were actually their neighbors who had come among them. They went to the cities of the Gibeonites, but did not destroy them because of the covenant they had made. The host of Israel murmured against their leaders for doing this thing, but the princes could not go against their promise. The princes suggested that the Gibeonites be servants to the host of Israel.

22 And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us?
23 Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.
24 And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the Lord thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing.
25 And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do.
26 And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not.
27 And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the Lord, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose.

Joshua questioned the Gibeonites for deceiving the Israelites about who they really were. He cursed them for their deceit and made them bondmen or servants to the Israelites. They told him that they had feared for their lives, so they lied to be spared.

The Lord had told them that if they made covenants with the people of the land, they would be a problem for them later. They valued their covenants and promises to much, to go against them once made with the Gibeonites, but I am sure that this mistake would eventually lead to temptations and falling away. When we make covenants, the Lord tells us what blessings will come. He also knows that we will fall short of being perfect in those things and we will suffer consequences for the mistakes we make as well. This is why the Savior and His atonement was and is necessary to all of us. We can easily be deceived by others who are looking out for themselves, as the Gibeonites were. The atonement will allow us to repent and return once we recognize the error of our ways. I think one of the important lessons in this story, is that we should counsel with the Lord in all things in our lives. Alma 37:37 teaches us with these words, “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” Prayer is so vitally important in our lives and I am so grateful for it. We can hold fast to this promise as well. If we remember to pray always, God will direct us for our good and eventually we will be lifted up at the last day.

Joshua Chapter 2

The Israelites were encamped on the eastern side of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. This was a city surrounded by a wall. It would be the first city that the Israelites would come to once they crossed the river into the promised land. The Israelites had just been given the direction from the Lord, to gather their belongings and prepare themselves to cross the Jordan into the land of inheritance. This chapter begins:

1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.
3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.
4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were:
5 And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.
6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.
7 And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.

Joshua sent two spies to Jericho. They ended up staying at the house of Rahab, who was a harlot. The king of Jericho learned of their arrival and sent for the men who came to search out their land. Rahab hid the spies and told the men of Jericho that she did not know where the Israelite spies were. She said that the men had come to her, but left when the night came. She convinced them to go search for the spies, when truly, she had hidden them on her roof.

8 And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;
9 And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token:
13 And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.
14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the Lord hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.
15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.
16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.
17 And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.
18 Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.
19 And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.
20 And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.
21 And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.
22 And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not.

Rahab told the spies that she knew God had given them the land and that the people feared them because of the power God had done great and terrible things. The Lord had previously promised the Israelites that the nations would fear their coming, and this was fulfillment of that promise. Rahab must have understood some of the nature of God, even though she lived in a nation that was not following after Him, and was personally living a life of sin. This is a reminder to me, that we are all fallen people in a fallen world. Just because a person is not living righteously, does not mean that they could not do good for others. Those who do good, will be blessed by the Lord and I think that Rahab believed this.

Rahab begged them to spare her, along with her family, because she had helped them. The spies promised her that if she would not tell anyone about them, they would be preserve her family. She helped them to escape the town and told them to hide in the mountain for three days while they were pursued. They made a plan for Rahab to hang a scarlet cloth in her window, so they would know which home to spare. Any of her family that was in the house would be fine, but any outside of their home would not be spared. If she told anyone, they would not be held to their promise. They escaped to the mountain and she tied the cloth in her window. The men who were looking for them, could not find them.

23 ¶So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them:
24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the Lord hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.

The spies returned to the Israelite camp and told Joshua what had happened in Jericho. They had greater faith, because the people of Jericho feared the Israelites.

This is a story of faithful actions for Joshua, the spies, and Rahab. Joshua acts in faith, by preparing for their journey and causing the spies to go into the land. The spies faithfully go into Jericho and, continuing in faith, rely on Rahab for protection and help to know about the people in the land. Likewise, Rahab shows great faith in the face of the fear that has come upon her people. She knows her life is in danger now that the Israelites are preparing to come into their land, and she shows her faith by helping the spies. I think that all 4 of these individuals, trusted that the Lord would bless them if they would go forward in their faith.

It is interesting to note, that Rahab was to hang something scarlet from her window. To the Isrealites, a home marked by scarlet had significant meaning. The homes of the Israelites had been marked by the lamb’s blood when they were threatened with the destroying angel in Egypt. The blood had been the thing that saved their people. This thread or cloth would be the thing to save Rahab and her family as well. Both things were representations of the saving power of the Lord. The blood of the atonement of Jesus Christ marks the faithful, to be saved from the destroying power of sin in our lives. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the atonement and reminders such as this story, which help me to remember what it does for me personally.

Deuteronomy Chapter 21

In this portion of the sermons given by Moses, to the Israelites, he was teaching some of the specific commandments from what we call the law of Moses. There were hundreds of rules to the law of Moses, and He needed to review them before leaving the people to settle the land without him there. In the last couple of chapters, he already explained the difference between murder and manslaughter, how each should be punished differently, the law of witnesses, treatment for false witnesses, and some laws for the Israelite army. He continued in this chapter, with more regarding laws having to do with murder.

1 If one be found slain in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him:
2 Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain:
3 And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke;
4 And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer’s neck there in the valley:
5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the Lord; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried:
6 And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley:
7 And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.
8 Be merciful, O Lord, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel’s charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them.
9 So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord.

In the case of a murder where there are no witnesses to say who had killed the person, the judges and elders were to determine which city was closest in proximity, to the death. An unused or unworked heifer (young female calf) from that nearest city, was to be taken to a rough valley without fields, and break it’s neck. The Levite priests were to solve the controversy, and make an atonement for the people, by having the elders near the heifer, wash their hands over it as a witness that they had not committed the murder or witnessed it. The elders were also to ask that Israel not be held accountable for the murder. When they did this, the elders would make the necessary amends for the murder, and having done their part, the Lord would forgive Israel of it. This was important, because it had already been established in the law, that those who knew of a murderer and did not hold that person accountable, would be held accountable by the Lord.

10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,
11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;
12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.
14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.

Men who wanted to marry a woman taken captive from an enemy nation, were to have her go through a month-long ritual first. After he took her to his home, she was to shave her head, cut her nails and change her clothes. Then, after waiting a month while she mourned for the separation from her family, he could marry her. If he decided then, that this was not what he wanted, he could not sell or treat her badly, but was to let her go free.

15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:
16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:
17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

The laws regarding the inheritance of the firstborn, were to remain in place, even if that child was not from the beloved wife of a man. This meant that no matter what, the literal first-born son of a man, was to receive a double-portion of the inheritance. Children were not to be treated unfairly, just because the were from an unloved or less liked wife.

18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

A stubborn or rebellious child was to be taken to the elders of the city for disobedience to the parents. The charge of disobedience from a child, was to be punished by being put to death by stoning. We live in a time, when this would not be an acceptable way to deal with a child, but as I get older, I can see the great importance of obedience to parents. I believe that one of the signs of the times, meaning one of the things that shows us we are drawing nearer to the second coming of Christ, is that children will stop listening to their elders and turn to their own wisdom. I cannot remember where I learned this, so I have no scripture reference for it. It does make sense as to a great falling away of the youth of the last generation. As I watch my friends and family, who have children just entering adulthood, I am seeing the fulfillment of this. It is heartbreaking to see them begin to ignore the rules and counsel of their parents while still in their youth. It is as if, many of the youth these days, think that having agency means that they do not owe respect and reverence to anyone, especially not to their parents and grandparents. This is part of the breaking down of the family, which does not end when one becomes an adult, but is designed to continue forever. When children turn from their parents, they become easier prey for the adversary. Since, they are the leaders of the future here in mortality, their falling away from obedience, and therefore, righteousness, will lead to apostasy of great numbers of the children of God.

22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:
23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

When a guilty person was punished by hanging on a tree, they were to remove his body that same day so that the land would not be defiled. This is an interesting thing to learn. In my study of the ancient lands in that area, I have learned that it was a common thing for the guilty to be left hanging for a long time, so that others would know and fear the consequences for their wrong choices. In the footnote to verse 23, it reads, “According to Rabbinical commentaries, to leave a body hanging was a degradation of the human body and therefore an affront to God, in whose image man’s body was made.” The Israelites were not to do anything that would defile the holiness of the land of promise and they were not to disrespect the body of the dead in this way. This standard was applied, when the Savior was crucified. His body was not to be left on the tree, or on the cross, and so the soldiers checked to see if He was dead. Those that were hung on a tree, were considered cursed by God. In Galatians 3:13 it reads, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” The curse must have been a part of the law of Moses, which was then fulfilled by the sacrifice of the Savior. Just another thing that was there to continually draw the Israelites to Christ. I am glad that I can live in a day to be able to look back and see how much of the scriptures testify of Christ and witness of Him. I hope that I am able to find those things in my life, that are meant to draw my attention and desires to the Lord as well.

Numbers Chapter 15

The Israelites were in the midst of their 40 year journey through the wilderness, at this point in the bible. They had sinned against God and were experiences the consequences of being unfaithful and wanting to turn back to their past life in Egypt. Those who rebelled and attempted to leave the camp to claim the land of promise, had been destroyed. The Israelites remaining needed to repent for what they had done. This chapter begins:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you,
3 And will make an offering by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savour unto the Lord, of the herd, or of the flock:
4 Then shall he that offereth his offering unto the Lord bring a meat offering of a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of oil.
5 And the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering shalt thou prepare with the burnt offering or sacrifice, for one lamb.
6 Or for a ram, thou shalt prepare for a meat offering two tenth deals of flour mingled with the third part of an hin of oil.
7 And for a drink offering thou shalt offer the third part of an hin of wine, for a sweet savour unto the Lord.
8 And when thou preparest a bullock for a burnt offering, or for a sacrifice in performing a vow, or peace offerings unto the Lord:
9 Then shall he bring with a bullock a meat offering of three tenth deals of flour mingled with half an hin of oil.
10 And thou shalt bring for a drink offering half an hin of wine, for an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
11 Thus shall it be done for one bullock, or for one ram, or for a lamb, or a kid.
12 According to the number that ye shall prepare, so shall ye do to every one according to their number.
13 All that are born of the country shall do these things after this manner, in offering an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.
14 And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever be among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord; as ye do, so he shall do.
15 One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord.
16 One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.

The Lord told the Israelites about the sacrifices they would need to make, and how much flour and wine they were to include with the meat offerings. Any visitor who stayed among them, was also to give an offering. The stranger was to perform ordinances just as the Israelites, and have the same law and doctrines of the gospel. This to me, is an example of the Lord being no respecter of persons. The Israelites were not above others, but had been blessed to have the Lord with them because of the covenants they had made with God. In the Savior’s time, the jewish people has separated themselves from the strangers, and seemed highly offended that the gospel was to go to the gentile nations. This ancient portion of the law of Moses, taught that when with those who were covenant people, anyone was to have the same gospel and ordinances available to them. Today, we know the gospel is for all people in every land of the world and no one is to be denied the blessings if they want to be a part of it. I look forward to the time, when all the leaders of the nations are willing to allow the gospel into their borders, so that all people may be able to hear it and choose if they will accept it for themselves.

17 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
18 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land whither I bring you,
19 Then it shall be, that, when ye eat of the bread of the land, ye shall offer up an heave offering unto the Lord.
20 Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for an heave offering: as ye do the heave offering of the threshingfloor, so shall ye heave it.
21 Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto the Lord an heave offering in your generations.

They were to offer the first portion of their dough as a heave offering, raised to the Lord. This was to continue through their generations, when they received the promised land. I love this idea of giving of the first of all things to the Lord. Today, we are asked to give a tenth of our increase, but I think that if we remember that the Lord asked for the first fruits, we will think to give the first portion of our increase to the Lord today. When we are willing to give to the Lord first, greater blessings come then if we put it off until we given to other things. This can be physical evidence to us and to the Lord, that we will put Him first in our lives.

22 And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which the Lord hath spoken unto Moses,
23 Even all that the Lord hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the Lord commanded Moses, and henceforward among your generations;
24 Then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour unto the Lord, with his meat offering, and his drink offering, according to the manner, and one kid of the goats for a sin offering.
25 And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord, for their ignorance:
26 And it shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were in ignorance.

The congregation of Israel was to give an offering and have an atonement made for the people. It had already been taught, that these sacrifices would be necessary for their forgiveness. The Lord was reminding them of how they could repent of their ignorant sins. There are countless things that we do wrong without even realizing we are doing it. If we are old enough to be held accountable for our actions, than our obedience to the law of sacrifice is what will bring forgiveness for those things. When we give of ourselves, and do our duty to God, He will allow those things to be cleaned through the blood of Christ.

27 And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering.
28 And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the Lord, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him.
29 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.

They were to individually repent through the giving of an offering, when they had erred ignorantly as individuals. The same law applied to visitors as well.

30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
31 Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.

Anyone who willfully rebelled against the commandments or sinned against the Lord, treating the words of the Lord as if they meant nothing, was to be cut off from the people and bear his own sin. There is an age of accountability, which we know to be eight for those who are of sound mind. If we are old enough to understand, have been taught the laws of God, and still choose to disobey or treat them like they don’t mean anything, we are then willfully against the commandments and will be held accountable until we repent of our sins. When we choose not to repent, we cut ourselves off from the spirit of God and in some cases we too can be cut off from the people of God, through excommunication.

32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.
33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.
34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.
35 And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.
36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.

There was a man who gathered sticks on the sabbath, which was against the law of Moses. In Exodus 31:14 we read, “Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.” Also in Exodus 35 we read the following:

2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.

The man was probably gathering sticks for a fire, and this was forbidden on the Sabbath. Those who witnessed it, brought the man to Moses and Aaron. He was judged in front of the people, but they locked him up because they did not know what to do with him. Moses took the issue to the Lord and was told that the man was to be stoned by the people. The people did as the Lord commanded, because he had sinned against God. The Sabbath is still God’s holy day, with a commandment to refrain from normal work of life, and we should show the same respect by honoring it.

37 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.
41 I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God.

The Israelites were then commanded to place fringes in their clothing, as a reminder of the commandments they had promised to follow. They were to remind them that they were not to seek after the desires of their hearts, but do the will of God. I am sure that this was commanded in order to prepare them for the temptations that were going to come to them. It is so important for us to have these types of reminders today as well. Life happens. The day-to-day activities pull along one way or another and we can easily lose sight of the goal and the path to get there. This is why we are commanded to gather together often as disciples of Christ. Coming together to church each week is one of the ways that God has instituted for us to remember His commandments. Placing other things in our life that will stand as a reminder every day, is a great way to remain true to the will of God. Things we wear, hangings on our walls, messages we read and such, will help us remain faithful and true. I am glad for the reminders in my life which touch the memories in my mind of those things that the spirit has taught me to be true.

Numbers Chapter 5

At this point in the narrative of the bible, the Israelites were in the desert of Sinai, camped at the base of the mountain. Moses, was given laws and statutes for the children of Israel to follow. God commanded Moses to organize the people for their journey to the promised land. They were organized into the camps of Israel, in a mighty army. He also organized the burden of the tabernacle of the congregation, which was the mobile temple of their day. The commandments given to the Israelites were in many ways, a preparation for their entry into the promised land. The instruction of the Lord continues with the following:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead:
3 Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell.
4 And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the Lord spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel.

All the lepers were to be sent out of the camp, along with those who had sores (probably like boils), or other items which made one what was considered to be unclean. In this, the rest of the camp would not be at risk of outbreaks and defilement, where the spirit of the Lord dwelt. The Israelites followed this commandment.

5 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
6 Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the Lord, and that person be guilty;
7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed.
8 But if the man have no kinsman to recompense the trespass unto, let the trespass be recompensed unto the Lord, even to the priest; beside the ram of the atonement, whereby an atonement shall be made for him.
9 And every offering of all the holy things of the children of Israel, which they bring unto the priest, shall be his.
10 And every man’s hallowed things shall be his: whatsoever any man giveth the priest, it shall be his.

All who committed sin, were commanded to confess and to make recompense or restitution, either to the offended or the Lord, for the wrong they had done. Those things that were considered sinful, had been revealed by the Lord and taught by Moses to the people. An atonement was to be made for the sinner. All offerings given of the Israelites, were given to the priests. The priest had the authority to act in the place of God, in receiving all offerings to the Lord.

We are likewise commanded to confess our sins. In the modern revelations of the book of Doctrine and Covenants, we read, “Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.” (D&C 19:20) and later in Doctrine and Covenants 64:7 we read, “Nevertheless, he has sinned; but verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.” Confession of sins, restitution and receiving the atonement in our lives, are absolute parts of the repentance process. We are promised that if we do these things, we will be forgiven and made clean.

11 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
12 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man’s wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him,
13 And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner;
14 And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled:
15 Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.

Any married woman, who may have commited an act of immorality or adultery, but was not caught in the act, was to be taken before the priest by her husband. She would go through a trial of jealosy, in which an offering would be made for her.

16 And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord:
17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:
18 And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse:
19 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse:
20 But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband:
21 Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;
22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.

The priest would perform a ritual, where dust of the ground was added to water that had been consecrated for purification, and then put on the uncovered head of the woman. She would then be told that if she was innocent of adultery, she would be free of the curse. If she was not innocent, she would be given a cursing of a sickness to her body.

23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water:
24 And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter.
25 Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman’s hand, and shall wave the offering before the Lord, and offer it upon the altar:
26 And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water.
27 And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.
28 And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.
29 This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled;
30 Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law.
31 Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.

A record would be kept of this cursing and then the priest would ritually blot the record with the water. The woman was then to drink the water and give her offering to the priest. If after the ritual of offerings and drinking of the water, she was taken with the sickness, it would be known that she was guilty of adultery or immorality. If she was clean, she would be free from guilt and the curse or separation from others and from the Lord. When a woman was suspected of this by her husband and he caused that she would go through this trial, he would be free of the burden of her iniquity.

I think that this ritual and judgement was another way for the Israelites to recognize that God has all the power. Man would not bring the consequences upon any unfaithful woman, but God would. The Israelites were being set apart from the world, as the Lord’s holy people. They were being prepared to live worthy of the spirit of God, which meant that they could not allow the people to commit unholy acts of this nature. In order for God to dwell where we are today, or for the spirit of God to touch our hearts, we cannot allow the worldly ideas, that sexual morality is outdated or unnecessary for true happiness, to creep into our lives. When immorality is a part of our lives, we separate ourselves from that spirit and allow our spirits to decay, much like the cursing here made their bodies decay. Their is hope in this. The hope is that God allows sinners to repent and be forgiven of these things. I owe my happiness today, to the healing power of the atonement, which makes forgiveness possible for our sins. I know that Jesus Christ makes this possible for all of us, if we humble ourselves and return to Him.

Applying the Atonement

Jesus-Portrait

I attended a great class last night for Relief Society. It was a class on the atonement and the application of it. I had one of those aha moments as I shared a comment. (Don’t you just love when you learn something as you muster the courage to answer a question? Faith in action.) I have been praying a lot to know how to apply the Savior’s atonement in my life when I’m not struggling with some major difficulty that forces me to my knees. It can be hard recognize it when life seems to be going pretty well. I found an answer through this class, which I think will help me a lot.

We discussed what the atonement is to each of us and the specifics of the sacrifice the Savior has given for us. The speaker shared a story of how the sacrifice of the atonement is like a priceless heirloom blanket he received as a child. After the story, he asked us how we can pass the atonement along the way the blanket was passed along to him. Thoughts were shared on using it in our lives and then teaching others, like our children. I followed that up with the idea that we can pass it along by doing what is done for us. If we feel the forgiveness of the atonement in our lives, we then in turn are more forgiving of others. When we feel the peace of the atonement, we know better how to help bring peace to those around us. Part of the application of the atonement in our lives, is how we become the instruments of the Lord. We become the answer to another’s prayers. It’s a cycle. For example, we may seek for comfort from the Lord in a time of need. He gives us that comfort in many ways, including the kindness of those around us. Then we turn around and respond to the inspiration and promptings to comfort another, who may also be seeking the comfort from the Lord. We become part of the answer to their prayer or their need, and pass the blessings of the atonement on to them. We are His hands. We can be given great power through the atonement to help others around us, even when we may be struggling. This is when we can make the atonement part of our everyday life. In the good times as well as the hard times of trial. Our choices to serve and sacrifice for others, bring us all those things we are seeking from the Lord ourselves, whether its forgiveness, comfort, peace, strength, healing, hope, or love.

I am so grateful for the power of the atonement and the saving gift that it is. I know that I cannot become whole and perfect on my own. I need Him. I need His love and forgiveness. I need His grace and hope. I need His strength and peace. I need to be His hands as well.


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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