I hesitate to get religious, I suppose because I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, (not that I have that many readers.) Today I don’t care. Today I’m going to say what I’m thinking, regardless of how I feel it will impact you, the reader. I just have some thoughts and feelings that I would like to communicate to whomever wants to listen.
I want to brush upon the surface of something called the Atonement. If you don’t know what the Atonement is:
a·tone·ment (əˈtōnmənt}, noun – Amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong.
In common culture though, the word refers to a specific event in Christian history when Jesus Christ took our sins upon Himself, so that we, all sinners by nature, could go to heaven. At this point in the translation of this event, many religions diverge. I’m going to tell it as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) would. Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is our brother, and that He came to this Earth to take all of our sins upon Him, and essentially die for us so that we can live with Him and our Heavenly Father again.
After completing His ministry, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray to His father, our Heavenly Father. He kneeled down and prayed, saying “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” After the prayer was finished, an angel came to comfort him, and the Atonement began. Jesus bled from every pore, taking on all of our sins, feeling all of our sorrows. He knows what we’ve been through and what we’re going through. He has felt our pains, and through him, we can find happiness. [To learn more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, visit Mormon.org.]
I’m now going to turn this around, just slightly, and apply this to my own life. I am gay, and I try to be pretty open about it. I am also an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is hard, and honestly, I can’t think of any other trial in my life that has brought me more sorrow and suffering. I also can’t think of any other blessing that has brought me as much joy and pure happiness as this. Yes, this is both a trial and a blessing. But how can I apply the Atonement to my life, to help myself through difficult times?
If we recall, Jesus spent most of his life as an outcast. He was born in a stable, among the oxen and lambs. People laughed at Him and mocked Him. He was whipped; speared; forced to drink vinegar; and He died on a cross, hands nailed, and a crown of thorns upon his head. I hesitate to compare my life to Christ’s, but I, along with countless other members of the LGBT community, have been through tough things. People have been tortured, beaten, mocked, and cast out. If there is any one person who understands how it feels, it’s Jesus Christ.
Not only did Christ live His life in this manner, He took our sins upon Himself. He knows what we are going through because He has felt it Himself. When He was bleeding from every pore in the Garden of Gethsemane, I felt our pains, our struggles, and our weaknesses. We may not have walked a mile in His shoes, or anyone else’s; but He has walk a mile in ours, and He knows what it’s like to be us.
This same lesson can be applied to anyone’s life, not just to that of an LGBT individual. Remember that He loves you, no matter what. I urge you, if you have any belief in Jesus, and if you are struggling to fit Him into your life, He knows how to help. He’s been in your shoes, and He has felt your pain. Christ is here for you.
If you have any revisions or inaccuracies that you’d like to make me aware of, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.