By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Atonement

How do we apply the atonement to our lives? How can we be forgiven? Can we really start over with a clean slate?

There is a lot to the subject of the atonement. However, one doesn't have to know all the deep doctrines surrounding this topic in order to begin applying the atonement to one's own life. One short, helpful article on Atonement is in the Bible Dictionary in the LDS 1979 edition of the scriptures. If you don't have those, you can go to the church's website here and click on The Scriptures. There, you have the standard works plus Guide to the Scriptures, Bible Dictionary, and Topical Guide. Back on the first screen of the church's website, you can click on Gospel Library and that will lead you to back issues of the Ensign and other church magazines, plus a host of church manuals. You can do searches, such as on Atonement, and find articles and lessons that will help increase your understanding. This is a very useful research tool for learning about any gospel topic.

Back to the atonement, the article in the Bible Dictionary is a brief and helpful description of the atonement and how it works. To apply it to your life, you must have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, and live the gospel fully. The latter includes the laws and ordinances of the gospel--the commandments in the scriptures. Part of this is to forgive others. When you recall the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself, it is implied that you forgive yourself as well. This is often difficult to do--we can be awfully hard on ourselves. Prayer and scripture study can help you, as can attending your Sunday meetings where you can learn much about the gospel.

What I want to say, though, is that it is not necessary to understand all the finer doctrinal points of atonement, or any other gospel principle, before you begin applying it to your own life. We grow in the gospel step by step, line upon line, precept upon precept. Don't wait for the blessings that will come to you as you live the gospel as best you can with the knowledge you have--now, today.

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Anonymous J. Stapley said...

The latter includes the laws and ordinances of the gospel--the commandments in the scriptures.

I'm not sure that I would concur. I'm rather partial to the 3 Ne. 13-21 description of the gospel. Really, to live the gospel fully means not that we are obeying all the commandments; rather, we are repenting of all our sins.

BTW - Welcome aboard the MA.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Thanks for the comment and the welcome!

I think that you are right in that repenting of all our sins is living the gospel. The laws and ordinances are important parts of living the gospel fully, but I don't believe it is necessary to be perfect at obeying (who among us is?!), as long as we are repenting and making corrections in our lives. My post may have given the impression that we have to be perfect at all the laws and ordinances of the gospel in order for the atonement to apply to us, and I certainly didn't mean that, so your comment is much appreciated.

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Mary, thank you for your comments about the atonement. I think we can understand what we need to regarding atonement at the tender age of eight when we start to be accountable due to our reasoning abilities at that age. Yet, really understanding the atonement is a life long guest. I am glad that the blessings are there even when our understanding of the atonement is so incomplete.

5:40 AM  
Blogger Pink Floyd said...

President Hinckley said in his Christmas Devotional of 1994: "I sense in a measure the meaning of His atonement. I cannot comprehend it all. It is so vast in its reach and yet so intimate in its effect that it defies comprehension. When all is said and done, when all of history is examined, when the deepest depths of the human mind have been explored, there is nothing so wonderful, so majestic, so tremendous as this act of grace when the Son of the Almighty, the prince of His Father's royal household, . . . gave His life in ignominy and pain so that all of the sons and daughters of God, of all generations of time, every one of whom must die, might walk again and live eternally. (Dec 1994, Christmas Devotional)"

If President Hinckley cannot comprehend it all, neither can we. We can only keep doing out best to keep all the commandments, and continually asking for forgivness for our weaknesses. It is all that is asked of us.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

PF, thanks for that quote and your comments. I like them very much.

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