Understanding the Atonement to Become More Christlike
The process of becoming like Christ is a long one. It is difficult and we will trip, fall, wander away, or perhaps just sit down and stop. However, in my own attempts to be more like my Savior I have come to realize that a true understanding of the Atonement can change our hearts, and help us grow to be as Christ.
The Atonement is the purest act of love in all of history. It was all encompassing, and done out of a deep compassion that none of us will ever reach in this life. But as we seek to truly comprehend what Jesus did for humanity, our desire to do as he did will change our actions and it will change how we see other people. The Atonement was for every single person. This means that there was something within each individual that was worth suffering for. When Jesus was in His ministry, we see that understanding in His interactions with others. They are gentle, kind, and performed in genuine love.
As we seek to look at others through this lens, we will begin to see that goodness that was worth such a great sacrifice. We will have a small portion of that pure love come into our own lives and that will change everything. When motivated by the love of God, our actions change. Keeping the commandments becomes a natural state of being, and serving other will be our goal. When you are helping others, instead of it being something you do because you are told it was right, it will be something you want to do because you genuinely see that person as deserving of help. I was sitting in Sacrament meeting the other Sunday listening to a talk on the Atonement, and the spirit hit me like a ton of bricks. For a small moment, in a a small way I understood the genuine desire that Christ had to perform the Atonement, and that desire came from His immense love of God’s children. This wasn’t news to me. I could have told you that before this Sunday, but I felt it in that moment in a new understand of that love.
I hope that each one of you knows of the love Christ has for you. And I hope you know that that love is for everyone. I pray as we begin to feel his Atonement working it’s miracle within ourself, we will let that warmth be passed on to our fellow brothers and sisters, and we will see their worth.
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” – 1 John 4:8