Friday, January 11, 2013


1.    Reparation for a wrong or injury: "she wanted to make atonement for her behavior".
2.    Reparation or expiation for sin.
expiation - amends - reparation - redemption - penance

It all started with a baby.
It sounds so simple when you read it from the dictionary.  But the reality is that it is more layered and nuanced than we think.  My experience is that the knowledge comes little by little as one seeks to apply the gift of Atonement from the Savior.

The prophet Alma describes the Atonement in a way that makes it clear we are seeking more than reparation for our sins when we follow Jesus Christ:

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.  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.  Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.  (Alma 7:11-13 emphasis added)

His gift was to all mankind.
It has occurred to me that the power of the Atonement is something we can call on as we perform our duties as followers of Christ.  When a worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holder exercises the power given from God to bless and heal one who suffers, he is calling on the power of the Atonement to bless that individual.  And as a good friend seeks to relieve another from the difficulties caused by some mortal infirmity, it would be appropriate for them to draw on the redeeming love and power of the Savior to offer comfort and help.

For ourselves and those we serve and love.
In effect, as followers of Christ, we have the right to seek out those who are in need (just as Jesus has done for us) and hold out the comfort and blessing of the Atonement as a healing balm for the trials and struggles of this mortal existence.  We become the hands of the Savior as we perform our work of service to those who need His help.

The power is there for us to act in His stead.  Let us use it as He would so others may be benefited.

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