Sunday, March 27, 2016

The "R's of the Atonement

I like to create word tricks to help me learn and remember things.

I'm the Beehive Counselor in my ward, and at one point I had 21 Beehives. So, I created an anagram of all their names so I could remember them in my prayers or on email lists. 

Beachcommber Bliss Kave  {Bree, Eden, Aydia, Cassidy, Hannah, Courtney, Olivia, Maya, Maddie, Brooke, Eden (yes, I had two Edens), Rachel, Brynlee, Laine, Isabella, Sheridan, Sydney, Kaidyn, Anika, Victoria, Elizabeth} 

But, onto the real point of this post...

Studying, learning, and applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ is a life-long eternal pursuit. Over the last several years, I've decided to come up with my own word tricks to better understand the Atonement. 

For me, there are three major aspects of the Atonement:

1) Resurrection -- the 'free' {because we kept our first estate} gift of immortality and a body that will be perfect. Often, we focus on this aspect when we lose someone, or have health issues. Since both have happened to me too often for someone my age, this aspect of the Atonement is very real and something I am grateful for and hope for and look forward to and RELY on every day. 

2) Repentance -- the gift of hope -- knowing that the first tiny mistake we made after baptism didn't doom us to eternal misery and woe. We can repent. We can progress and become clean through the blood of our Savior. I lasted about three hours after my baptism at age 8 before I messed up. That's it. Three hours. But.... I had also received the gift of the Holy Ghost that morning... and the Holy Ghost prompted my doomed eight-year old self to repent. Because of the repentance aspect of the Atonement... all was not lost! I went in my closet (lest my siblings or parents walk in on me and see me praying in the middle of the day) and said a prayer where I sincerely repented. Immediately I felt clean and pure! Since that day... let's just say sometimes I don't even make it three hours between needing to apply the repentance aspect of the Atonement in my life. 

3) Real Power -- Elder Bednar labeled this the 'enabling power of the Atonement'. The scriptures refer to it as Grace. If Grace started with an R, then that's what I would have called it. But, I like my word tricks... This is the aspect of the Atonement that Alma referred to in Alma 7:12 

“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” (Boldness added for emphasis)

The Savior's Atonement included Him going through every know trial and affliction ACCORDING TO THE FLESH (not according to His Divine half) SO that He would know ACCORDING TO THE FLESH how to succor (HELP, give us REAL power) to get us through our trial and infirmities. There is REAL power in the Atonement in knowing that we are not alone -- that He has been through what we are going through and has suffered as a mortal has. He can then bestow upon us the power, the courage, the hope, the faith to take the next step -- whatever it may be. 

I have too many examples of this aspect of the Atonement in my life to list any. Just know that applying this aspect of the Atonement has made me who I am today. 

As I pondered these "R" words of the Atonement, other R words came to mind:

Remember - {remember the Atonement as we partake of the sacrament. Remember His sacrifice and love for us}

Rely - Turn to Him in all things. He knows. We can trust Him. We can Rely on Him.

Relief - There is tremendous relief in the Atonement. We can feel the relief the saints of Alma the Elder's day felt -- our burdens can be lightened because our backs can be strengthened.

Revelation - We can receive personal revelation as to what we are to do by turning to the Savior.

Resilience - One of the definitions of this word is "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties" -- if that is not one of the benefits of applying the Atonement -- I don't know what is.

Rescue -- The Savior's Atonement literally rescues us for an otherwise certain endless torment as captives to the Devil

Reflect -- The Atonement allows us to reflect on all the blessings of our lives and all the blessings in store for us.

Realize -- How wonderful is the day when we realize the Atonement was for each one of us.

Receive -- We need to receive His saving grace into our lives.

Reason -- You are the reason the Savior performed His Atonement -- every single aspect of it. Reverence -- In understanding the Atonement, we should view it with the reverence it deserves.

Reconcile - A definition of this is "to bring back in harmony one with another". Again -- the point of the Atonement was to reconcile us to our Heavenly Father. I have to thank my Gospel Doctrine teacher for sharing this definition. I loved it.

Finally, as I was teaching my Beehives about the Atonement today, the spirit whispered one final "R" word -- and perhaps it is the most important of all of them. As we learn about the Atonement, as we apply each aspect to our lives as needed and as often as needed, we develop a RELATIONSHIP with our Savior -- which I believe is what it is all about. 

I'm so blessed to have a relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. It is a relationship I treasure and one I plan on improving every day.  

On this Easter Sunday, may your RELATIONSHIP to the Savior grow as you apply each aspect of His greatest of all gifts -- the Atonement.

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