Do Mormons have more access to the Atonement?

This past Sunday in Sunday School we discussed the Atonement and how the Doctrine and Covenants teaches us more about Christ and His Atonement. The Doctrine and Covenants is a book of modern revelations which is considered scripture for Mormons or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since all people have access to the Atonement of Jesus Christ I wondered how Mormons are different. Do we believe we have more access to the Atonement?

 

Mormons believe we lived with God, our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ, our spirit brother before we came to earth. By coming to earth we became separate from God or no longer “at one” because of sin. We want to become “at one” with God again. We want to live as He would have us live in this life and live with Him again after this life. Because our Savior, Jesus Christ, a perfect being, lived a sinless life on earth, suffered for our sins in the garden of Gethsemane, died on the cross, and was resurrected, all people will be resurrected. Because of the Atonement, every person has the opportunity to live with God again.

 

All people, no matter their religion, can access some of the power of the Atonement. We can all come to Christ in sincere prayer and repent of our sins. This brings us closer to God. We can plead with the Savior for relief from our suffering and He will comfort us, bringing us closer to God. We can offer our hearts in service and ask for guidance in doing God’s will. This also brings us closer to God. By offering a broken heart and a contrite spirit, through the Atonement, we can become closer to “At-one-ment” with God. But the ultimate “At-one-ment” with God is eternal life or life with God after this earth. In order to access that complete Atonement and access God’s power to it’s fullest potential, we need to make and keep covenants and participate in ordinances. That is why we need modern revelation or the Doctrine and Covenants. That is the ultimate way to offer our hearts and spirits continually throughout our lives. Those covenants and ordinances were part of Christ’s church but were lost during the apostasy because the priesthood power was lost as the apostles and prophets were killed. Those covenants and ordinances are found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 

The first covenant we make is through the ordinance of baptism. When we are baptized with proper authority, one having the priesthood of God which was restored to Joseph Smith through John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John, and other ancient prophets, we covenant or promise to take upon Christ’s name, to always remember Him, and to keep His Commandments. Then Christ and our Heavenly Father promise something back to us, something that brings us closer to them—The Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, a separate being from God and Christ, and is a spirit. The Holy Ghost helps us to be closer to Christ by comforting and guiding us in keeping the commandments and doing the will of God.

 

In the temple we make more covenants and participate in more ordinances. These covenants and ordinances bring us closer to God because we are doing His will and the Holy Ghost again guides us as we keep the commandments and our covenants. We have greater access to God’s power as we repent and work to become more like God. Attending the temple again and again reminds us of the covenants we have made and teaches us the perspective of eternity, not just this mortal life.

 

Jesus Christ revealed to Joseph Smith why we need to repent and access the power of the Atonement, “Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yeah, how hard to bear you know not. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:15-19). Christ also revealed to Joseph Smith why we need to continually access the power of the Atonement through covenants and ordinances and the gift of the Holy Ghost. “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me. I am Jesus Christ; I came by the will of the Father, and I do his will” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:24).

 

So, yes, Mormons do believe we have more access to being one with Christ through covenants and ordinances administered through priesthood power. But being Mormon is not exclusive. Every person can learn more about Jesus Christ and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Missionaries or members of the church that you know are happy to teach you, and then you can study and ask in sincere prayer if what we profess is true—that we are the only church on the earth today with all the covenants and ordinances which were available in ancient times, in Christ’s time, and now in our time.

 

As a Mormon, I believe that Jesus Christ restored His gospel with ordinances and covenants through Joseph Smith. I believe that The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I believe that we have a prophet of God on the earth today, President Thomas S. Monson, who speaks with God and reveals what we need to know. I not only believe, I also know that making covenants through ordinances has given me greater access to the Atonement. I am continually amazed at the further light and knowledge I receive as I ask God in sincerity, repent, desire to know more, participate in my church meetings, daily scripture study, and attend the temple. I have grown and been enlightened through my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and even more important to me, I have had personal spiritual experiences with my Savior.

 

For a greater study of accessing God through the Atonement, listen to Sheri Dew, “Women and the Priesthood”¬†and “The Holy Ghost as Your Companion” by President Henry B. Eyring.

 

 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 at 5:05 pm and is filed under I'm a Mormon. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply