The Peacegiver

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Some of you may have been aware of my attempt to read happier books. I would like to proudly announce that I have just finished The Peacegiver by James L. Ferrell. I had heard a lot about this book, and was happy when my mom said I could borrow it. It covers the basic principles of the Atonement of Jesus Christ using vivid scripture stories inside a story of a man who is struggling to keep his marriage together. It is truly wonderful.
I know that there must be some copyright that I will be breaking here in a moment, but I want to share with all of you some of my favorite parts in this book because they are my testimony of the Savior- just eloquently put.
I would like to start first with a quote that I found profound:

"The predicament of sin is much bigger than the fact that we commit individual sinful acts. It is that by so doing, we corrupt our hearts and become sinful ourselves- hard hearted, stiff-necked, dark. We no longer see clearly but, as Paul warned, 'through a glass, darkly,' which is according to Satan's plan. Once sinful in our hearts, acts and thoughts that were formerly reprehensible to us become desirable. We come to desire to do what we shouldn't and lose our desire to do what we should. Struggling with our own 'beams,' we begin to become obsessed with others 'motes.' This is the captivity of sin: Precisely when we are most sinful and therefore most in need of repentance we least feel the desire or need to repent. This is the predicament of sin."

After I had read that, I was starting to really understand the nature of sin, and the hopeless state of our souls. How can I have a perfect heart ALL THE TIME? Without a Redeemer, I will never be able to live in the presence of my perfect God, as no unholy thing can dwell with Him. Luckily, I know about the saving power of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

"In order to redeem mankind from the predicament of our captivity to sin, the Savior had to take upon HIMSELF that captivity- in its fullness- and then find a way to break free from it. Because of the power that Satan obtained through the Fall over the will of the flesh, man's agency could be redeemed only if all the powers of captivity that had been hardwired into the flesh by every sin of mankind could be overcome by an opposing power-by someone who could take our captivity upon him and yet escape from it, thereby providing a way of escape for US. This is what the Savior did. In order to free us from the captivity of sinfulness, he took upon himself all the sins of mankind. It implies that in order to redeem us from the chains of sin, the Savior had to take upon himself all of the chains that bind US to sin- in the words of Paul, to be 'in all points tempted like as we are.' He had to shoulder 'the burden of the combined weight of the sins of the world' - our sinful desires, our predispositions and addiction toward sin, our darkened hearts.
The scriptures declare that he suffered as well everything that might LEAD us to sin- our 'pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind' - so that 'he might blot out our transgressions according to the power of his deliverance.' It was Paul who said: He 'who knew no sin was made to be sin for us.'
He had taken on the sinfulness of YOUR heart. You feel fairly compelled to argue with [your spouse], to rage in your heart against her/him, to be soured by disappointment and despair. In Gethsemane, the Lord had taken upon himself all of the specific chains that bind and lead YOU captive. As he has taken upon himself the desire to argue and then broke free from it, he has provided a way for you to break free from it as well. Your rage, your disappointment, your despair- the Lord has overcome and had forged you a new heart- clean, pure, undefiled, free.
And he does the same for all: the addict, the abuser, the chronic complainer, those whose spirits are depressed. His struggle in Gethsemane was for all mankind, but only because it was for each of us, individually, and specifically.
He comes to each of us, pleading with us, to forgive, and literally dying to give us his Spirit and new heart he has forged that will free us from the chains of our sins. If we harden not our hearts, and stiffen not our necks, he will facilitate the breaking of our sinful, stony hearts and will give up what Ezekiel called his new 'heart of flesh,' saving us from all our uncleanness's.
This is the miracle of Gethsemane."

I have a testimony of this. I might not be able to put it in such nice words, sometimes, but my understanding of what my Savior has done for me is the central, motivating part of my life. As we rely on the Atonement, I know we can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
It is through Him that I can live with my Father in Heaven again. It is through Him that I find peace in this life, and know I will have peace with my family in the next. He is my light, and my life. And as I try to become more like Him, I hope that I will disappear, and that through me, everyone I know will come to know Him.

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