I spoke to a good friend the other day and was horrified by her thoughts on the Atonement. It really infuriated me that she thought a guy friend of hers was unworthy of another girl’s hand in marriage because of past sins even though he had repented of them. Let’s make one thing very clear people: When you are forgiven of your sins God remembers them no more.
We are all sinners. That is that. But yet we all seem to judge others by their sins. Do you not sin as well? Who are you to compare your sins to theirs?
This is lecture day here at the Cody Paige Blog.
1st) The Atonement is for EVERYONE. No matter the sin. You will be forgiven if you seek forgiveness and do what it takes. It’s that simple. Who are you to say that they are unworthy? Are you saying that a sin is so bad that even though a person has sought forgiveness for that sin still is not good enough for a temple marriage?
How often are we to forgive others? Matthew 18:21-22: “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but Until seventy times seven.” Fun fact: Peter is the same apostle who denied affiliation with Christ three times the night of Christ’s crucifixion. Oh and Christ forgave him.
It is absurd and against everything we are taught as Christians to believe that somehow you cannot forgive a person of their sins even if Christ has. If this person has truly changed they may be a better person then they were before. It is possible to have a change of heart and to come unto Christ. That is why we have the Atonement. This topic really makes me angry to be honest. I cannot fathom the unbelievable high and mighty ego one may have to think they are somehow a better judge then the Judge of Israel. (Talk to God about it before you decide if this person is worthy of your time or not)
What I am not saying is that if this person has done you some sort of harm that you need to just take them back. That is between you, that person, and the Lord. Those situations are entirely different.
But if this person is just a friend of yours and they used to drink alcohol but no longer do..who are you to hold that against them? I’m sure their guilt is bad enough and they don’t need you holding that over their head. Remember, Christ has forgiven you of your sins as well. Whose to say you are a better person than another?
To me, some sins are not really telling of a person’s heart. So they disobey God..who doesn’t? It’s the people that are cruel and judgmental and angry and blame others and look for fault in all around them but cease to see the imperfections in themselves that I would not want to be around. Christ surrounded himself in sinners and people who wanted to be better. The Pharisees thought they were awesome and holy..we all know how that ended.
2nd) The Repentance process is beautiful. I wouldn’t recommend purposefully sinning to go through the repentance process, but just so ya know, it is amazing. Walking into that Bishop’s office is terrifying. Admitting things to another human being is humiliating. But walking out again and feeling God’s immense love and pride for you..is unexplainable. That feeling is unlike any other. It is like a cloud of comfort, an intense warmth of unbelievable love. God isn’t upset at you that you sinned, He is so proud of you that you are taking the steps to be forgiven.
Don’t let yourself talk yourself of it. Go see the bishop if that’s what you need to do. It is life-changing. Satan will try to tell you that you are unworthy to talk to God, that you will not be forgiven so why even try? This is the biggest lie of them all. Why would Christ come and Atone for your sins if it was a waste of time to begin with? Christ already atoned for your sins years ago. It’s been done. Now do your part and be forgiven and feel that pain no more.
Alma 26:35 “Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.”
3rd) Continue to protect yourself and or/ family and loved ones.
Pornography addiction is a great example of a past sin that needs constant attention to keep it at bay. It is possible to keep porn out of your home. Reading the talk by Linda S. Reeves she talks about protecting your home from having pornography. Although it is rather obvious that porn can easily infiltrate through smart phones, computers and tablets..it would be incredibly unwise to not have filters and help guard each other from the crippling affects of pornography. My husband doesn’t have passwords to keep me off his computer. His phone and computer are free game to me at any time, and he feels safer knowing that I can view it at any time. Trusting each other is important, but also being honest and knowing that Satan is constantly trying to attack is important to acknowledge as well.
Would I feel comfortable watching this show with my husband here? Would I want my kids to see me watching this? Do your children know the boundaries that are set in your own home?
After committing a sin it is imperative that you continue to protect yourself. My Bishop once told me, if you go into the snake pit: you’re gonna get bit. If you, your child, or spouse has had a problem with pornography maybe try putting the computer in a public place in the home? Have filters and talk openly about what you are trying to strive for in protecting your family.
My husband has explained to me that as a boy it is important they have hobbies and actives to keep them busy. It’s when they are home alone that trouble can brew and it may be hard for boys (or girls) to go find something else to do. Be aware of the dangers in your home. Be honest with the situation you are in. Do not play ignorant. It may be hard to see the real dangers in your home, but if you don’t talk about it or try to fix it, you are not helping get rid of the problem or keep it away, but are aiding it by doing nothing at all.
Sister Reeves said, “Filters are useful tools, but the greatest filter in the world, the only one that will ultimately work, is the personal filter that comes from a deep and abiding testimony of our Heavenly Father’s love and our Savior’s atoning sacrifice for each one of us.” This goes for any sin. I believe if you are steadfast in Christ, you will want to stay away from that sin, and will do so.
It is possible to go and sin no more. It is even more possible when you have a loving family or spouse willing to help you continue on with a happier life.
4) Do the basics
The most important thing Sister Reeves discusses in her talk is when they prayed about facing the challenges of parenting their answer was: “It is OK if the house is a mess and the children are still in their pjs and some responsibilities are left undone. The only things that really need to be accomplished in the home are daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening.”
If we want to do what is right, we will do it. Diligence is key in this religion. If you read your scriptures, pay your tithing, say your prayers, go to the Temple..you won’t be lead astray. If your heart is in the actions you are here to stay. You will be guided and blessed in this life. If you are not diligent, that is where Satan can sneak in. Keep him out at all costs.
5) Guilt is a good thing. Lots of people outside The Church view the guidelines of the church as guilt provoking and damaging. Having someone feel bad about a bad thing they did is not bad. If we didn’t feel guilty about our mistakes, why would we want to fix them? It is not a bad thing to want to be better, to want to be happier and to come closer to Christ. Christ asks us to follow him and sin no more. He wants us to strive for perfection, and when we fall he asks us to petition for repentance and try again.
The Atonement is about love. We aren’t supposed to self deprecate and hate ourselves. Guilt is just meaning you feel bad about what you did, not who you are. You are not a bad person. You make mistakes. We all do. God loves you. One of my favorite scriptures describes why it is important to have daily scripture study and prayer with our families.
“We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, and we prophesy of Christ that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” 2 Nephi 25:26
6) Don’t listen to the haters. As stupid as it sounds, shut the negative people out. Some of them are in our own families. Some of them will tell you that you aren’t good enough for..whatever. Some people you date will judge you once they hear about your past (if you choose to tell them) and then come back later and apologize for judging you but you’ve moved on and found a boy that doesn’t care about your past. He loves you for who you are now, and where you’re going. You are awesome. You are a son or daughter of God.
What is good and what is not so good? AKA when do we feel the Spirit? God helps us feel peaceful and loved. Sometimes we need to kick it into gear and do better, but God doesn’t hate us. If you are feeling hatred from others or inside of you, that is coming from the bad guy. Get rid of him.
My suggestion is when the haters come around, go read your Scriptures, listen to a hymn or my fav: EFY music. Feel God’s love for you: ask God in prayer if He loves you. He will remind you of what is true that no matter what you have done or said, you are always loved. No matter what.
Conclusion: The Atonement is for everyone. Every day is a new day to start anew. Repentance gives us that opportunity to go and sin no more. Be kind and loving to everyone, no matter their mistakes. We are all here to grow and become better. Some of us just take different routes and may take longer than others to get there. Let’s help everyone get there. Be an example, don’t be judgmental. Be brave if you have done something that needs to be sought out with teh Bishop’s care. Elder Scott spoke on another topic but I think his advice still rings true: “Healing may begin with a thoughtful bishop or stake president or a wise professional counselor. If you had a broken leg, you wouldn’t decide to fix it yourself.” Sometimes we need help. Seek help.
Wouldn’t you want to feel like Enos and be able to say:
Enos 1: 27 “And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father.”