I hope everyone is doing well and getting excited for Christmas. It is the best time of the year. Most people are a lot nicer and will talk to you. People usually wont yell. Everyone is a little more focused on Christ and of course ski season is rocking right about now! I love this time because when we go out and knock doors instead of saying, “hey, can we share a message, it’s hey, can we share a Christmas message.” People then say, “oh, a Christmas message, well of course.” But if you just say you want to share the restoration they say “No, I’m baptist, I’ll die baptist, bye bye!” So, I love the opportunity we get to read about Christ birth and share the message of the atonement and why that is so important.
We ran into a cool lady this week who has a story that proves miracles do happen. She was taking her really sick daughter to the hospital in Atlanta. She had a flat tire and was stuck on the side of the road. She was not strong enough to change it. After a while a young man stopped. He said y’all look like you could use some help. He went on to change the tire and then he looked up at her and said don’t worry, your daughter will be ok and y’all will make it. At this point in time she said nothing to him about her daughter. Seeing she was surprised, he said go to the latter day saints and tell them this story. It just so happens that at this time in her life she had been praying hard for God to show her what the right church was. She said she knew then that he was sent from God to answer her prayer. How cool is that! This is a testimony that God does indeed help us and answers our prayers.
Another cool experience I had was while I was studying in the morning. I have always wondered why the atonement was necessary. It never made sense to me why that needed to happen. Well, I was listening to a talk called “the meaning of the atonement” by W. Cleon Skouson. It was amazing! It went super deep into the atonement and explained everything. One of the best talks I have ever listened to. I finally understand why Christ had to go through that. If you go over Alma 34 really carefully it explains a lot of it. Basically, what I learned was there are laws. No other man can pay the price of sin for another man. If I sin, my brother can not pay the price for me because that would not satisfy the demands of Justice. Since this is true none of us could ever pay the full price for our sins and therefore could not live with God again. But the reason Christ could pay for our sins is because he loved us so much and he suffered so bad (or infinitely) that everything has compassion on him that mercy would overthrow the demands of justice. Then Christ begged saying can these souls(us) be saved not for their sake but for mine. Then everything had compassion on him and mercy overthrew justice. W. Cloen Skouson gives an example of this that explains it a lot better.
During the civil war a young man was on guard duty. He fell asleep and the confederate army came in and killed hundreds. He survived. He was court marshaled and sentenced to death. He knew he was going to die and he expected to die. He thought it was only right after what he had done. But a young mother came into president Lincolns office right before he signed the papers to have him executed. She said president, before this war I had a husband and six sons. First I lost my husband and then five sons. Now one is about to face a firing squad to pay for what he did. She said president, I am not asking you to save his life for his sake. But President for my sake will you spare him. President Lincoln being filled with compassion let the young man go. This is an example where mercy over came justice.
After going over this and studying it I realize that Christ loves us more than we could ever know in this life. I now know why he had to go through the atonement and how amazing that is that he would go through that for all of us. Even though there are many who reject him and mock him. I just wanted to share that with y’all because it has been on my mind a lot. The birth of Christ is so significant because of the Atonement. Its something to think about as we focus on the spiritual side of Christmas. The hard part I am now having with this is trying to explain it to others. The guy goes over so much deep doctrinal stuff that you wouldn’t share with people who know nothing about the church. Anyway I am figuring it out, kind of.
Switching gears now we have had a decent week. We helped a lot of sisters set up for Christmas. They had a parade through Cordele on Friday for Christmas. Tomorrow we go to Tifton for the Christmas Conference. Transfers are next Tuesday. This should be a pretty exciting week. Again thank you all for your support. Enjoy the Christmas season and go have lots of fun!