Christmas and the Atonement

Christmas Conference–Visiting the temple in Recife with our zone

Fun facts: This week I stepped on a piece of cement covering a sewer opening and it tipped over!  I half-fell in but luckily only my calves ended up inside the hole.  They got scraped up a little but, most importantly, I did not actually touch the sewer water, so that was good!  I am not going to step on any more sewer covers! 

Giliard didn’t get baptized this week.  He ended up going to a late-night party and slept late on Sunday, so he didn’t go to church.   I think it is tough — he is getting to know the church now but he has many friends who aren’t church members.  It is tough.  We hope he focuses on searching for God’s answers — it is so important to pray!  Hopefully we manage to teach him several times this week and help him with this.

This week we did an activity.  We projected the new Christmas video onto a screen in front of the church building and invited people to watch.  A few people decided to watch.  We asked some members to take cake to attract people.  We ended up taking the cake to the street and offering free pieces with our invitation.  We got the contacts of a few people, hopefully it turns out well!  It was a good way to shake things up.

I have been thinking this week about the importance of the atonement in conjunction with Christmas. This week I shared a scripture, and afterwards Sister Nogueira explained it in a way that helped me understand things I hadn’t seen before.  3 Nephi 27:13-16:

13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.

14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

I understood that this scripture highlights the importance of Christ’s atonement — He was born to die and sacrifice himself for us.  But I didn’t know why Christ mentioned our judgement in this verse instead of salvation.  Sister Nogueira explained that men judged Christ, lifting him up on a cross to crucify him.  He chose to go through this so that we could be lifted up and judged by God.  A meaningful parallel.  

I also like this video about why we need a Savior–the reason for Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

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