Hello my dear family,
First of all I would like to say Happy Birthday to Tanner :) I wish all birthdays were on the same day as preparation day, then I would be able to remember to write about them.
This week has been one of striving to understand. I have been working to understand many different things. One of which is the Atonement and how I can better accept it in my life. As I was reading Dad's email I had a thought pop into my head. Dad said, "The message in this is that the Lord's forgiveness knows no bounds." What keeps us bound to the natural man? I just thought that what really keeps us bound is ourselves. Our knowledge of guilt and sorrow. Our knowledge of the things we have done.
For us to let go of the natural man and become a saint we must learn to forgive ourselves. Through this we are given the opportunity to have full faith in the Lord. Through this we are able to feel the full joy that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. This morning I read in 2 Nephi 9 about the fall and atonement. This is a powerful sermon on the affects of the fall and the power the atonement has to free us of those affects. In this chapter it helps us to see how we can more fully accept the atonement in our lives. To accept it we must, "repent, and be baptized in his name, having faith in the Holy One of Israel..." (2 Nephi 9:23)
Then in verse 45 Jacob says,
"O my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins; shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast; come unto that God who is the rock of your salvation."
When we do not forgive ourselves we do not allow ourselves to fully shake off "the chains of him that would bind you fast..." When we do not forgive we continue to look at those sins and say that they are a part of us. In truth we are sons and daughters of God. Our natures are good! As we forgive ourselves and others we separate the sin from the sinner and allow truth to flow through. We forgive and forget to allow us to see that we truly are good inside. Again I come back to the words of Doctrine and Covenants section 58 "For the power is in them..." We are naturally good. Our being born into a natural state does not mean that we are completely natural. Where did we come from? We came from our Heavenly Father's presence. How did we get here? We trusted completely in our Elder brother's, Jesus Christ, promise. We can do the same now. We simply need to, "Shake [ourselves] from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion." (2 Nephi 8:25)
Forgiveness, both from our Heavenly Father and ourselves, enables us to shake off the dust of sin and be made white through the blood of the Lamb. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ, namely faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, is a true gospel that will enable us to receive the full power of the atonement in our lives. I still have some trouble fully trusting God along with everyone else yet I know that as we put our faith in Him, He will not let us fail. I know this through the scriptures and I know that they are true through the Holy Ghost which testifies of truth. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.