By Becky Squire
Every time I write about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I feel insufficient and inadequate. How can words possibly describe the love that is manifested, or the power that is displayed through this wondrous act of our Savior. They can't. And much like writing about Christ's atonement, I often feel similar feelings when I need to repent and activate it's power in my life.
We all need deliverance, comfort, and strength from sorrow and sin. I'll never forget a time when I was in desperate need of my Savior. Instead of turning to Him, I wallowed in self-pity for days. Tad Callister said, "Our mortal lives are a constant struggle between choosing a oneness with God or a oneness with the world." That's why we need the miracles of His Atonement!
Realize we are all struggling.
One important way to access the miracles of Jesus Christ's atonement is to realize that we are all struggling. We all need Him. It is easy to look at others and think their lives are trouble-free and perfect and to feel sorry for ourselves. What we need in our trials is faith to overcome. Don't withdraw from the eternal blessings of fellowship because you are having a mortal struggle. The Lord loves all of us and will help and guide us, if we will let him. How reassuring that knowledge is, and how helpful when our lives seem difficult.
At a recent stake conference, my stake president gave one of the best analogies about comparison I think I've ever heard. Allow me to paraphrase. Do you know how much your house is worth? Here's the answer: A house is worth the amount someone is willing to pay for it. If an appraiser says that your house is worth $300K, but you can only sell it for $275K, then it’s worth $275K. That principle applies to our spirits. When you feel like you’re worthless, just remember this: Your soul is worth the amount someone is willing to pay for it. And someone did. He bought it for infinite price, so you have infinite worth. And He would have done it if you were the only one.
The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please sincerely ask Him what He thinks of you. Heavenly Father will love and correct but never discourage us - that's Satan’s trick.
We all know that everyone needs repentance. Then why are we often so afraid to do it? The most likely answer is fear. Whether we’ve committed a serious sin that we need to confess to our bishop or we have some little habits, attitudes, or behaviors that keep us from being fully committed to the Lord’s gospel and its standards, fear can keep us from doing what we need to do to change our lives. I'll never forget what my former bishop once said about repentance. As he urged his congregation to come to him and repent, he said that he has more respect for those who confess than for those who pretend like they never make mistakes or cover up their sins.
Remember that the positive consequences of repenting far outweigh what seem to be negative consequences. Focus on the good things the Lord promises to those who confess and repent. Dale G. Renlund said, “The fact that we can repent is the good news of the gospel! Guilt can be swept away. We can be filled with joy, receive a remission of our sins, and have peace of conscience. We can be freed from feelings of despair and the bondage of sin.”
We can improve every day with the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And as we realize that we are all imperfect, stop comparing ourselves to others, and repent every day, we will have access to every miracle of Christ's Atonement.Becky Squire is a writer and speaker. She has been published in several media outlets including the Ensign, LDS Living, and the Today Show. She's also the founding editor of Latter-Day Woman Magazine. Follow Becky Squire on Instagram