Ends of the Law

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:10, D&C 19:16-17

The following sentence is confusing, but I think I figured it out.  The sentence from 2 Nephi 2:10 is:

Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—

The part that was confusing me was the “ends of the law which the Holy one hath given… to answer the ends of the Atonement.”  However, if you look a few verses earlier you see that the “ends of the law which the Holy one hath given” is the Atonement, which he gave to answer the ends of the law.  From verse 7:

Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

So, when you take “ends of the law” to mean to debt owed by breaking the law, this verse is saying that through the Atonement, Christ suffered the punishment that was attached to the law.  You could not have rewards without punishment, and vice versa.

The thing that really struck me, today, though, is the emphasis on punishment.  Christ didn’t break the law, but he took upon himself my punishment, enabling me to repent and change my ways before the final judgment.  In D&C 19:16-17 it says:

For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

When I think about the mistakes I have sometimes made, and how bad I feel when I make them, I feel very grateful for the Savior and the Atonement.

Today I am going to make a large effort to be more grateful as I go through my day.  It is an area I can improve, and will help me remember how blessed I am.

What kind of punishments have you experienced from breaking the law (any law)? What would you do to avoid that punishment in the future?


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