06 January 2014

"When we think of the great sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and the sufferings he endured for us, we would be ingrates if we did not appreciate it so far as our power made it possible." -Spencer W. Kimball

As we grow older and mature in the gospel of Jesus Christ, repentance takes on a new meaning. It's no longer just confessing and "saying you're sorry." It's no longer feelings of guilt just because "I have to go talk to the bishop." As we go through life and truly experience the Atonement for what it is, repentance truly comes to mean change. It means giving yourself to the Savior. It means allowing your Savior to help you, because He suffered what you are feeling and He is the only one equipped to relieve you of your suffering. 

I've been reading a book called Conquering Your Own Goliaths by Steven A. Cramer. In chapter six, Steven Cramer, in an obvious effort to help, recounts the Savior's suffering on Golgotha and in Gethsemane. Thinking, truly thinking, about what our Savior went through has to be the most heart-wrenching, humbling, and soul-crushing thing to think about. I cry because I'm so grateful. I cry because I love Him more than I can express. I cry because all I want to do is hug Him, because I can't bear thinking about the pain He endured. I cry because of His perfection. I cry because I'm now beginning to understand what the Atonement really is. I cry because I have come to know The One Who performed it.

..."The torture inflicted upon Jesus began late Thursday night after a mob of cutthroats, led by the traitor Judas... dragged Him from the Garden of Gethsemane like a common criminal. They beat upon him with their fists; they ripped the hair of his beard from his cheeks; they spit in his face....

The bloodthirsty soldiers gathered around to watch Jesus suffer... a deep gash was cut into the Savior's back, and the blood began to flow... His muscles were laid bare and his back, sides, and shoulders were literally shredded raw..."

Steven Cramer then goes on to say, that even worse than that day, was the night He endured in the garden of Gethsemane. He then quotes Bruce R. McConkie: 

"The agonies of Gethsemane have seen the blood of a God fall in oozing drops from every pore to hallow forever that sacred spot... His blood, the choicest blood on earth, the atoning blood of God's son is now dried on the rocks and mingled with the soil of the Garden where the greatest miracle of the ages has been wrought." -Bruce R. McConkie

All I can say is that the unimaginable things that our Savior experienced--for us--are simply far too dear, far too sacred, and far too precious to treat lightly, without the utmost reverence and humility. His suffering knew no bounds, and how misinformed and ungrateful we are to suggest we are not worthy enough of being saved. How confused we must be to think our neighbor isn't worthy enough to be saved. When Elder Holland says that it is impossible for us to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ's Atonement shines, he meant it! We don't determine whether or not we have sunk too low, and we definitely don't determine that for others. We don't determine just how bright the light of His Atonement shines, and we don't determine just how far-reaching that light is. 

HE decided we were worth it. 

HE atoned for my sins, 
and for her sins, 
and for his sins, 
and for their sins. 

HE told us we were worth it that night in Gethsemane, 
that day on Golgotha, and He tells us we are worth it every single day, now and forever. 

What our Savior Jesus Christ endured for us is evidence enough of His love. His Atonement is His loving reminder every single day of our lives that He hasn't given up on us and He never will. He knew what the Atonement would require of Him, and He definitely hasn't forgotten now. He saved us. He loves us. Both perfectly and infinitely. I cry because I now know that. I cry because He has shown me. I cry because I know it stands true for me, for her, for him, and for them. I am so grateful for what I know. I am forever grateful that I can call Him--with utmost reverence and awe--my Elder Brother, my Savior, and my Redeemer. I am grateful for His loyalty, His perfection, and His unyielding grace. And oh, how my heart adores Him.