2 Nephi 25
16 And after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation until they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind
The Missionary Purpose
Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
I was reading in 2 Nephi this week and something stood out to me. If you notice, in verse 16 it separates the things they will believe: “Christ” AND “The Atonement”. If you served a mission this will sound familiar, because the missionary purpose says the exact same thing. I was pondering what it would mean to not only believe in Christ, but also in his atonement. I believe that there are a few key differences between the two, the first being a belief of the mind vs a belief of the heart. In order to believe Christ has the power to save anyone from their sins, a person must first believe that Christ truly existed. This would be a simple “belief in Christ”. On the other hand, to believe in his Atonement would be to believe that Christ not only walked the earth but that he was the only begotten of the father, God incarnate, walking the earth, suffering, and ultimately dying for all mankind.
The other key difference between the two that I pondered into, is a communal vs personal difference. Believing Christ has the power to save can be a step towards believing in the atonement, but I find that many people do not extend this belief to themselves. So many of us walk around KNOWING in our hearts Christ is the savior but not believing that WE are included in that saving. I propose that the biggest difference between believing in Christ and believing in his atonement is the personal knowledge that not only did Christ suffer in the garden that night for everyone else, but he ran into your own personal burning house of pain, confusion, and sin and pulled you from the flames. I am not the exception to the rule of Christ’s infinite atonement, neither are you.