Please read the above a little more carefully and consider the repercussions of the fact that the missing letter just so happens to be on a sidewalk in Singen because of the lack of public toilets in Germany. 

Today we were on the very famous high point of Singen, Germany- Hohentwiel.

It’s a really old castle that’s set up on a mountain in the middle of the city. You can see the entire city, over the Bodensee and into Switzerland. It was beautiful and it was a lot of fun. Because this isn’t America there were no restrictions or people telling us we couldn’t climb up on to the ruins. I will try to send some pictures in the next couple of weeks. We had a BLAST up there, running around and climbing up and taking some pretty epic pictures. 

We’re only slightly bumped and bruised, but thankfully no one fell from the highest of our climbing points of about thirty feet… 

But this week I just really wanted to talk about the Atonement, the Blessings we receive from it, and the natural Consequences of using the Atonement. It’s as easy as ABC. (get it?)

To start off with, before my mission I didn’t understand the Atonement, I’ll tell you right now that I think the Lord was a wise man for sending me off on a mission even if the only lessons I learned were about the many facets of the Atonement. 
Before I walked through those fateful doors at the MTC on 6.2.13 I thought I was the biggest spiritual giant that had walked the path of life. And now, 13 months on my mission I feel like I’m wandering among the dandelions. The humilty that came to me early on when I arrived on my mission allowed me to realize that I wasn’t going to schaff these eighteen months alone. It would be impossible to go through the most strenuous times of my life without a little bit of Heavenly help. 

 Once upon a time I would’ve told you that I know everything about the Atonement, I had used it enough in my life, so I would think that I would have known enough.  Today, I would tell you that I’m just beginning to scrape the surface of the great and eternal sacrifice our Lord and Savior made for us. 

I would like to share with you a few of those surface shavings, if you have the time to listen to my small insights on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the single greatest event in the history of mankind. 

I would have told you thirteen months ago that the Atonement was there so that we could be redeemed from our sins and damit (through it) we would be resurrected.  Which is true, but the over-arching power of the redeeming love of Jesus Christ extends far beyond transgression and giving immortality to every person who ever chose to receive a body. 

 Today, I understand it as much more than that. While the Atonement helps me to come clean from the things that I have done, it gives me the personal strength to continue to resist temptation so I don’t fall into those deceivings of the devil. 
But even further beyond that I understand the Atonement as a steadying force. 
The Atonement has become the glue that holds me together. It’s become something that I use when I’m sad, depressed, angry, hurting-physically, mentally, emotionally, frustrated, happy, confused, frustrated, desperate. The atonement goes beyond all comprehension how far it has carried me. 
I even learned this week that the Atonement can be used to help your stomach like certain foods, something that has come in handy on my mission. 
The atonement is not just for our sins, though we should not lose sight of that purpose, but it goes much further than any of us will ever be able to comprehend. 

The blessings that come from the Atonement are also a very special experience. We feel renewed, rejuvenated, and happy. It may be so that all is not well in the world, but all can be well in our hearts, amidst the storm of life that we all must navigate through. By utilizing the Atonement we are enabled, qualified, strengthened, and loved. The blessings of the Atonement are so readily available in our everyday lives, we just have to recognize them. Today, my challenge is that you try to count fifty of the blessings of the Atonement that you have seen in your life. You may have trouble limiting it to just fifty. 

The final thing that I wanted to talk about is the natural Consequences that come from using the Atonement. Just like the natural consequence of sin is guilt, pain, suffering, etc. The natural consequences of using the Atonement are happiness, freedom, joy, peace, etc. 
I had always considered it strange that the apostles and propheten spoke about the freedom of the atonement, but freedom is probably the largest natural consequence of using the atonement. 
By utilizing the atonement a change is wrought within us. We become new creatures in Christ, putting the natural man aside and working to become a disciple, a true follower of Christ. The freedom doesn’t come because the rules changed, the freedom came because we changed. 
When we use the Atonement in our daily lives, the Lord’s will becomes our will and eventually, we will only want what the Lord wants for us.
We may not reach complete unity with the Lord in this life, but, we believe in Eternal life don’t we? Eternal life is a lot greater than just plain ole immortality.
We’ve got an eternity to learn to be perfect, my friends, but let’s show God that we’re trying to be perfect on this earth while we still have time.

I love you all and I hope you understand that the Atonement is one of the sweetest aspects of this Gospel for me. The Atonement is the Good News that we preach to all the world because it is the cause of redemption for the whole world. Don’t just use the Atonement, enjoy it. 


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