Sunday, February 7, 2016

Words from Sister Abbie Waite in Texas

The greatest miracle in time and eternity is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. (Alma 34:9)

We are not responsible for the Fall of Adam and Eve, but we are responsible for our own sins. We are taught in the scriptures that God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, and sin prevents us from living in His presence. 

Nephi teaches us that if our works have been filthiness, then we ourselves are filthy and "... the kingdom of God is not filthy, and there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God (1 Nephi 15:34)." 

Because we are fallen human beings, we "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)." 

None of us are perfect. None of us are clean enough to enter the kingdom of God on our own. 

In the ultimate act of mercy, Heavenly Father sent His Son to atone for our sins. 

"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. 

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17)."

Christ paid the penalty for our sins. He alone was able to do so because He was perfectly clean. 

"Though He suffered beyond comprehension-so much so that He bled from every pore and asked whether it were possible that this burden be lifted from Him-He submitted to the Father's will in a supreme expression of love for His Father and for us (Preach My Gospel, pg. 52)."

"Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered (2 Nephi 2:7)." 

The triumph of Jesus Christ over sin through His suffering and over physical death by His Resurrection is called the Atonement. This is the greatest miracle of all time and eternity. 

Through the Atonement we become worthy to enter the presence of our Heavenly Father permanently. We grow. We change. We become clean. 

As a missionary, I have had many, many, many opportunities to see the Atonement work in people's lives. 

I have watched people I have taught apply the Atonement in their lives and it brings me such joy to see the change it has made in them. 

I have been a witness to missionaries around me growing and changing into powerful servants of the Lord.

I have seen my friends and family grow through living the gospel and accepting the Atonement of Jesus Christ more fully in their lives. 

I, myself, have experienced a mighty change of heart. I am not who I was one year ago. I am not who I was three months ago. I am not even who I was yesterday. 

This week has been one full of growth and change and love. I love my companion and I thank God every day that I was given the opportunity to finish her training, as unexpected as it was. I am grateful for the trust the Lord has in me. I am grateful for all of the companions I have had who have helped shape me. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a mission historian for the last two transfers, and a sister training leader for the next. The change that has taken place in me over the last 13 months would not have taken place had I not been called to serve the Lord. I cannot adequately express the joy that is in my heart because of the gospel I have the privilege to declare to these wonderful people of Texas. 

"Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel. 

"Who could have supposed that our God would have been so merciful as to have snatched us from our awful, sinful, and polluted state (Alma 26:16-17)?"

"And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him... (Jacob 4:12)"

The miracle of the Atonement is real. It has worked in my life. It will work in yours. 

And it works wonderfully

Sister Waite

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