Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Have Ransomed Even Thee

About a month and a half ago, school was starting here at Utah State. With the advent of the school year also came the starting of new wards, and the logistical problems associated with starting a new ward. I got there early to help set up the sacrament; however, when I got there, the bishopric had already set everything up as it worked for them in the previous year, but they asked if I would bless the sacrament.

I gladly accepted the invitation. When the sacrament was passed, the passing of the bread went smoothly with the three trays, but the water ran out a few cups short. The one elder passing the sacrament who was closest to the preparation room stepped in, and added in a row of cups, and I knelt and blessed the water for "all those who would drink of it". I watched as that tray allowed another three people in the congregation and three men passing the sacrament the opportunity to renew their covenants.

Unlike the sacrament that day, our redemption does not have to be done again. The Savior took care of it all in Gethsemane: ALL OF IT.

Often we put boundaries on the Infinite Atonement: often it covers everything that everyone has done, except ourselves. While it might not be in these exact words, individually, we often think, "God has ransomed every one of His children, except me." We put bounds on the power of God, who has no bounds. In one of my favorite hymns, "Reverently and Meekly Now" (which is written from the Savior's point of view), words are sung that I'm sure the Savior is saying to each one of us: "I have ransomed even thee" (emphasis added).

I love the way that the poet put it. If it was just "I have ransomed thee", many of us would think that it was in general terms, at least subconsciously. By adding the simple word "even" in the line, it changed the feel of the line to "I did not leave you out of my atonement".

It does not end there, but also, like we take the sacrament on a weekly basis, we do not just reap the fruits of the atonement on a one time basis. We were all ransomed by the Savior: even the one who feels like they've messed up too many times; even the person who can not seem to overcome that one addiction; even the one who got worthy and fell again after months and years of remaining pure; even the one who feels like they saw the blood of Christ run out on everyone but themselves. I testify that the blood of Christ has not run out on anyone. It is still available to ransom even thee.

That doesn't mean we have no responsibility. In the closing lines of the hymn, we sing, "And be constant unto me, That thy Savior I may be." He wants to save and ransom even thee, and he asks that we repent and come unto Him that He may heal us. I invite you to accept His invitation, and taste of the joy of the redemption.