Saturday, October 17, 2009
Seven Common Mistakes When Applying the Atonement in Our Lives
(Taken from Elder Maxwell’s talk, “Glorify Christ”, to CES Personnel, 2 Feb. 2001)
“God leaves us free to make these very mistakes.” Each mistake reflects a greater need for our personal submissiveness!
1. We make a mistake when we think we own ourselves and blocks of time. Our faith in God includes faith in God’s timing, enough to be able to say in affect,”Thy timing be done” (see D&C 64:32)
2. We make another mistake in that we fail to realize how much of serious discipleship consists of downsizing our egos and diminishing our selfishness! The bloated natural man will resist any downsizing. But...meekness is what has to happen.
3. Another mistake we can make is that we maybe don’t take life’s little quizzes seriously enough. We think we will cram and pass the final exam! The infinite atonement is there for our finite mistakes, including the daily mistakes we tend to make.
4. We make another mistake when we fail to focus on and to develop patience as well as faith (see Mosiah 23:21). These two attributes are in tandem; they go together. By the way, if we are meek, being tried means being developed. We don’t look at impatience in terms of its downside. When we are impatient, in effect, we do not honor what is implied in the words “in process of time.” Impatience puts us at risk.
5. We may feel put upon by events and circumstances-another mistake we can make when approaching the Atonement in order to draw upon it. Yet “these things” that we feel put upon by actually constitute the customized curricula needed for personal development.
6. Another mistake we make is that we foolishly think we are free to choose but without wanting the consequences of those choices! (See Alma 29:4). Bainville, the French philosopher, said, “One must want the consequences of what one wants.”
7. Another mistake commonly made is that we play to the mortal galleries! We listen too much to the wrong peers. There is what I call the mystic “they,” who for some people are ascendant. In terms of the choices they make, they want to please the mystic “they.” Some people are so anxious, therefore, to be politically correct and to conform to the fashions of the world! What is worse, however, is when we see members of the Church try to conform eternal truths to the ways and thinking of the world, so that somehow they think they would please the world if they were so to do, but it won’t work!
Now these mistakes are but a few we make; they keep us from fully applying the Atonement to our lives. They are not worthy of Jesus and what He accomplished in Gethsemane and on Calvary! To understand and have faith, therefore, in the character and the purposes of God, it means instead of complaining, that we accept (more than we do) the menu of life and what is allotted to us.