Alma’s testimony of Jesus Christ can help us better understand the breadth of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and teach us how to receive the blessings of His Atonement each day as we continue along the path to Eternal Life. Alma 7:11-13 contains specific words that can help us remember the extent and power of Christ’s Atonement throughout our life. You may want to review these verses over the next few days to help you remember what the Savior can do for you and others.
As I study Alma’s teachings about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I am impressed by the fact that although His atoning suffering and sacrifice is indeed “infinite and eternal”, it is even more importantly “intimate and personal” for me, individually!
~President Russell M. Nelson~
Here are a couple of my favorite quotes that I like to reference with Alma 7:11-13:
Elder D. Todd Christofferson:
Let us consider the cost of God’s precious love. Jesus revealed that to atone for our sins and redeem us from death, both physical and spiritual, His suffering caused Himself, “even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that [He] might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink.”36 His agony in Gethsemane and on the cross was greater than any mortal could bear.37 Nevertheless, because of His love for His Father and for us, He endured, and as a consequence, He can offer us both immortality and eternal life.
It is poignantly symbolic that “blood [came] from every pore”38 as Jesus suffered in Gethsemane, the place of the olive press. To produce olive oil in the Savior’s time, olives were first crushed by rolling a large stone over them. The resulting “mash” was placed in soft, loosely woven baskets, which were piled one upon another. Their weight expressed the first and finest oil. Then added stress was applied by placing a large beam or log on top of the stacked baskets, producing more oil. Finally, to draw out the very last drops, the beam was weighted with stones on one end to create the maximum, crushing pressure.39 And yes, the oil is bloodred as it first flows out.
I think of Matthew’s account of the Savior as He entered Gethsemane that fateful night—that He “began to be sorrowful and very heavy. …
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”40
Then, as I imagine the distress grew even more severe, He pleaded a second time for relief and, finally, perhaps at the peak of His suffering, a third time. He endured the agony until justice was satisfied to the very last drop.41 This He did to redeem you and me.
What a precious gift is divine love! Filled with that love, Jesus asks, “Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?”42Tenderly He reassures, “Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come … will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.”43
Will you not love Him who first loved you?44 Then keep His commandments.45 Will you not be a friend to Him who laid down His life for His friends?46 Then keep His commandments.47 Will you not abide in His love and receive all that He graciously offers you? Then keep His commandments.48 I pray that we will feel and fully abide in His love, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. (“Abide in My Love”, Ensign, Nov. 2016)
Elder Jeffery R. Holland:
“In spite of life’s tribulations and as fearful as some of their prospects are, there is help for [you] on this journey. When Christ bids [you] to yield, to submit, to obey the Father, He knows how to help us do that. He has walked that way, asking [you] to do what He has done. He has made it safer. He has made it very much easier for [your] travel and ours. He knows where the sharp stones and the stumbling blocks lie and where the thorns and the thistles are the most severe. He knows where the path is perilous, and He knows which way to go when the road forks and nightfall comes. He knows this because He has suffered ‘pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind … that he may know … how to succor his people according to their infirmities’ (Alma 7:11–12). To succor means ‘to run to.’ Christ will run to [you], and is running even now, if [you]will but receive the extended arm of His mercy. To those who stagger or stumble, He is there to steady and strengthen us. In the end He is there to save us, and for all this He gave His life. However dim our days …may seem, they have been a lot darker for the Savior of the world. As a reminder of those days, Jesus has chosen, even in a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, to retain for the benefit of His disciples the wounds in His hands and in His feet and in His side—signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect; signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn’t love you; signs, if you will, that problems pass and happiness can be ours. [I]t is the wounded Christ who is the Captain of our souls, He who yet bears the scars of our forgiveness, the lesions of His love and humility, the torn flesh of obedience and sacrifice.” (New Testament Conference, 8 August 2000. Emphasis Added.)
Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
“The Atonement of Jesus Christ and the healing it offers do much more than provide the opportunity for repentance from sins. The Atonement also gives us the strength to endure ‘pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind,’ because our Savior also took upon Him ‘the pains and the sicknesses of his people’ (Alma 7:11). Brothers and sisters, if your faith and prayers and the power of the priesthood do not heal you from an affliction, the power of the Atonement will surely give you the strength to bear the burden.” (“He Heals the Heavy Laden,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, 9. Emphasis Added.)
Merrill J. Bateman:
“The prophet Abinadi further states that ‘when his soul has been made an offering for sin he shall see his seed’ (Mosiah 15:10). Abinadi then identifies the Savior’s seed as the prophets and those who follow them. For many years I thought of the Savior’s experience in the garden and on the cross as places where a large mass of sin was heaped upon Him. Through the words of Alma, Abinadi, Isaiah, and other prophets, however, my view has changed. Instead of an impersonal mass of sin, there was a long line of people, as Jesus felt “our infirmities” (Heb. 4:15), “[bore] our griefs, … carried our sorrows … [and] was bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:4–5). The Atonement was an intimate, personal experience in which Jesus came to know how to help each of us. The Pearl of Great Price teaches that Moses was shown all the inhabitants of the earth, which were “numberless as the sand upon the sea shore” (Moses 1:28). If Moses beheld every soul, then it seems reasonable that the Creator of the universe has the power to become intimately acquainted with each of us. He learned about your weaknesses and mine. He experienced your pains and sufferings. He experienced mine. I testify that He knows us. He understands the way in which we deal with temptations. He knows our weaknesses. But more than that, more than just knowing us, He knows how to help us if we come to Him in faith.(“A Pattern for All,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 74. Emphasis added.)
Elder Dale E. Miller:
“C. S. Lewis put it this way: [God] has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man [or woman] in the world” (Mere Christianity , 131). (Ensign, Nov. 2004, p.12. Emphasis added.)
Chieko N. Okazaki, a counselor in the general Relief Society presidency from 1990 to 1997, taught:
“Furthermore, each one of us is the recipient of this divine love-not because of our faithful mother, or because of our devoted bishop, but just because of who we are. Jesus Christ didn’t just die for all of us. He died for each one of us. And if you were the only person in the whole world who needed the Atonement, Jesus would have willingly laid down his life, just for you. Is that a reason to rejoice? Oh, yes!” (Disciples , p.244. Emphasis added.)
“I hope you know that even during the hardest moments of your life, when your powerlessness seems absolute and your isolation total, you are not alone. The Savior is with you, being with you as you endure the pain so that you can go on, healed and renewed. Your survival and even your triumph are assured through his atoning sacrifice and his love. Do you know that if you were the only person in the world who needed his atonement, he would still have died for you-just for you?” (Sanctuary, p.96. Emphasis added.)
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