The Miraculous Power of the Atonement

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

The atonement of Jesus Christ is perhaps the most difficult for man to fully understand or appreciate. The Book of Mormon prophet Jacob, under divine inspiration, attempts to help us to appreciate more fully exactly what was accomplished through Christ’s coming to this earth and giving the ultimate sacrifice for us as is reflected in 2 Nephi 9.
 

We know from the scriptures that when God created this earth and all the things upon it, including man, that “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Gen. 1:31. Our parents, Adam and Eve, walked in perfect harmony with our Creator, and He walked with them. But when they partook of the forbidden fruit and transgressed God’s commandment, a separation occurred between God and man. God, being holy, and who “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” (D&C 1:31) separated himself from man and no longer walked with him.
 

Jacob tells us that man became fallen because of the transgression, and that “…because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.” (vs. 6)
 

But, Jacob tells us that God had a plan whereby we could be saved from the fall and return to Heavenly Father’s presence. He states that due to the fall, our bodies must waste away and die, but that in our bodies we shall see God. (vs. 4)
 

He further states that God will manifest himself in the flesh to those at Jerusalem and that it was expedient for him to do so (vs. 5, see prophecies of Zechariah 9:9) and that it behooved God “that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.” (vs. 5)
 

Jacob explains that had it not been for this sacrifice, and this great atonement, “the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.” (vs. 7) He also stated that “if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.” (vs. 8)
 

Had we remained with the devil, our spirits would have become like the devil, and to have become devils, or angels to the devil, to be shut out from the presence of God eternally, in misery forever. (see vs. 9)
 

“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.” John 3:16
 

Not just any atonement would have sufficed to rescue man from his fallen state. Jacob stated that it needed to be “an infinite atonement” (vs. 7) otherwise “this corruption could not put on incorruption” and “the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration.”
 

Christ in his infinite love and mercy offered himself up as the ultimate sacrifice and provided that infinite atonement necessary to save both you and me. Because of his great sacrifice, we now have power over physical and spiritual death (which Jacob calls hell – see vs. 12) through the resurrection. Jacob tells us, “…the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.” (vs. 13)
 

It is with great reason Jacob sings the praises of God for such an unspeakable gift. Shouldn’t we too?
 

I testify that due to the unfathomable love that God has toward us, and in his infinite wisdom and mercy, God has provided the only way out of death, hell and misery through his beloved and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. We do well to heed his counsel and obey his instructions for our salvation.
 

In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.
 

Craig Fujisue