Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Blood of Christ

I'm taking a Nutrition course this semester, and one of the things we're studying is how proteins are synthesized in the body. This necessitated a quick overview of cells and DNA. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how these microscopic cells can contain a person's DNA, but it also got me thinking about how this might relate to the blood of Christ. As I was reading in Mosiah 3:15, it says "...the law of Moses availeth nothing except it were through the atonement of his blood." Blood is what stood out to me in this verse, especially the idea that the atonement is through the blood. 
From my limited understanding, Christ's blood would carry his DNA, and His DNA would carry His genes...genes He got from both of His parents. That means that his blood would literally hold the genes of a God. 
Jesus instituted the sacrament (Lord's supper) as a symbolic way to take His blood and body into ours. Spiritually, that means that as we partake of those symbols, we are agreeing to take His blood, His DNA and genes, into our own body. This would change us at a cellular level, if it was physical blood, but being spiritual, I have to think that it also changes our spirit in some very real way. As we take the sacrament, we are literally trying to become more like Jesus, trying to change the very fabric of our being.
Another interesting fact is that donor DNA endures in blood transfusion recipients for up to seven days. Think about that, and the relevance it has to taking the sacrament. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are given the opportunity on a weekly basis to symbolically take the blood and body of Christ. Every seven days. The same amount of time that a donor's DNA would stay in a recipient's body. His sacrament gives us those seven days of having His spiritual DNA combined with ours. 
If we are repentant and sincere, His blood (even just the symbol of it) might literally be what activates the atonement in us. At-one-ment... our bodies become one with His, our wills become one with His, and our lives become one with His. Isn't that what it's all about? Becoming like Christ? It's amazing that He has provided such a simple symbolic way, that most of the world hasn't even understood the science of for millennia. 
The more I learn, the more I stand in awe of the greatness of our God. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Atonement: Blank Canvas, or Work of Art?

As I've been studying Christ's Atonement this past week, the following thought came to me: The Atonement is not just about erasing sins. That would be like having a blank canvas which has been defaced by black marks, which are then erased. Erasing the marks would restore the canvas to its clean, blank state, but wouldn't create a work of art. God wants to work with us so that we become all that we are meant to be: a priceless and unique work of art, not just a clean canvas that shows no dirt but also shows no creativity or improvement. The Atonement not only erases the dirty smudges of sin, but enables us to add color, depth, and beauty to our lives, making them into a masterpiece. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

On the Path with Jesus

Alma 7:20 "I perceive that it has been made known unto you, by the testimony of his word, that he cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round."

As I read this scripture this morning, I started thinking about how we start out on the straight path with the Lord, but as we sin we leave the path. Sometimes we just barely veer off and He's able to reach out and bring us back, but other times we get so far that we cannot see Him. If we continue to wander, there will come a point where we are no longer able to even hear Him.

Sometimes when we've wandered off we feel like He's abandoned us, and we're so surrounded by darkness that we think we'll never see His light again. That's the problem with trying to blaze our own path. We leave the safety and security of the only path that leads to true happiness. That doesn't mean that Jesus has left us. He's still on that straight path, calling for us, reaching for us, and wanting us to join Him again.

Depending on how far we've wandered, reaching Him may take a slight course correction, or it might require pushing through thorny patches, desolate deserts, or scary swamps. It's so much easier to stay on the path with Him than to have to fight to get back. But no matter where we are, He's always watching out for us, calling to us, and waiting to eagerly grasp our hand and pull us back to Him.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mercy, Justice, Healing

As I was reading Alma 42:13-26, I kept thinking about how mercy, justice, and the atonement work in our lives. As is often the case, I tried to find a way that I could really relate it to myself. Here's what I came up with:

Sin is like a self-inflicted wound. Imagine that you've purposely cut yourself. The wound may be small or large, shallow or deep. Whatever the case, you've now got a bleeding wound that needs to be taken care of.

Our first choice is whether or not to even try to take care of it. We can choose to ignore it. Sure, it'll be messy, and possibly even fatal, but it's our choice. Sadly, some people choose this option when sinning and end up in much greater pain, with much more scarring, than they ever needed to experience.

However, if we repent, then we turn to the Healer, who immediately binds up the wound to stop the bleeding, and then goes further and treats the wound in a way that will minimize the time it takes to recover and the amount of pain we will suffer. Again, it's our choice. Sometimes we may hesitate to reveal our self-inflicted wound to someone who can help us because of embarrassment or shame, but it's only by seeking healing that we'll ever receive it.

The laws of nature say that if we don't do anything at all to our wound, we will generally either bleed to death, end up with a nasty infection, or at the very least retain a sizable scar. When we seek mercy/healing, the laws of nature say that our chances are much better for receiving complete healing with much less scarring. Mercy is what enables healing. It doesn't make the laws of nature void, it just minimizes the negative effects.

This also made me think about how the atonement works the same way when we've been wronged and hurt by someone else. Jesus doesn't differentiate between which wounds should be healed- He tenderly binds up ALL wounds. When we've been hurt by someone else, we can make the choice to seek healing and lessen the pain of what's been done. But that has to be a conscious choice. Just like with a self-inflicted wound, we can choose to let these wounds fester and rot, or we can hold them out to the Healer and let Him make us whole again.

I love Jesus and the merciful healing He freely offers me. I have experienced it many times in my life. It is an amazing, humbling, inspiring feeling to have wounds bound up and pain, anger, and turmoil taken away. I know that I would be a much different person living a much different life if it weren't for the atonement of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and my God.