I had the opportunity to teach a lesson this last Sunday about the Atonement to my 12-14 year old class. We had to start out with the basics and I feel it is too good to not share some of it.
First of all, what is it?
Well, we all sin. Either we have in the past or will in the future. It is because we are not perfect and mistakes happen. We are not perfect. We are here to learn that.
We are not able to return to Heavenly Father because of those sins because he cannot be in the presence of sinners.
Therefore, we need someone to atone for our sins. To pay for them so that we can return to Heavenly Father when the time comes.
What kind of person should that be? Well, I found the best description here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/he-lives-all-glory-to-his-name?lang=eng
Richard D. Scott said this of Jesus Christ’s challenges:
First, an enormous sense of responsibility, for He realized that except it be done perfectly, not one of His Father’s children could return to Him. They would be forever banished from His presence since there would be no way to repent for broken laws and no unclean thing can exist in the presence of God. His Father’s plan would have failed, and each spirit child would have been under the eternal control and torment of Satan.
Second, in His absolutely pure mind and heart, He had to personally feel the consequences of all that mankind would ever encounter, even the most depraved, despicable sins.
Third, He had to endure the vicious attack of Satan’s hordes while physically and emotionally pressed to the limit. Then, for reasons we do not fully know, while at the extremity of His capacity, at the time the Savior most needed succor, His Father allowed Him to shoulder the onerous responsibility with only His own strength and capacity.
Wow! Now that we put it this way, Jesus did do something amazing for us!
Now, can we still sin and be able to enter in the presence of Heavenly Father? No.
So what can we do and how do we learn about it?
We are to repent (see the sin within ourselves and never do it again, doing all within ourselves to repay what we did). That is simple-even the worst sins can be let go.
We learn in going to church, reading our scriptures, listening to Apostles who will teach us, and praying for understanding.
With what Jesus did for us, is it important for us to do all we can to keep from being part of the pain that he suffered?
Look within ourselves and see what we can do to become better. In doing so, we will be greatly blessed!