Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Atonement Can Fix That Too!

This is the first of a number of post about the insights I've had over an amazing month and a half.

I had an enlightening experience a few weeks ago. In one of our bi-weekly interviews, my Bishop told me that if I slipped up and looked at pornography again, we would start the year of my disfellowshipment over again. Needless to say, that really bothered me. I was livid! As far as I see it, this is a pretty difficult addiction to overcome, and to suddenly expect me to be able to really stop immediately is absurd. I have been trying for years and am finally starting the process of healing and overcoming this addiction. Well, I decided that I'd never talk to him again. At least I'd never tell him anything about what was really going on in my life.

I was venting one night to a friend who is much wiser and more experienced than me. I finished by telling him that "I guess I'm learning that church leaders are imperfect." He said:

"Yes, but I believe that the Atonement can fix that too."

Well that stopped me dead in my tracks. I was speechless. Tears welled up in my eyes. I thanked him and quickly hung up the phone. I got on my knees and prayed, begging the Lord to bless me through the atonement to make up for the mistakes of another. The most amazing thing happened next. A feeling of peace and comfort immediately came over me. I knew that despite my Bishop's inadequacy, everything was going to be okay. I was able to go to sleep without any frustration or anger.

Incidentally, my Bishop was appalled when I told him I was really hurt by what he said. He had meant that if I lapsed and acted out with another guy again! Still, that doesn't take away from the fact that I had been healed from this miscommunication. The atonement had made up for the mistakes of another.

In reflecting on that experience I was reminded of an old John Wayne quote. In his movie Big Jake, the Duke says to the bad guy "Anything happens, your fault, my fault, nobody's fault; and I'm going to blow your head off." Okay so the last part isn't so critical to this important insight. But I belive that through the Atonement, Christ can fix anything that happens to me, my fault, your fault, nobody's fault.

So next time something hurts, or isn't fair, or just plain sucks, even (maybe especially) when it isn't your fault, just remember that the Atonement can fix that too!


Anonymous said...

Now I just wish it could fix my car. And a peanut butter sandwich.

Christopher said...

I like your insights. Yes, the atonement can fix more than just the effects of our own sins. It can heal all the wounds of miscommunication, offense, loneliness, and even the hurt we feel by the sins and mistakes of others.