Sunday, April 18, 2010


My thought for this Sabbath is to reflect on the Atonement. At Chris' funeral my brother-in-law sang the song . “There is a Green Hill Far Away"

There is a green hill far away,
Without a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all.

We may not know, we cannot tell,
What pains he had to bear,
But we believe it was for us

He hung and suffered there.

There was no other good enough

To pay the price of sin.
He only could unlock the gate
Of heav’n and let us in.

Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved!
And we must love him too,
And trust in his redeeming blood,
And try his works to do.

I haven't attended a lot of funerals in my life - but I don't know that a song on the atonement is typical. But when we think about the atonement... and what it does for us.. it is powerfully appropriate.

Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy, speaking of the atonement, said:

"The power of Christ is not limited to payment for our sins. Through that power, He also took upon Himself the pains and sicknesses of His people, and He took upon Himself every negative consequence of a fallen world. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Since not all human sorrow and pain is connected to sin, the full intensiveness of the Atonement involved [Christ’s] bearing our pains, infirmities, and sicknesses, as well as our sins.”

Serious illnesses, family tragedies, and emotional struggles do not happen necessarily because we have sinned. Adversity and heartbreak happen to good people; such is the fruit of a fallen world. But having experienced tragedy, sickness, and disappointment in His own life, the Savior knows how to strengthen us in such trials as well. He is there not only when we cry out from the burden of sin but also when we cry out for any other reason.

The power of the Atonement also covers the consequences of sin in the lives of innocent people. We pay no eternal price for things over which we have no control, including harm done to us by others. The Atonement can heal us. The only thing for which we pay a spiritual price is misuse of our own agency, and for that the Savior has given us the Atonement.

Sometimes we think of the power of the Atonement as something that works after this life, as though it were something that applied only at the Judgment Day. But that is not true doctrine. The redeeming power of Jesus Christ works during our lives, day by day, moment by moment, as He gives us strength to overcome, as He forgives us of sin, and as He brings us, through the Holy Ghost, comfort, peace, and joy.

My prayer and hope is that we will discover the power of the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives, that we will understand that the Atonement is not something abstract. Christ literally overcame the world and stands as our friend, a Prince who has lived among us and knows how to make us strong."

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