Easter testimony

So I got a text message from one of the church leaders, asking if I wanted to give a talk in sacrament meeting. One thing that would have made it easy for me is that I have a talk I prepared a long time ago, and I thought it was pretty cool, and got some good feedback from it, so I just planned on giving that one. [Update: it’s online now here]

I had a lot going on that week though, that would have made it impossible, so I had to turn it down anyway. Instead, they asked if I would give a short testimony the next week for Easter. I said sure to that one, I’d have far more time to work on it, and it would have to be completely original. This one had to be only two to three minutes, so I put something together shortly before Sunday. Here you go, though, my short little testimony. I hope it helps. God bless!

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved the lessons of the church about the plan of salvation. Perhaps it was because I was a visual learner, and it really helped me to see on the chalkboard big circles, representing the pre-mortal realm, our life on earth, and then the spirit world, and the kingdoms of glory after that. I don’t know why it’s always fascinated me, but it has.

More important than the pictures though is the plan that Heavenly Father laid out for us. A core element of that plan was that Jesus Christ would come and perform the Atonement for us. I feel like there’s a lot to understand about the Atonement that takes time to unravel, but one thing I like a lot is that He chose to do it. We all make our own choices in life and they determine our destiny, but Christ chose in the pre-mortal realm that He would be willing to go through the agony of the Atonement for everyone.

The plan of salvation is pretty cool. I’m not going to draw circles or present diagrams here, but I do have just a few scriptures I want to share. This one verse has been knocking around in my head a little bit lately, and I wanted to bring this one up. It’s in the book of Alma, and the 42nd chapter. Alma is about to leave for good, and he is giving final instructions, commandments, and lessons to his sons: Helaman, Shiblon, and Corianton.

Corianton had struggled with many sins, and there are four chapters dedicated to just Alma talking to this one son, and he covers a myriad of topics on doctrine that he had been having problems with and questions about. I’ve worked with youth for a long time now, and having a section of scriptures where a father who is a prophet has to chastise and teach his own son is a great source of information and inspiration on how to teach them that I love to draw on.

The verses on the plan of salvation and the atonement are in Alma 42 verses 13 to 15.

13 Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.

14 And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.

15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.

I love that it says “God himself” will do this. Of all the people who had to pay the price for sins or mistakes, He was the only one who didn’t deserve to. And because of this wonderful plan that was laid out, Jesus himself decided to perform the most important part. I think that’s awesome, and that we owe a great debt to him for that, that we can partially repay by applying the Atonement in our lives.

I know that God lives, and that He loves us, and I know that the Atonement works. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

That’s it, I hope you liked it. Remember that Easter is a great holiday to focus on the great sacrifices that the Son of God made for all of us, both collectively and individually. If you enjoyed it, feel free to comment here or probably easier is just to email me with your feedback. Thanks for stopping by, and God bless.

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