I want to study today about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I feel that the more I center my thoughts on Christ, the better chance I’ll have of resisting temptation.
As used in the scriptures, to atone is to suffer the penalty for sins, thereby removing the effects of sin from the repentant sinner and allowing him or her to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ was the only one capable of carrying out the Atonement for all mankind. Because of His Atonement, all people will be resurrected, and those who obey His gospel will receive the gift of eternal life with God.
The Prophet Joseph Smith was often asked, “What are the fundamental principles of your religion?”
“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”1
Christ removes the effects of sin IF I repent and come unto Him.
Chris is the fundamental principle of our belief; He is our advocate with the Father.
I was asked to speak tomorrow at an Eagle Court of Honor for Nick J. and Will B. Rosemary asked me to tie in how earning my Eagle Award relates to following Jesus.
One thing that came to mind was the Scout Oath:
On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law.
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
As a young scout, I had the “opportunity” (if you want to call it that) of doing my fair share of service projects.
From shoveling snow, to visiting the elderly, to helping my friends smooth out cement for the flag pole stand they made for their Eagle project – I sometimes grudgingly “did my duty”.
Looking back on that experience makes me really appreciative of my leaders who somehow got many of their scouts to “help other people at all times”.
When I was 19 years old, I was called to serve a mission in Santiago Chile. I knew nothing about the people or the country; I spoke only “un poco” Spanish, but I was really excited to go.
One of my toughest but most rewarding areas was the area called Lo Espejo. The toughest thing about this area was that there were lots of members of the Church our neighborhoods, but many of them were inactive.
Knocking doors proved to be the “not-so-effective” way to find new people to teach.
So we decided to do service.
The service we offered to our neighbors led to the Ramirez Catalan family. When we knocked on their door and told them we were only there to get to know our neighbors and offer service, they looked at us with puzzled look and then let us in to help them cut leather off of old army boots.
After about 5 hours of leather work, their hearts had seemed to soften and they were interested in why we were doing this “service project”. A formal appointment was made for that evening and we began teaching their family the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
That was almost 13 years ago. Today, Enrique Ramirez Catalan is the Bishop of the Lo Sierra C ward. His wife, Ana, has served in the primary.
The service I learned as a young scout prepared me for this “opportunity” as a missionary. Although I wasn’t always super excited to serve, I saw the effects it had on the people we helped as scouts. I’m grateful for diligent scout leaders who helped me see the true value in serving others. For “…when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”