Elements Of The Atonement...
Having an immortal Father and through the power of His Atoning Sacrifice, Jesus Christ broke the bonds of both Physical Death and Spiritual Death. All mankind "WILL" be saved from Physical Death. All mankind "MAY" be saved from Spiritual Death.
Physical Death / Physical Salvation
Physical death is the temporary separation of the physical body (which is mortal) from the spiritual body (which is immortal).
We come to earth to obtain a physical body which is limited in its abilities and senses, becomes ill, is weakened with age, then ceases to function well enough to house our spirit body. At death, we are temporarily separated from our physical body until the resurrection. Once reunited with our resurrected perfected body, we will no longer be subject to sickness and death. We will have a remarkable appreciation for the powers and freedom a physical body provides.
There is nothing we need to do for this Physical Salvation. The resurrection is a free gift from our Savior.
Spiritual Death / Spiritual Salvation
Spiritual Death is when we separate ourselves from Heavenly Father through sin.
Our Spirits are made clean by our birth into this world. We are innocent and sinless until we reach the age of accountability. Once accountable, we cut ourselves off from God's presence through sin. When we sin, we are no longer clean and no unclean thing can abide the presence of God. That becomes our Spiritual Death.
Just as Christ overcame Physical Death, He was able to overcome the gulf of misery and woe between us and our Heavenly Father, because of His perfectly unblemished life.
"We are responsible" for our Spiritual Salvation. It is not a free gift.
SPECIAL NOTE: One of the greatest blessings of the Atonement is that children who die before the age of accountability are taken straight into heaven. Since they have not sinned, they have not experienced, nor will they experience, a Spiritual Death. They were never Spiritually cut off from Heavenly Father.
- Gifts Of The Atonement
When a young child asks for a gift, a parent will usually reprimand them for being greedy or selfish. But that's not the case with the Atonement. We are admonished to seek after the many gifts that are available through The Atonement of Christ. As a matter of fact, they are only available if we seek after them. Of the many, here are a select few:
Christ commanded us to be perfect, as He was perfect. Because of our mortal condition, there is little chance we can live a perfect life as Christ was able to. He had the advantage of an immortal father. However, after all we can do, the Atonement of Christ provides a gift that makes up for our shortfall; The gift of Grace. Through Grace, we are saved from Spiritual Death - "after" all we can do.
Christ came to earth to live as we live and having shown us the way, He expects us to live as He lived. Only Christ knows whether or not we have done enough to merit Grace. That's why obedience to His commandments is so vital.
You will receive redress for any evil that has overtaken you. That is the Glory of the Atonement. No matter what you've suffered, whether it be the loss of an infant, theft, deteriorating health, rape or ruin, the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ will cleanse your soul, restore all that was lost and leave no residual effects except for an everlasting gratitude and knowledge from the lessons we learn from our experiences.
Restitution is your part of Restoration. You have a responsibility to make amends where you are able. You need to make every effort to repair or replace what you have destroyed or stolen. For those things beyond your ability to make right, if you have sincerely repented, the Atonement of Christ will make up the difference.
If you've inflicted evil on the innocent, whether intentionally or by accident, except for murder, you can repent. Every effort should be made to make restitution for the damage you created. Through the Atonement, Christ will make restitution for those things you aren't able to. This not only pertains to your acts against others, but includes the things you have done to yourself and offenses toward God.
There are two ways to pay for your sins. One is to pay the price yourself. The other is through repentance and seeking forgiveness.
Since everyone can be classed as wicked, at one level or another, we all need to seek forgiveness for the things that will keep us from entering the Kingdom of God. Forgiveness is the most fundamental component of the Atonement. Not only must you seek forgiveness, you must extend forgiveness. You will be forgiven and cleansed of your sins, to the degree you forgive others.