When I think of the Atonement I think of my personal conversion. I was raised in the church, but as many teenagers do, I stopped going to church at age 14. During the next 5 years my life went seriously downhill. But at one point I felt something missing in my life. As I started looking into friend’s churches, taking yoga classes, etc. someone close to me had an emotional crisis. He was an emotional wreck, and nothing anyone could say would console him. I remember the conversation that night well. Even though he was the one with the problem, I felt so lost. I wanted to help him, tell him it was going to be alright; but who was I to tell him something like that? What right did I have to comfort someone else when I wasn’t living up to my potential? As I pondered these questions I felt an overwhelming urge to tell my friend that the only way he would find peace was to bring his problem to the Lord.
I never found out whether my friend took my comment to heart, but I felt that was a turning point in my life. My feelings of inadequacy deepened as I went home, but I felt awe as well. It boggled my mind that with my life in shambles God could still use me to try and touch someone else’s, that I could still receive promptings from the Holy Ghost. That night I got on my knees and prayed the most heartfelt prayer I have ever said. The Spirit witnessed to me that The Church of Jesus Christ is true, and directed me how to cleanup my life. It wasn’t easy, but I got my life on track because I knew how much Jesus loved me. That is what the Atonement means to me. That Jesus loved me enough to die for me. That even though I am a sinner He still loves me, and has provided me a way to change – repent.