'You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ...Ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby' Ephesians 2
'The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.' Leviticus 17:11
Reading of Christ's atonement in scripture emphasises sacrifice. Christ's sacrifice atoned for the sins of the world. How was this willing gift and offering able to compensate for all sin? I think it works as a catalyst. As we make our own sacrifices, the atonement of Christ is activated into making even the smallest sincere effort an effective conduit to heaven. 'Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.' Moroni 10:32
Perfect Atonement sings of these two sacrifices. First of the suffering and death of Christ. 'Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore' Doctrine and Covenants 19:18 Secondly, the gift we bring in our desire to seek Him. 'Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.' Doctrine and Covenants 59:8
For our sacrifice to activate the catalyst, desire comes first. Atoning blood on half hearted tokenism could at best heal half a heart. Few things we can independently choose in life, but our desire, even in dire circumstance can usually be one of them. 'Even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you' Alma 32:27 This need and desire for heaven may come from trial, regret, a disciple's example or intrinsic love. Any will do.
While thus positively poised to find Jesus, a second hurdle rises. Us. We are never enough. Faith in God can be easier than faith in ourselves. Lifestyle and personal history, living 'without God in the world' can prove there is no God, when there is.
A simple virtue can quell the dilemma. Trust. 'I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.' Alma 36:3 Trusting in love, our love for Him and His love for us is enough for anyone to make a step closer to heaven. It is the atonement of Christ that is perfect, not us. In any circumstance our sincere offering can be enough. We can trust that. With trust we can walk with Christ in our daily, even turbulent lives. What a miracle and infinite blessing.
Recording with Tasha Denton was such a joy. She is the first artist I reached out to beyond my immediate circle of friends, via an advertisement on StarNow. In total I had 300 applicants apply to record my songs. It was difficult to choose from demos they provided. Using Zoom to communicate and BandLab to record, Tasha and I started our recording session with prayer. What a beautiful spirit came in as Tasha sang. The same is true of all the singers I have now recorded with. Each time a simple prayer has transformed a musical performance into a treasured experience.
What blood so precious pays?
What love effulgent explains?
Worth of our souls
Life to all
Open graves, gained
Even God trembled
Utter Goodness cried
For me He suffered
For me He died
And it is sufficient
It is enough
Spirit, water and blood
Given to bring all who love Him to sing
How can my life repay?
What gift can I bring today?
No gift so great
Compensates for His love and grace
Sometimes I tremble
I am never enough
Then my heart opens
Trusting in love
Words and Music by Samuel Petchey
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