Although I understand and have much respect for those who view Jesus as a great philosopher and teacher, to me He is not only the Savior of the world but in a very real way my personal Redeemer.
Some may view belief in resurrection and His Atonement as irrational, but that irrationality is the very thing that makes faith real. Christian faith is one of the great wonders of humanity. It binds billions of souls across generations and cultures and continues to work good thousands of years after the death of Christ. That to me is miraculous.
The Atonement has the ability to mend the broken heart of a father who just lost his family in a terrible boating accident or to comfort the eldest daughter who lost both her parents and all of her siblings in a selfish, violent act of cowardice. It has the ability to penetrate the hardest of hearts, the deepest of emotional and psychological pains and the power to break down the barriers and bring back the child who is seconds away from leaping from the edge. This to me is miraculous. This to me is the power of God here on Earth and in short, this is why I believe.
I believe because I have felt the atoning power of Christ in my own life. I’ve lived it, I felt it and I’ve surround myself in it. I know the comfort that it brings as I am wallowed up in my sorrows on an already tear soaked pillow during the middle of the night. I know the happiness it brings as I repent and feel the purging of former habits and thoughts that once occupied my former self. I believe because through the Atonement, I can feel in such a personal and powerful way, that there truly is a God in heaven who loves me and has my well-being in the forefront of His plan.
People may dismiss such a power as being anecdotal, self-generated or a creation of the religious atmosphere to which I find myself in. They may try to place various labels and stereotypes of being impractical, unrealistic or illogical. But the truth of the matter is that nothing is more logical than the explanation of a perfectly loving Father who sent His Son here to Earth to atone for our sins. Nothing is more practical than a perfectly loving Father sending His Beloved Son to satisfy the demands of justice. In short, nothing makes more sense in explaining the power and comfort I feel as I embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ than the Atonement itself.
Everything else surrounding the Gospel of Jesus Christ is secondary to the Atonement. Take out the Atonement and nothing else matters. Take out the Atonement and everything else becomes just another institutional program intended to help uplift individuals but in the end falls short in providing any meaningful or eternal benefits to those involved.
The core of my testimony and my belief system is this perfectly logical, practical understanding that a loving Heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten Son down here to Earth to atone for our sins and by doing so, provided a path by which I can follow to once again live with Him and my family for all of eternity.
Satan would love nothing more than to have us believe that we are not deserving or worthy of God’s love for us. The Atonement provides us with the understanding, knowledge and ability to know that this could not be further from the truth. It provides the surety to Elder Holland’s words when he spoke “it is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement.”
In short, this is why the Atonement is perfectly rational and logical for those who have felt the power it brings into our lives and in short, this is why I believe.