So today is Good Friday and I have been pondering in my heart what the atonement means to me.I can say in all honestly, that I do not fully comprehend what the atonement means in my life. I have only been a member of the Church of LDS for about 2 ½ years and I constantly hear people talk about the atonement of Jesus Christ. When I was preparing for my baptism, a friend told me that I would soon have a testimony of the Atonement. I said, “Is there a book on that? What is the atonement, exactly.? I am sorry to say that the statement” I have a testimony of the Atonement in my life…” has passed forth through my lips without any basis for it. I hear people say this all the time. I know I have said it, but I am sure I don’t know what I am talking about. So I have set out to find out what is the Atonement, and how does it affect my life.I found a definition in The New Encyclopedia of Judaism: (Heb. kapparah). A state of reconciliation between the sinner and the offended party prior forgiveness of the Sin. I read an article from a past president of the church called"The Atonement: Our Greatest Hope". He said that our salvation depends on believing in and accepting the Atonement. Such acceptance requires a continual effort to understand it more fully." I am sure that deep down inside I do have a testimony of it. I have been learning that the need for this atonement started at the beginning, before the world was formed. Why do we need to reconcile, what happened; what did we do?
I have read Revelation 12, now and in the past. The words seemed scary and the language so foreign. Its amazing that so many have tried to decipher what those words mean. Chapter 12 speaks of a “war in Heaven”, it has been assumed that this is the end of the world. The adversary started a war against Gods chosen, the war rages to this day. But instead of massive destruction there was a plan to rescue the chosen ones and all future chosen ones so that their lives would not be in vain. The adversary tried to rewrite the story, by eliminating the happy ending that is to come.This is the pre-beginning and the beginning, the present and the not so distant future. This is our life story, this is our geneaology. I can feel the presence of the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in these words. As I was reading this, my eyes were opened.You know how your ears feel after you "pop" them? My understanding of this chapter was clear. After I read this I felt satifisfied. I felt good, like you feel after a good meal. Not sleepy or lethargic but good, and happy. It is no coincidence that food and feasting and tasting are words and concepts throughout the scriptures. It seems that the breaking of bread among friends and family helps to deepen our understanding of the Savior and his purpose for us.
JACOB 3: 2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.
ALMA 32: 41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.
When the resurrected Christ encountered his disciples on the road to Emmanus,they did not recognize him. They invited him to come and have dinner with them.
LUKE 24: 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
LUKE 24:45 Then He [thoroughly] opened up their minds to understand the Scriptures
So just like the comfort food of my dinner, the truth of the word is also comfort food to my soul. I beleive that I have a growing testimony of the atonement and I know that as long as I stay committed and believe, the scriptures will open up to me and reveal all their truths.My heart will burn, I know my redeamer lives.