Monday, August 3, 2015

"And he went out, and he wept bitterly."

This week, I learned a lot about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and repentance.

Before the mission, when you make mistakes, you feel bad. Big mistakes of course feel worse. And maybe it's just me, but since being a missionary, the littlest mistakes cause my heart to heart, and I think it's because as a missionary, you are closer to the spirit. You have the unique opportunity to fully represent the savior. And when you don't always live up to that, it hurts. (I'm talking about mistakes/transgressions like not opening my mouth to share the gospel or letting people pass me by, not serious sins, although those can apply, too). The little things make a huge difference.

I used to think the apostle Peter was a pretty silly guy. Why would you deny knowing Christ three times of you had walked with Him, seen His miracles, especially if He warned you before hand? Wouldn't you be proud to represent Him? But this week I realized that I'm a lot like Peter. I fall short. I wear my Savior's name everyday, but I'm not perfect like He is. 

And, like Peter, we all fall short every day. We fail to be 100% dedicated and consecrated. The little things cause us to fail. And when the cock crows and we recognize how we've fallen short, we weep bitterly as he did. 

Which brings me to the atonement! There's a quote in Preach My Gospel that says, "As your understanding of the atonement increases, your desire to share the gospel with others will increase also." So, I decided to study the atonement. And would you believe it if I told you PMG is right?! I began to study the atonement and the effort that it took for the Savior to give absolutely 100% of himself for our Salvation.

Check out these awesome quotes I found: 

1. "The Savior’s submission to the will of the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane set an example for us, inviting us to submit to God’s will in our life. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “It takes great faith and courage to pray to our Heavenly Father, ‘Not as I will, but as thou wilt’ [Matt. 26:39]. The faith to believe in the Lord and endure brings great strength. Some may say if we have enough faith, we can sometimes change the circumstances that are causing our trials and tribulations. Is our faith to change circumstances, or is it to endure them? Faithful prayers may be offered to change or moderate events in our life, but we must always remember that when concluding each prayer, there is an understanding: ‘Thy will be done’ (Matt. 26:42). Faith in the Lord includes trust in the Lord”

2. "First, an enormous sense of responsibility, for He realized that except it be done perfectly, not one of His Father’s children could return to Him. They would be forever banished from His presence since there would be no way to repent for broken laws and no unclean thing can exist in the presence of God."

3. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the significance of the Savior’s plea to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane: “In that most burdensome moment of all human history, with blood appearing at every pore and an anguished cry upon His lips, Christ sought Him whom He had always sought--His Father … [Mark 14:36]. This is such a personal moment it almost seems a sacrilege to cite it. A Son in unrelieved pain, a Father His only true source of strength, both of them staying the course, making it through the night--together” (“The Hands of the Fathers,” Ensign, May 1999, 16). On another occasion Elder Holland commented further:

“Mark says [Jesus] fell and cried, ‘Abba, Father.’ This is not abstract theology now. This is a Son pleading with His Father, ‘All things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me’ (Mark 14:36).

“Who could resist that from any child, especially the perfect Child? ‘You can do anything. I know You can do anything. Please take this cup from me.’

“That whole prayer, Mark noted, was asking that if it were possible, this hour would be stricken from the plan. The Lord said, in effect, ‘If there is another path, I would rather walk it. If there is any other way--any other way--I will gladly embrace it.’ … But in the end, the cup did not pass.

“In the end, He yielded His will to the will of His Father and said, ‘Not my will, but thine, be done’ (Luke 22:42)” (“Teaching, Preaching, Healing,” Ensign, Jan. 2003, 41).

4. “What weight is thrown on the scales of pain when calculating the hurt of innumerable patients in countless hospitals? Now, add to that the loneliness of the elderly who are forgotten in the rest homes of society, desperately yearning for a card, a visit, a call--just some recognition from the outside world. Keep on adding the hurt of hungry children, the suffering caused by famine, drought, and pestilence. Pile on the heartache of parents who tearfully plead on a daily basis for a wayward son or daughter to come back home. Factor in the trauma of every divorce and the tragedy of every abortion. Add the remorse that comes with each child lost in the dawn of life, each spouse taken in the prime of marriage. Compound that with the misery of overflowing prisons, bulging halfway houses and institutions for the mentally disadvantaged. Multiply all this by century after century of history, and creation after creation without end. Such is but an awful glimpse of the Savior’s load. Who can bear such a burden or scale such a mountain as this? No one, absolutely no one, save Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of us all” (The Infinite Atonement [2000], 105).

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, truly was our Savior and Redeemer. His Father-- our Father-- commands us to be perfect, but knew we would not achieve perfection in this life. And that is why Christ came here. That's why He suffered for everything we would ever feel in this life. So that He could perfectly understand us. So although we fall so short of perfection, we still have the glorious hope of returning to His presence by having faith in Him, repenting daily, being baptized by the property authority, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion, and using the rest of our lives to follow Him just a little bit better. 

“Now, if there be those throughout the Church who by word or act have denied the faith, I pray that you may draw comfort and resolution from the example of Peter, who, though he had walked daily with Jesus, in an hour of extremity momentarily denied the Lord and also the testimony which he carried in his own heart. But he rose above this and became a mighty defender and a powerful advocate. So, too, there is a way for any person to turn about and add his or her strength and faith to the strength and faith of others in building the kingdom of God” (“And Peter Went Out and Wept Bitterly,” Ensign, Mar. 1995, 2, 4, 6).

I know my Savior lives and love us. I know repentance is essential to His plan and I know that this restored gospel brings us the hope we need in this life, and the only way back home to our Heavenly Father. 

Hermana Abram


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