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The bottom line of this earthly existence is that our spirits were born to this fallen physical world to see ourselves overcome darkness with light, and find our way back to God with heightened comprehension of who we are and who we will become. But in order to do this, we needed help.
When the word “Atonement” is divided up, it reads “At-one-ment.” This word dissection highlights the inner process we all need to make to in order to become One with God and His light.
One day as I was pondering on the Atonement of Christ, the spirit illuminated my mind, and I “saw” a simplified version of His Atonement depicted from OUR PERSPECTIVE, and how Christ enabled us to progress. I’d like to share it.
As little children we’re all “alive in Christ,” but somewhere along the way, each of us make choices that lead to a darkened spiritual world. All it takes is one sin and we separate ourselves from God’s presence.
ME -Separate From GOD
This is a representation of Everyman – separate from the Lord and His Spirit. When we’re detached from the Lord and His Spirit, we can’t comprehend spiritual things, because we have no light to “discern” truth.
When we can come to a point in our lives where we feel a need for God and we become deeply willing to change – WE CONNECT! (Another name for the change we are willing to make is REPENTANCE).
This is the point when all the Lord did for us in Gethsemane and on the cross kicks in and we begin to apply His At-ONE-ment in our lives. The connection may be very small initially, but can feel huge to someone who has been “snatched” from darkened realms. (Mosiah 27:29)
A Transformative Experience
A non-member friend shared with me an unusual experience where she connected with the Lord for the first time in her life. She had been working for years for the National Enquirer, which as you know, is a magazine that deals in gossip and sensational stories that may or may not be true. She was living in depression because of what she read and wrote, and working around godless people made it worse.
One night, she was so low in her hopelessness, she said to herself (and God),“I’m just going to lie in my bed and I’m not going to get up again unless I find that there is something better.” While she was lying there, she suddenly noticed herself out of her body, and for the first time since she could remember, felt peace. Seconds later, she went back into her body, but this experience gave her the answer that she had asked for. There WAS more! She knew that she had finally connected with something. That was the beginning of her spiritual journey.
How Long Can You Stay Connected?
At this entry level, we generally connect and disconnect on a regular basis, because early on we can’t hold too much light for sustained periods of time. We have to GROW into the ability to hold light! Whether we stay connected or not has everything to do with our choice to focus either on the things of God or the things of the world.
Once we “connect,” and feel God’s love even for a moment, it changes us. We go from unbeliever to believer. We begin to KNOW spiritual things for ourselves! To those who have been catapulted up from great depths, it becomes a “born again” experience. The scriptures have many powerful stories of people who experienced this process in spectacular ways: Lamoni, Alma the Younger, Saul etc. It’s essential for our spiritual advancement to become “born-again,” but some will have more dramatic experience than others.
From Drug Dealer to a Light-filled Life
When I was in college, I met a young Hispanic man, named Samuel, whose countenance was literally glowing! I asked a mutual friend to tell me about him. I had never seen such light in anyone before.
I was utterly dumbfounded to discover that only two years earlier, he had been a completely different person! He had been a drug dealer in LA with a large “business.” Somewhere in his dark and sin-filled world, however, he began to yearn for God. The missionaries found him and in a process of time and with permission from the First Presidency, he was baptized. He had been in the darkest abyss, but now by applying and focusing on the At-ONE-ment of Christ, he was preparing for a mission. I’ll never forget his radiant face. If Samuel can change, so can anyone!
The Connection Grows Stronger
As we begin to merge with the Lord, and FOCUS on the part of our “circle” that is bathed in light, we soar with the spirit and feel great clarity and joy. This is GRACE! We begin filling up with the Glory of God!
If we choose to separate ourselves, (by focusing on the dark part of our circle), we descend into darkness, anger, pride, frustration, depression etc., which keeps us far from the Lord and His love. It takes a constant effort to preserve and grow that connection.
How do YOU stay connected? What are things that keep YOU in the light? There’s a reason why certain things lift us. There’s a high resonance in nature, scripture, music, temple attendance, gratitude, and prayer for example. If we immerse ourselves with these higher spiritual frequencies, our own frequency will rise, and the Lords light will expand within us. It’s spiritual science!
Completely Applying the Atonement of Christ
As we welcome more and more light in, we begin to get glimpses of who we really are.
The more of Christ’s light and Presence we’re able to bear, the more beautiful our lives will feel, and the deeper impact we’ll have on others. We know we’re not perfect, but he wants us to unite with HIS perfection, letting it flow THROUGH us! We become Whole. We become Holy!
How Much Light Can You Hold?
In this state of one-ness, our focus is no longer, “I want to be righteous and obedient so that God will help me do what I want,” but, “I want to be righteous and obedient so that I can help God do what He wants!”
Even when we arrive at this state of light, we still have to continually work to maintain it. (The second that we begin to judge, criticize, fear, or worry, we slip out of that perfect circle, and lose our peace).
Bruce R. McConkie made an astounding statement that shows what our spiritual possibilities and privileges are in this state of one-ness:
“After the true saints receive and enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost; after they know how to attune themselves to the voice of the Spirit; after they mature spiritually so that they see visions, work miracles, and entertain angels,…and prove themselves worthy of every trust…it becomes their right and privilege to see the Lord and commune with him face to face. Revelations, visions, angelic visitations, the rending of the heavens, and appearances among men of the Lord himself- all these things are for all of the faithful. They are not reserved for apostles and prophets only. God is no respecter of persons. They are not reserved for one age only, or for a select lineage or people. We are all our Father’s children.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Promised Messiah: First Coming of Christ, 1995, pp. 575-76)
In other words, it’s doable for any of us if we put in the energy.
There Is No Other Way
Becoming completely aligned in unity, purpose and light is what it takes to become as God the Father is. There is NO OTHER WAY! This process is how Christ became like the Father.
I love what Christ says about this: “And for this cause ye shall have fullness of joy; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fullness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one.” (3 Ne. 28:10)
In other words, we can become One with Christ, who was One with His Father, – who was One with HIS father, – who was One with HIS father, ad infinitum in this ever expanding sphere. This is how it has always been done! This alignment is what it takes to become as God is!
As we grow in our ability to hold light, we more consistently live the life of fullness and joy, and begin to achieve the “bottom line” of our earthly existence.
Christ is willing to give us EVERYTHING that He has! How much are we willing to receive? The more of His light and love we pursue, the more we can expand into His presence. The “ball” is in our court. We can choose how fast and how deep we go. The At-ONE-ment is powered by Christ, but up to us to receive! How much can we hold today?
You Can Contact Anne at [email protected].