Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Miracle of the Atonement

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

The Miracle of the Atonement, by C. Scott Grow
Of the Seventy

Doubtless, there are many ways that the Atonement is not like Walmart, but as I reviewed Elder Grow's talk, I couldn't help compare the Atonement to Walmart in one specific way.

We recently bought a membership to COSTCO. We're still wondering if 1.) we'll save enough over the year to justify the membership expense, and 2.) if our pantry is big enough to hold the enormously-sized containers sold there. When we checked the hours of operation, I was a little surprised that the doors weren't open for more hours in the day.

My schedule has become one of early to bed, early to rise. I awake so early during the week that if I were to need supplies (for lunch or something similar), all the stores would be closed. All the stores except for Walmart.

I actually slept in until 5am this morning. As I got out of bed, I actually wondered if things would be busier on my ride to work, given it was a couple of hours later than I've been going in. Specifically, I wondered if any stores would be open. As I knelt to pray, I thought of some mistakes I had made the previous day and was in the process of repenting when Walmart popped into my mind. My earlier thought process infiltrated my repentance, as if part of my mind had just awakened and said, "Walmart is the only store that is open now!" After scolding myself for not focusing on my prayer as I probably should have, I returned to praying.

As I read Elder Grow's account of his brother's path away from the Lord and then back again, something he said (twice) stuck in my mind:

The Atonement is available to everyone all the time, no matter how large or small the sin, "on conditions of repentance." . . .

The healing and redemptive power of the Atonement is available to each of us—always.

While much of the world around me may still be sleeping when I start my day, the Atonement is always available. I can pray for repentance and change even in the earliest hours of the morning (or latest hours of the night)—always!

The two Walmart stores between my home and work are out of the way enough so that I rarely go before work. They may be open, but they aren't convenient. The Atonement, on the other hand, is likewise "open" or available, but it is unlike Walmart in that it is always convenient.


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