Author: Matthew Watkins

The Immediate Atonement

This post first appeared on Power in the Book of Mormon The Atonement of Christ is the center of our faith. But it’s also the principle of our faith that is probably hardest to understand. Not just because it’s infinite beyond the scope of our mortal minds, but because the whole notion that Christ could pay for sins He didn’t commit just kind of blows our minds. I don’t know anyone who has claimed to look at the calculus of the Plan of Salvation and figured out how it all works out. Twisting the Atonement And that’s OK. We don’t...

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The restoration was MESSY (and that’s OK)

Years ago, I heard a Bishop say: “Brothers and sisters, the restoration was messy.” I didn’t think much about his wording at the time. But over the few years following (including my mission), I encountered a lot of people wanting to “educate” me about early Church leaders. Joseph Smith was the most common target, of course. They cited all sorts of stories about him that seemingly “proved” he was a lying, womanizing con man.

I mostly brushed off these claims during my mission. Those critics were not historians. I knew their agenda. I figured they were mostly lies, or at least huge distortions of the history. So, when I got home from my mission, I bought an 800-page history of Joseph Smith. It was written by an active stake patriarch and Church historian who worked on the Joseph Smith Papers project, so I figured his book would blow away all those false accusations with the fiery testimony of truth.

But I was surprised to find that instead of tearing down all the stories the critics had told me, history largely confirmed them. And you know what? That’s OK!

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Personal Conversion, Personal Savior

I no longer try to imagine Christ suffering from the sins of the whole world on His shoulders for three hours. Instead, I try to picture Him kneeling down just for me.Bleeding from every pore just for me. In my mind, I picture Christ stopping time and spending as many minutes or hours or days or years is necessary to work out my salvation.

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BRICK OF MORMON STORIES for kids

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