The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

November 2, 2015

Eternal Life, John, Keith

Comments Off on By feeling we come to understand the Atonement better than by having a mastery of facts

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. (John 21:25)

. . . .

How can we possibly comprehend . . . a biography [of the Savior]?  If the surface of the earth were covered with Harold B. Lee libraries, each containing four-and-a-half million volumes like ours, the thousand trillion–or quadrillion–biographical volumes that could be housed would be insufficient. What would be written in all of those biographical volumes [of the Savior]? Well, “worlds without number” has He created (Moses 1:33; see also John 1:3). Therefore, the creation of worlds may be a significant portion of this library but not the most important part. Perhaps the greatest work among His endless works is the infinite Atonement. After all, what is His work and His glory? See Moses 1:39. Whom does He agonize over? See Luke 22:44 and 3 Nephi 17:14. For whom has He suffered? See D&C 19:16. Yes, as Elder Maxwell notes, He is “in the details of our own lives” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Becoming a Disciple,” Ensign, June 1996, 17). He has experienced all our “aching griefs” and, most important, paid a price we cannot fathom for our personal sins (Neal A. Maxwell, “Plow in Hope,” Ensign, May 2001, 60). Each of us has a unique place in His biography.

. . . .

Can you see that there would be all these details and multitudes more about each of our lives written in His biography because He has borne them? Consequently, as we reflect upon the lives of Saints, we can begin to feel the awesome power of the Atonement. That is the point I want to make! Can you mentally fathom a biography that is more than a thousand trillion volumes in length? No! By feeling we come to understand the Atonement better than by just having a mastery of all the facts. Perhaps this is why the fruit of the tree of life is shed into our hearts (see 1 Nephi 11:22). In our hearts we can feel and understand His love.

Is there an upper or lower limit to what our hearts can comprehend and feel? Moses recorded that Enoch’s “heart swelled wide as eternity . . . and all eternity shook” (Moses 7:41). On a less grand scale, when we even detect these subtle “swelling motions,” we know that they are “real” and “most precious” and “sweet above all that is sweet” (Alma 32:28, 35, 42).

Once we really come to know all that the Lord has done for us and for all our brothers and sisters, we will have a powerful motivating force to keep God’s commandments. Sinning is unthinkable during those moments of seeing “things as they really are” (Jacob 4:13).

Brother Jeffrey D. Keith
Feeling the Atonement, BYU Devotional, 9 October 2001

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