Picture
Painting by Simon Dewey
by Benjamin Sokol

I cannot with composure tell you how I feel about the Atonement. It touches the deepest emotion of gratitude and obligation. My soul reaches after Him who wrought it, this Christ, our Savior of whom I am a witness. I testify of Him. He is our Lord, our Redeemer, our advocate with the Father. He ransomed us with His blood.

Humbly I lay claim upon the atonement of Christ. I find no shame in kneeling down in worship of our Father and His son. For agency is mine, and this I choose to do!”

-Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
From a May 1988 address to the Church.

Jesus Christ loves all of us very much. He knew that we would all make mistakes, and He knew that no one who makes mistakes can enter the presence of God. This presented a problem as justice and mercy contradict one other; how can the price for sin be paid when God shows us mercy? 

Jesus, in order to satisfy both justice and mercy, atoned for our sins at the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross. He felt all the suffering, the hatred, and the sins of every person who ever lived, and would yet live. He did not want to do this, because He knew this would be extremely difficult and extremely painful, but because He was the only perfect being that ever walked the earth, and He loved each and every one of us, He chose to do His Father’s will, and bore the pain, showing infinite mercy to us imperfect beings. 

Through His atonement, and our obedience and diligence, we can be with our Heavenly Father again. Though Christ did atone for our sins, our ticket to Heaven is not automatically stamped. This is where justice comes in. We have to do our part, which is baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and repentance. We will continue to make mistakes, and unless we repent, we will be held accountable for them. We have what is called “agency”: the ability to choose our actions. There will be consequences, both good and bad, for the actions we choose. We will have to face those consequences. But through our diligence, our continual repentance, and our faith, the pain will be lessened. That doesn’t mean that we won’t face hard trials in our life. We all will. Trials by definition are just that: trying. The outcome will greatly depend on how we approach our trials and how we deal with them. 

If we work hard, and strive to be righteous, then we will be able to live with our Father in Heaven, and be able to inherit his Kingdom.

 


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