Elder Colton

Elder Colton

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Magic of the Atonement

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
Well, Natalie, one of my counsins, definitely wins the prize on the weirdest letters that I've recieved.  For starters, somewhere between Idaho and Utah, the letter got soaked in water so the envelope was destroyed and I could hardly read who it was from.  But thankfully Natalie has a good brain inside, so she decided to use some special paper that is designed to get wet, namely, a barf bag from the airplane, plus a napkin which I'll also assume came from the airplane.  Both were completely legible.  Thank goodness that Delta makes some solid barf bags.
One of the most important things that I've been thinking a lot about lately is the Atonement of Christ.  That probably doesn't sound like an exciting thing to most people.  But, continue reading.  In a nut shell, the Atonement of Christ is the suffering that Christ went through in the Garden of Gethsemene and on the Cross, and then His subsequent resurrection.  It's this Atonement that allows us to return to live with Heavenly Father and allows Christ to help us now.  Here's scripture that describes the Atonement:
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. (Alma 7:11-12, which is in the Book of Mormon)
The word "succor" isn't exaclty a common english word.  "To succor" basically means "to run to and help" (copy right Elder Colton).  So, when a teenage girl yells at her mom, "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE," the girl is probably right.  The mom probably has no idea what her daughter feels.  But, Christ does.  Because He has felt every bad thing we have ever felt.  It's beyond my ability to even begin to imagine what he went through.  My own life has had its troubles and difficulties, but multiple that by billions and my mind can't get anywhere near it.  And He did that because He loves us more than we can imagine as well.  He wants us to be happy both now and forever. 
And for those of you who still wonder why missionaries decide to leave our comfortable lives and move somewhere new for two years and get doors slammed in our face, it's because of that little (big) snippip of knowledge right there: that Christ loves us and he wants everyone to know that.  We don't enjoy riding a bike in 100 degree heat, but if we can help someone understand Christ loves them, then it's worth it.  I apologize for those of you back home in Georgia who I never really shared any of this with.  It's one of my biggest regrets and probably always will be.  But, what's past is past.  Hopefully I can make up for that once I get home.  For now, I stick with trying to share with people here in Utah.
Love you all,
-Elder Colton

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