Today is Easter Sunday and I want my children to know how valuable the atonement of Jesus Christ is for their lives. This morning as we sat around the living room and talked about the true meaning of our celebration for Easter Sunday, my words alone could not really express the significant, amazing, life-changing power behind the atonement of Jesus Christ:"He died for us so that we could be worthy to live with our Father again."
"He sacrificed his life so we could repent of our mistakes and move forward in our lives."
"He was resurrected so we would always know that we will be resurrected someday, too, and live with our loved ones who have passed away."
"He loves us with an infinite love and wants us to believe in him."
"Jesus Christ has the power to heal, renew, give light, and help us in ways we can't understand."
I remember clearly when I was 22 years old and started attending my LDS Christian church again after a long absence, and there was a Sunday school lesson about the atonement of Jesus Christ. I was trying really hard to understand what it all meant. It had been so long since I heard the words atonement and It felt like a new concept to me.
As I was trying to grasp the meaning of the lesson, and conceptualize the words coming from the teacher's mouth, I suddenly felt a powerful rush of understanding. The Holy Spirit came over me and I knew that the atonement of Christ was real. No matter how abstract a concept it may seem, or how much I tried to understand it in complex terms, the Spirit told me that Christ's atonement was meant for me.
That night I had one of the most powerful experiences of my entire life, as I poured my heart out to Jesus Christ and asked him to help me use the atonement in my life. Up to that point my life had been filled with a lot of sadness, heartbreak, and many, many mistakes that I felt confused about. I carried around a heavy burden with me that I didn't know could be lifted away. I didn't know that Christ could not only forgive me for all my ignorant mistakes, but He could also heal my broken heart, pour light into my confused soul, and provide healing for the hard things I had gone through. This was something nobody else in the entire world could do. Imagine that! There is someone out there who will literally take your pain away and replace it with happiness and hope!
I am so grateful for my Saviour Jesus Christ. It is because of His infinite atonement that my life has continued to climb in such a positive direction. I don't think I will ever truly know how much He has done for me until we see each other face to face. Until that day, I will continue to use his atonement and teach my children to do the same. I know that the day will come when the Spirit will teach them all they need to know, and they will understand, too.
I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from the Prophet Joseph Smith today, which reminds me of the pathway we take towards happiness, if we simply pursue it. Utilizing the atonement is on my path of happiness, and I don't think I would have found it, had I not started on this path at all....:
"Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.”
Happy Easter. Sending blessings of happiness, renewal, love, healing, and light on this beautiful Spring day!