I thought I would talk today about the beauty of Christ’s atonement and how wonderful it is that through Him we can all be clean- clean and worthy to enter into His house and keep His spirit with us always. There is a reason why the temple dresses are white – it’s to symbolize that you’re clean from sin.
In our lives we will all make mistakes and sin, it is inevitable. God knew that we would be mortal’s in a fallen state, constantly at war with the flesh and all the temptations of the world, and that sometimes the flesh will win (Read Believing Christ by Stephen E. Robinson.It is absolutely amazing). But this is okay because he gave us a Savior who bled in Gethsemane to atone for all the big and little mistakes, sins, and transgressions we would make in our time here on earth. Remember: everyone is mortal, therefore everyone will sin and everyone will have the opportunity to use Christ’s atonement.
Too many people get stuck in their repentance process because they “knew better.” Let me let you in on this secret: every single person who ever has or will commit a sin knew better. All people are taught from a young age what is right and wrong, and we all have the Light of Christ within us to guide us between what the world says is right and what God says is right. In Mosiah 28:4 it is shown that Alma the Younger, the son of a prophet, and the sons of Mosiah, who is the most righteous king, are the vilest of sinners. Don’t you think that these men “knew better”? But if Alma and the sons of Mosiah can all repent and be made clean after all they did, so can all of us. His atonement is infinite and for every person.
So, this brings me to the importance of being clean. I personally have committed sins I never thought I would me made clean of. I remember one morning waking up and thinking I had lost my salvation. I went to church that day and was filled with God’s love and spirit during the song I Stand All Amazed and that’s when I knew. I knew that even though God does not condone any sin, and unless we repent we cannot be saved, he gave me Christ to help me because he wants every last son or daughter of his to return to him spotless, because we have the ability to be spotless. See Alma 12:33-34
To those of you who have committed minor sins, I pray to you to repent and commit yourself every week to being better through the sacrament. To those of you, like me, who have committed more serious sins and need to seek counsel from the bishop, do not be afraid. Your bishop will not look down upon you, he will admire your courage and strength to coming for him so you can be clean again. You do not get repentance across the desk of the bishop, but at the feet of your Savior (See “To Be Free of Heavy Burdens” by Richard G. Scott) When you are beginning your process to being clean with him, he does not see you as this person who has committed these sins (as we see ourselves because we have so much guilt for the sins we have done). Your bishop will see you as God sees you, with all your potential and beauty and talents and testimony that you have and will have through Christ. I can promise you as you pray and seek God’s help in this painful but important time, HE WILL HELP YOU. Doctrine and Covenants 133:47 shows that Christ is “mighty to save”. Mighty to save us from ourselves and our weaknesses and sins and all temptations we will face. In 2 Nephi 31:19-20 it is important to after we have been cleansed, to keep pressing forward in the faith and be a constant beckon of light for those surrounded by the darkness of despair that we face when we feel lost and alone in our sin.
“When those difficult times come to us, we can remember that Jesus had to descend below all things before he could ascend above them, and that he suffered pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind that he might be filled with mercy and know how to succor his people in their infirmities (see D&C 88:6; Alma 7:11-12) To those who stagger or stumble, he is there to steady and strengthen us. In the end he is there to save us, and for all this he gave his life…”
-Jeffrey R. Holland “This Do in Remembrance of Me”
I know that Christ’s atonement works because it worked for me when I was “the vilest of sinners”. It has worked and will work for every child of God, you just need to trust him. I hope that we can commit ourselves to the covenant we made at baptism to take Christ’s name upon ourselves and that those in need of comfort can know that if you look to the Savior, you will receive comfort, mercy, and remission of your sins. I know we can be cleansed and the best children of God we can be through Christ’s atonement and I hope we can all accept his call to come to him and become clean and go to the temple!
McKayla with www.theperfectwhitedress.com