(Now is the point in the program where those who do not wish to continue onward may close a browser, mosey on to something else, or "accidentally" shut the computer off. For the rest of you still reading, take luck.)
I have a very hard time when I hear people say, "Oh, well, that's all fine and dandy but the Atonement doesn't cover what I've done. I can't be forgiven."
I just..I hear that-and it kind of makes me want to punch myself in the face. A lot. It just-ah!-it bothers me so much! Why, you may ask?
CAUSE IT'S FALSE!!!
It's a lie. A falsehood. It's not true. It's the absolute antithesis of pretty much everything The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints believes/teaches, not to mention goes against everything Jesus Himself taught. He didn't condone sin, but He never condemned the sinner.
Think about this: God loves us. We are literally His children, and He wants us to be happy. In order to attain happiness we had to come to earth, play on a field that is unfamiliar to us, and is littered with spiritual land mines. There are so many things designed to distract and neutralize us, to confuse us about our divine identity, to mislead us to think that wickedness really is happiness. So here's my next question: Do you really think God would send us here without providing something that would cover all of us?
Don't get me wrong, I understand that there are some mistakes that are big ones, I'm talking the big, ugly, awful, horrible things. But do you really think a loving God would just shrug His shoulders and say, "Ooo, the Atonement only covers up to this point. You just barely passed that. I'm sorry, the Savior doesn't cover you."
That just doesn't add up to me.
In the Bible, there are countless stories of the Lord associating and forgiving those who had done some of those big, awful, evil things. His message was always a message of love and redemption; His life's mission was amazing grace.
"And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children who belong to the family of Adam." (2 Nephi 9:21)
"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pain and the sickness of his people." (Alma 7:11)
"And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yes, infinite and eternal." (Alma 34:14)
Does that sound like limited coverage to you?
Now, this being said, there is a difference between feeling like you can't be forgiven, and not really wanting to be forgiven. There are those who don't really desire to find their way back to the fold of God. That's their choice, and I will respect it. But to those who want to come back, who desire to be forgiven, and whose fear is keeping them moving forward: You can be forgiven. You can come back.
It's hard to feel like you can return to a merciful God who is perfect with your inner soundtrack saying you can't, that you're worthless, that you went too far, that God does not want you back, that your mistakes can't be forgiven and forgotten. I know it is hard, the road back is always hard, but it is possible.
Jeffrey R. Holland said, "I testify that you have not travelled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ's Atonement shines." (-Gen Conf April 2012)
This is the glorious message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a message of love, healing, and hope. This is the message that resounds loudest in my ears.
In the last chapter of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni exhorts or encourages us with these words:
"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him..."
I love these words. "Be perfected", not "be perfect". Being perfected is a process, and that takes time, and repentance.
So, this post is dedicated to all my home-boys and girls, who feel like it can't be done. False. It can be done. That's the beauty of amazing grace.
If you need help, ask your parents, ask your bishop, ask the missionaries!
They can help you.
You're missed here.
With Love, from Can-Win