In the year 2000 of the Atonement the Apostles on the Earth wrote,
“As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two
millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the
reality of His matchless life and the infinite
virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had
so profound an influence upon all who have lived and
will yet live upon the earth.”
With such precious subject, it is difficult for me sometimes to study, understand and teach about the matchless Atonement. Do you ever feel like that? As a mom of young children though, I really want to have the ability to help my child see the gift of the Atonement. Here is an experience we had the other day that I used that evening at bedtime to help them see the Gift the Savior offers.
In my son’s kindergarten class, they often get snack. One day he came off the bus with the biggest smile on his face.
“Today we got peanut butter crackers!!”
I thought note to self: He must really like those.
“And!” he continued, “I brought home one for Elijah and one for Henry.” (his brothers). He pulled two slightly squashed crackers out of his bag. “Tada!”
Once at home, he presented Henry with his cracker. At age three, Henry ate the special cracker without the fanfare Isaac may have hoped for his gift. What happened next only made it irreparably worse.
Henry grabbed the other cracker, meant for Elijah, and ate it before we could react. Isaac burst into tears. After quite the diversion attempts on my part, we made it through the afternoon until Elijah came home from first grade.
“Maybe Isaac will have forgotten..” I half-heartedly hoped…
Elijah walked in and the first thing Isaac said/cried: “I-brought-you-home-one-of-my-special-snack-crackers-today-in-my-back-pack-but-then-Henry-ate-it-so-now-you-don’t-have-a-crackkkkkkk-eeeeeeerrrrrr!” So what do you think happened?
Elijah joined in the wailing. Both of them turned on Henry. Hearing them make plans of how to leave him out, be mean to him and altogether make his life miserable made me spring into action. This could not be resolved on its own. Henry had no way of making this up to his brothers on his own. Powerless, he was at the mercy of their justice…how ever juvenile.
I led Henry into the pantry. I took out three huge, new kit kat bars. I explained to him what he needed to do. Then I stood back and watched….
Henry timidly walked over to his angry older brothers. Only his confidence in his mama could bring him to approach them. He pulled out the kit kat bars…Elijah and Isaac became interested. Henry said what I told him to:
“I’m sorry I ate your special cracker. Here is a kit kat to make up for it (had to help him on that part). Will you forgive me?”
Who could say no to a boy offering a kit kat?
After a hug and a smile (required in our house as a part of apologies), the three boys went off to play blocks together, Elijah and Isaac with their arm around Henry.
In this past General Conference, President Packer said:
Had He not accomplished the Atonement, there would be no redemption. It would be a difficult world to live in if we could never be forgiven for our mistakes, if we could never purify ourselves and move on.
Like Henry, sometimes our mistakes end us up in a sticky mess. Without the outside help of the Savior, we have no way of recovering. Obviously, this little parable is missing a lot- but the basic idea that President Packer makes is right here: The kit kat– the Atonement– allows the children to move on. What a gift.
Have you ever felt that feeling in the evening– this day just needs to END! I need release, rest and a new morning. (I have)
That is what the Atonement is- a fresh beginning every time we accept the help of the Savior and the kit kat.
President Packer continued:
If we seek to understand His Atonement, we will come to a deep reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ, His earthly ministry, and His divine mission as our Savior.
In today’s s’more, reflect on the experiences you have had in your life and think of your own parable for what you feel the Atonement brings to you in your life.
If you’d like to, write it in a comment below so I can learn from what you came up with too. Have a great day =)
With these thoughts in mind, here is the accompanying study s’more:
S: (Prayer/Ask) What does God want me to know about the Atonement today?
- Read the whole of President Packer’s talk from last General Conference, write down your favorite line from it
- Study the Living Christ
- Study Mosiah 3:5-13
- Why do the testimonies of the prophets and apostles matter so much for our own testimonies?
- What would be different about being one of King Benjamin’s people and hearing that the Atonement will happen versus our time when we hear the Atonement did happen?
- Why did the line you underlined from President Packer’s talk stick out to you? What is the principle behind these specific words?
R: (Write) your thoughts, what you learned, impressions you received, and anything else in your scripture journal (include your thoughts on the study session question: What does God want me to know about the Atonement today?) Also consider writing down the following:
- Write a time in your life when you undeniably felt the power of the Atonement in your life.
- Write down your favorite line from President Packer’s talk (see link above) and why it popped out to you.
E: (Prayer/Thank)- thank God for what you’ve learned and ask if there is anymore.
The Challenge: Write a parable on the Atonement from your own life. Tell me about it too! =)
click here for more information on s’more scripture study method