Sunday, June 28, 2015

Farewell Talk: The Atonement

The Atonement

For my farewell talk I am actually going to give a talk. I've chosen to talk about the Atonement.

I have some friends, The Johnsons, whom I love dearly, who about three years ago lost two, almost three of their sisters, who were also very good friends of mine. Their faith and strength was amazing then and everyone could see it. Their oldest son, Sjon, married later that year but he was recently lost to an accident as a hero. My sister and I were with his wife and her family the entire day of his funeral, and I was hit again with the strength and faith I remember from them. 

They know that because of Jesus Christ they will be able to see their loved ones again. Without Christ I don't know how I would be able to do what they've done. It's because of Him that we have the atonement and the ability to return to our Heavenly Father and see our families again.

2 Nephi 25:23 says:
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. 

Everyone has a family member or friend who either isn't a member of the church or is inactive. We always want the best for them, and try to help them reconcile with God, for we know that it is by God's grace we are saved. We still have to do our very best - and our very best can't just be us "trying" to keep commandments and live the gospel. We have to actually become what we are trying to do. Sometimes we feel like our best isn't good enough - that we will never completely do "our part". In his talk at BYU in 2011, Brad Wilcox said "Jesus doesn't make up the difference. Jesus makes all the difference. Grace is not about filling gaps. It is about filling us."

Isaiah 53:3-5
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we esteemed him not

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 

Jesus was sent to this world for a couple reasons. One was to bring His church to this earth. Another was so that He could be our Saviour; take upon himself our sins, go up on the cross, and die for us so that we might live with our Heavenly Father again. He makes ALL the difference. We still have to do our best, but He doesn't expect us to be perfect. 

John 11:25-26
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. 

As long as we believe in our Lord and Saviour, and even if for a time we did not, if we repent His atonement is there to help bring us back. Because He always wants us back if we fall away, and there is always another chance for those who want it. 

3 Nephi 27:19-20
And no unclean thing can enter in his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. 

Now this is the commandment: repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. 

When we repent and are baptized (either at the age of eight or later on as a convert) our sings are washed away. I know there are people who think they have done too much to be forgiven of. That is NEVER the case. If you really and truly desire to be forgiven, Jesus Christ will help you and the sin can be washed away. 

Ether 12:27
And if  men come unto me I will show them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. 

We all have weaknesses, yes, but our Saviour gave us a way to make every weakness strong. The atonement is there for us, but it is our choice to use it. I know that through the atonement we are able to return to our Heavenly Father.

I would like to share a song with you. It is an EFY 2013 song called "Even When You're Broken."
Link here.

Even When You're Broken
By: Julie Yardley

You wanna hide it's hard to speak, you feel the weight of your foolish mistakes. You say, you're fine, but your heart is weak from a feeling you can't seem to shake. Open up, let Him reach into you soul. Meet you where you are, and make you whole. 

Even when you're broken He's gonna love you, so pour out what you're feeling inside. You can tell Him anything, whatever you've done. Because even when you're broken, you are loved. 

The ache is real, the words come slow as you're tracing the steps of where you've been. You start to heal, and freedom flows; there is peace in knowing you can start again. I don't know why we hold the past so tight when hands of mercy offer us new life.

Even when you're broken He's gonna love you, so pour out what you're feeling inside. You can tell Him anything, whatever you've done. Because even when you're broken, you are loved. 

Sometimes it's hard to make a change (it's never easy); sometimes you wrestle with the shame (over and over again); but through it all His grave remains. 

Even when you're broken He's gonna love you, so pour out what you're feeling inside. You can tell him anything, whatever you've done. Because even when you're broken, you are loved. You are loved.

This tells us that even though we might be broken, we are ALWAYS loved. 

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.