Consider this anecdote:
The Devil & the Duck
After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He went to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you..."
This month, with Easter just around the corner, I'd like to thank Gail for allowing me to share my feelings about the Atonement, that great sacrifice that Christ undertook in Golgotha. We're taught that He died that we may live again and also so we could return to our Heavenly Father clean and without sin. It is beyond the scope of my comprehension to imagine even a half-mortal man taking upon himself all of the pain, suffering, mistakes, and dark sins committed by everyone who lives upon the Earth. It brings to mind some of the lines from one of my favorite hymns, "I Stand All Amazed": I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me;I tremble to know that for me He was crucified,That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled and died. O it is wonderful that He should care for me Enough to die for me!O it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
Hear an arrangement of this hymn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D-tGqIWMU8
As we all strive to forgive others and do unto others as we would have them do unto us, I often contemplate on how hard we are on our own selves. We forgive others, sometimes easily, and far more often than we forgive and forget the mistakes we make ourselves. If the Great Creator died so that we may live, who suffered and paid the prices for our sins, who are we to not accept that sacrifice and forgive ourselves?
As I have gotten older I've learned to accept the Atonement in new ways. First, I understand now that He didn't just suffer for sin, but experienced all of the hurt, pain and agony that we do. When we suffer physical pain or our hearts are breaking, He is one who has been there and knows what we are going through. We can be comforted by someone who truly can emphasize.
Second, I've learned to let go of the mistakes that I have made. Forgiving myself, especially the weight of regret, is hard to do. Through understanding the Atonement, I've learned that by not forgiving myself, I make a mockery of the greatest gift that will ever be given to me. It insults His sacrifice and in essence, wastes what He endured to provide us with an eternal gift.
Our Father in Heaven wants us to be happy. He sent His Only Begotten to provide a way to make that possible. By embracing the Atonement (and ignoring the whispers of Satan who would have us carry the burden of our own sins to drag us down), I believe that we can be more productive, more faithful and in our lives, find more joy.
You can find out more about my faith at http://www.lds.org/
You can find out more about me at http://www.daniellethorne.com/