Brigham Young University (BYU) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple semesters of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
Here, in this column, students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the New Testament and gospel of Jesus Christ in the form of letters to someone they know. In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to witness to all of us of the relevance, power, and beauty of the New Testament, and God’s plan of happiness for each of us. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures. Let us know how these may help you in your own life. Share them with a friend.
Savior and Redeemer: The Apostle Paul and Forgiveness
In my New Testament class we studied Paul’s first missionary journey, Acts chapters 13-14. It is so amazing to me how much Paul changed; it is in Acts 13:9 that he is first referred to as Paul. He is never referred to as Saul again; it just reminds me how powerful the Atonement is. Through Christ we can be forgiven and we can accomplish great things, just as Paul did. He teaches the people in Cyprus about Christ and that it is through Christ that we receive forgiveness. Without Him we would have to pay for our own sins. By Christ we get justification, which is how the wrong is “righted.” My professor compared it to a trial. He explained how Christ serves as the judge, jury, defense attorney, witness and our advocate. Without Him we could not get back to our Heavenly Father. I am nowhere near perfect, but I can repent of the many things I do wrong in this life because of Christ. I know that I can try to be better each day. This reminds me of the quote by Elder Richard G. Scott, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: “We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” It is never too late to change, to repent, to seek forgiveness and to make amends. It is something I am consistently working on, and I know that it is through Christ that we can gain mercy. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the Atonement and that I have been taught the gospel of Christ. I know that we can all be forgiven and become the person Heavenly Father wants us to become, just as Paul.