Repayment would make us clean. Repentance makes us perfect. Remember, we are trying to become like God. As Brad Wilcox said in his book, "The Continuous Atonement," sinlessness is not the only attribute that makes God perfect.
The Savior will not stop until we are safely back with him. In a Brigham Young University devotional talk titled, “Come Unto Me,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, “Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion, Christ is not going to turn his back on us now.”
Given all that he has already gone through for you, he’s not going to run away from you at your greatest need now — not at the sight of an argument with your spouse or a child gone astray or a bad breakup or a seemingly impossible decision.
So if you find yourself being negative or doubting that things will work out for you, ask yourself, "what is it that you think Christ can’t do? Or what is it that you think Christ won’t do for you?"
Whatever it is that you think Christ won’t do for you, remember what he’s already done for you — in Gethsemane and on the cross and in your own life. There’s no distance he won’t travel and no place (no matter how dark or lonely) he won’t go in order to bring you and your family home.
So when I think about what I would paint to capture the essence of the Atonement, I think about my family and the work the Savior is doing on the other side to put us in the celestial kingdom with him and with each other for eternity. So I would paint my family in the celestial kingdom, because Christ’s work — the work of his atonement — is not over until we are safely there.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Paul asked. “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come ... shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ, Jesus our Lord” (see Romans 8:35, 37-39).
In "Mere Christianity," C.S. Lewis said that while “our feelings come and go, his love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to him.”
Trevor Amicone is an LDS seminary teacher at Bountiful High School in Bountiful, Utah. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Boston.
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