Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daily Strength from the Atonement

So I don't remember exactly when it was, but sometime during Sacrament meeting today, I thought about the Atonement, in regards to a conversation I recently had with a good friend. My friend asked me what I thought the one thing was that if people understood better, it would help them understand the gospel, or change them, or something like that. My immediate response was, the Atonement. I firmly believe that. She thought for a sec, and then agreed, citing things like the Plan of Salvation. I realized that I hadn't even been thinking about the Plan of Salvation, sometimes that seems like something that will play out later in life.

Today I realized where my thoughts were. I realized this when I thought to myself, how can the Atonement help me, TODAY? What strength do I need from the Atonement right now? What can the Atonement help me accomplish now, that I otherwise wouldn't be able to do on my own?

Pondering these questions was very enlightening, empowering, and encouraging. I realized that I have some "heavy burdens" that I have been trying to carry around on my own. But I don't need to carry them alone. Or maybe I do need to carry them alone, but if I do, then I can be strengthened to be able to better carry the load.

I think I learned the lesson of needing to rely daily on the Atonement when I was really struggling to overcome my addiction to pornography. But apparently I am quick to forget. Lately, I have been struggling with, what I've come to know as a transfer of addiction. I have been struggling with an eating disorder. This has happened previously in my life, and I really don't want to let it develop into an addiction. It has been really hard, a battle from within. Eating disorders are different from other addictions in that we must have food. We can go without drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, etc, but we can't go without food.

Anyway, I realized that I need to DAILY be turning to the Atonement for strength. I need to be sincerely asking for the enabling power of the Atonement to strengthen me to overcome this, especially before it overcomes me. And once I thought of this, and began relying on the Lord, rather than the arm of flesh (myself), I immediately felt relief.

This daily reliance on the Atonement isn't just for me, it isn't just for me when I'm struggling with an addiction. The Atonement is there for everyone, all the time, for every situation. I began thinking of other ways I could benefit from the Atonement. I thought of things I need help learning, and remembering. I thought of things that I need help with at work, in my relationships with others, in my church calling, etc. I know that the Atonement is more powerful than we can understand with our mortal souls. I know that if we rely on the Atonement, we can reach our potential. We can become like God (GOD = MAN + WOMAN). We can do things that we otherwise wouldn't be able to do.

The Atonement is the key. Work to understand it better. Think of how it does, or how it can bless your life each and every day. Then ask for that help. Ask to be changed by the enabling power of the Atonement to be able to bear the burdens you are asked to bear. It will change your life.