Monday, March 27, 2017

Come Unto Christ through His Atonement

Christ performed the Atonement so that we might be saved if we come unto Him. Lately, however, it's been said that we need to come unto the Atonement--the Atonement will heal us. It's true that because of the Atonement we are able to be saved, but it is not the Atonement that we must come unto. In Matthew 11:28-30, Christ exhorts, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." In verse 29 Christ clearly teaches that we must learn of Him and find rest in Him by taking His yoke upon us. That's the true beauty of the Atonement. I'm so grateful to Christ for sacrificing and performing the Atonement, for in doing so He has come unto me by suffering all that I have suffered. All that's left now is for me to come unto Him, which can only be done through the use of His Atonement.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Faith of a Samaritan

I've always enjoyed the story in the Bible when Christ comes to the Samaritan woman because I viewed it as Christ loving all people and not having prejudices, which is all true. This week, however, I learned another lesson from the woman herself and her incredible faith.
When Christ first comes to the well in John 4, he requests that the woman draws water for him to drink. This is a Jew not only speaking to a Samaritan, but having the audacity to ask a favor from one. She initially refers to him as "a Jew", emphasizing the strangeness of the situation. As she talks with him and as he teaches her, however, the way she sees him changes and she calls him Sir, then prophet, and then Messias and Christ.
As she comes to know Christ, her faith grows and she can feel the Spirit confirming that what He says it true and that He is the Christ.
This woman, who was raised to despise Jews and accept their hatred toward her as well, had a heart prepared to accept the Christ when He came.
As we discussed these ideas, I thought of how I could better prepare myself. I asked myself if I would recognize the Christ, if I was close enough to the Spirit and it would speak to me and I would know right away. I don't know when I'll see Him again, but I hope that when I do I'll know with whom I'm speaking.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Parables of Christ

This week in my religion class we focused on the parables that Christ taught during His earthly ministry. We dove into the parables of the lost sheep, coin, and son. We dug deeper into the parable of the good Samaritan, and we came to better understand the various parables of the talents. I learned much from all of these parables, many things that I had never before considered or understood. But what I loved most from discussing these was the meaning and purpose of parables in general.
We are taught that we are judged according to our understanding. We interpret the parables in the way we need at the moment we study them. This also applied to the Pharisees, whom Jesus loved also, despite their hatred and persecution. He was giving the Pharisees a chance by allowing them to learn according to the level of understanding that they could handle.
This is just another example of the immense love Christ has for all people. No one is bad enough that He hasn't suffered for them or that he won't give them a chance at redemption. He is the most merciful and loving.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Filthy Becometh Delicious Above All

In the miracle at the wedding in Cana in John 2:1-11, Christ turns dirty water used to wash off the dust on the hands of the guests into the most delicious wine of the evening.The physical part of this miracle is truly amazing, but the Spiritual aspect is absolutely beautiful. In this story, we are the barrels of filthy water and Christ is the miracle worker who is able to make us so much more. Through the Atonement, we are not just made clean. We could settle at using the Atonement just to make us clean and pure, which is wonderful and beautiful. But Christ offers so much more than that, most of the time we just don't understand that. His Atonement offers us the chance to not only be made pure, but to become something beyond what the world tells us we are limited to be. Through the Atonement we have the opportunity to be as Christ and Heavenly Father are; to be the best wine at the party.
We can seek to understand the Atonement greater and learn how to use it to the fullest, that we might stretch ourselves and strive to be even better than man ever thought we could.