Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 37 - Another side of the Atonement

Iakwe everyone!
Another good week in Hawaii. Our old branch president moved to the Marshall Islands, so we had our new branch president called and sustained this past sunday. He's a little Japanese guy who served his mission in the Marshall Islands. When our stake president was introducing him, he mentioned that his mom is from Japan and teaches Japanese, and his father is Japanese raised in Hawaii. He said that if there was anyone he would have picked to servein Japan, it would have been this guy, but instead he served in the Marshall Islands, and apparently there was a reason for it because he's needed as the branch president of our branch.
Anyway, I wanted to talk about a talk I read about the Atonement. It was a really good talk about how the Atonement isn't only for sinners like we most often talk about, but it's also for saints. Probably the most incredible aspect of the atonement is how we can be clensed from our sins, because without that, all of us would be lost, cast off forever. But the atonement is also meant to help the saints become better. This is achieved through the strengthening aspect of the atonement.
It talked about how once we come to better understand the atonement, we view differently how it applies to our lives. The story was shared of Nephi when his brothers took him and bound him. Most people would have prayed to God asking Him to deliver them from their circumstances. But instead, Nephi prayed for the strength to break the bands, or in other words, instead of praying to have his circumstances changed, he asked for the strength to deal with the circumstances he had been given.
Another example is shared of the Nephites in bondage to the Lamanites. The Nephites prayed for deliverance, but instead of miraculously delivering them, the Lord lightened their burdens that they could not feel them upon their backs. He gave them the strength to deal with thier circumstances, then once they had overcame he delivered them out of captivity.
I feel like so often when we're given opposition we want it to be over and ask for the Lord to change our circumstances. But in the scriptures we learn that the Lord will never give us more than we can handle, and that every trial we go through will be to strengthen us and be for our good.
I know it's definitely something I can work on, and something that would help us all develop a closer relationship with our Savior if next time we're faced with a trial, to try asking for the strength to overcome, rather than asking for the easy way out.
I love you all and thanks for all your support!
-Elder Merrill

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