We recently learned of devastating news happening to some of our dearest friends. Compounding the devastating news was the fact that one of the parties involved seemed non-repentant. The day we learned this news, I had read in 1 Nephi19 about the Savior taking upon himself the Atonement for all the children of the world.
Nephi describes the world as “setting at naught” the Atonement. The world does not care about what the Savior suffered on behalf of them. Metaphorically, they scourge and spit upon His great sacrifice. What astounds me the most about our Savior’s Atonement, is stated in 1 Nephi 19:15: “Nevertheless, when that day cometh, saith the prophet, that they no more turn aside their hearts against the Holy One of Israel, then will he remember the covenants which he made to their fathers. Regardless of what a person has done, and how they have thought about the Atonement in the past, when they decide to turn to the Savior, He will remember His covenant to them; He will allow them to partake in the infinite Atonement.
As I pondered on our friends’ situation, this thought seeped through the sadness and gave me joy. I realized that no matter what, the Savior’s Atonement could still apply; soon, or far down the road, His Atonement would be there for our friend. Not only that, but the Atonement could heal what had been broken by these actions. It was there for the sinner—and those broken by the sin. The Savior saw no social definitions when he performed the Atonement. He did not see someone as a abuser or a racist or a predator; he saw everyone as his brother and sister, the children of his Heavenly Parents, siblings and children who He and They loved, and continue to love—despite their sins. His Atonement, through the grace of God, will continually be there for us, for my friend, and for all who have fallen away. The only requirement is that we come to Him with a broken heart and partake. And thankfully, there is not a time limit on that requirement. When we come, He will be ready for us to partake.