Jeff Simmons is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—a Mormon husband and father–currently working as an Optician as he prepares for a Doctoral program in Optometry.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of the love that our Savior and our Heavenly Father have for each of us. All other principles taught through the gospel are to help us become more Christ-like and direct our lives in the service of others. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, (sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church by the media), we believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored in its fullness in our day, and in His Atonement as the central doctrine and ruling principle of our faith.
For Mormons, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the most important influence in our lives because of the hope that it gives us. Hope is an emotion which brings purpose to our everyday lives. Hope can inspire dreams and help us to accomplish those dreams. However, having hope does not ensure success. Similar to faith, hope requires action on our part. Hope can also have a great calming influence in our lives and help us feel that things will work out.
Although the Lord’s Atonement was performed to help us overcome our individual struggles, it does not fully take them away. Instead, our burdens are made lighter and more bearable to match our personal limitations. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ (Mormons), we do not expect that because of our faith, our lives will be free of pain or trials. However, we do understand that enduring them well will help to build our character, build our faith and our own understanding of the Lord’s love and mercy for each of us. No matter what trials we may face in this life, they are given to us as opportunities to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and help us grow closer to him. Sometimes we may not be able to see why we experience the things we do but we should have hope that we can grow from those experiences.
Elder Russell M. Nelson, modern apostle, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the The Church of Jesus Christ, affirms the infinite atonement and reassures each of us in these words:
Regardless of how desperate things may seem, remember—we can always have hope. Always! The Lord’s promise to us is certain: “He that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome.” I repeat—there is always hope!
The Atonement of Jesus Christ provides us a way to cleanse ourselves from sin, and also gives hope that no matter what mistakes we make, we can correct them and straighten our path. Our Heavenly Father is a perfect father with perfect love. Although some of our choices and actions might disappoint him, he never gives up His hope for us. The Savior is always there with open arms when we are willing to come to Him. Such great hope can be found in knowing that our Heavenly Father is more interested in what improvements we can make in our future than with what mistakes we have made in our past.
I am grateful for my knowledge and basic understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ. This simple knowledge helps bring hope into my life and helps me endure the trials that I face. Because of the atonement, I have hope that even in my most desperate moments the Lord will strengthen me and share my burdens. Because of the atonement, I have hope that one day I will be resurrected and meet again with family and friends that have passed on. Because of the atonement, I have hope that I will be forgiven of my sins and will receive help as I strive to live a righteous life. But most importantly, because of the atonement, I have hope that I will be able to live forever with my wife and family.
In John 3:16 we read Jesus’ personal testimony of the mercy and love that our Heavenly Father has for each of us. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
In the Book of Mormon (a companion to the Bible that contains a record of God’s dealings with the ancient American inhabitants), the prophet Mormon explains, “Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.” Moroni 7:41
The Atonement of Christ was the most significant event on this Earth for all souls who ever have, and ever will live here. However, the impact of the Atonement is ongoing; it continues today for each of us, and will forever, as long as we turn our hearts to the Lord and embrace the gift and hope that Jesus Christ has to offer each of us.
Gale is a former fibro and CMP sufferer. She hopes this information will help other sufferers on their journey to good health.