Grateful for Jesus Christ and his Atonement

Easter is a really wonderful opportunity to reflect on the blessings of Christ and his atonement. I have been a believer in Christ for five and half years now and a member of his church for almost five years. In that time, I have received an incredible outpouring of blessings. Most powerfully of all, I have received a personal witness that my sins are forgiven and that I am right in the eyes of God.

 I often wonder what my life would be like had come to know the savior. In the superficial details, I think that things actually wouldn’t be all that different. My lifestyle and conduct were not that different from that which is expected of a member (although I did listen to Heavy Metal and loved to drink Green Tea Lattes from Starbucks). I am pretty sure I would be finished with law school (since I wouldn’t have served a mission) at the University of Chicago or another school (definitely not BYU),  and maybe working at a law firm or for a judge. Maybe I would be married, but considering the marital status of many of my friends I would probably be single. I certainly wouldn’t have met my wife and would not be expecting a daughter (we are expecting in June!).

In terms of things of the world, many things wouldn’t be all that different. But in terms of things of the spirit, it is hard for me to imagine life without my knowledge of the Christ and his Atonement. Without him, I wouldn’t know that life has a higher purpose. I wouldn’t know my father in heaven and his plan for me. I wouldn’t know that I could see my mother (who died when I was 18) again.

Before my conversion, I was arrogant and proud of my own self-worth and knowledge. I felt entitled to so many things. I wasn’t sufficiently grateful for my life and for my many blessings. I am still deeply flawed. I still am prideful at times. Yet, I feel like I am being slowly transformed by the spirit of God.

            In this Easter time, I invite each of you that read this post to consider all of the blessings that have come into your life thanks to Jesus Christ and thanks to membership in his church. As you do so, I promise you will be filled with greater gratitude for your many blessings and a growing testimony.

I loved what President Uchtdorf said about gratitude in the most recent conference:

“True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will.

In any circumstance, our sense of gratitude is nourished by the many and sacred truths we do know: that our Father has given His children the great plan of happiness; that through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, we can live forever with our loved ones; that in the end, we will have glorious, perfect, and immortal bodies, unburdened by sickness or disability; and that our tears of sadness and loss will be replaced with an abundance of happiness and joy, “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.”


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