The price Christ paid in His earthly ministry was only to finish His preparations. The atonement is yet incomplete until you have become reunited with Christ and the community of the gods, through a sanctification process. The Lord is leading a few by having His spirit always with them, waiting for the opportunity to appear. All are invited to receive it if they will awake and arise.
Purpose of Atonement: The point of the atonement was to reunite, all who come unto Christ, with Christ and the community of gods, preparatory to entering into the presence of God the Father. The way men are being restored is through offering them light and truth, …or in other words intelligence, …or in other words the glory of God. Knowledge is salvation. Thus, a man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge, …and no man can be saved in ignorance (Joseph Smith).
Conditioning of the Fleshy Heart: The natural state of the flesh is a state of darkness. However, we have been given a spirit, which is made up of light. The flesh is resistant to light, but the spirit cleaves unto light. Thus, we have the potential to have our light cleave unto more light, until our entire bodies are filled with light, and there is no darkness within. When we are filled with light, our sins are completely remitted, and we no longer sin. Salvation teeters on the condition of the heart.
The flesh resists the light and becomes a barrier to becoming at-one-with Christ. All have been offered gifts from the treasury of heaven, to sanctify our bodies, to prepare it to receive greater light. Failure to receiving the offered gift results in receiving less and less light, until they know nothing of God’s mysteries (AKA: the chains of hell). God’ gifts come in many forms. They include: scriptures, mysteries or ordinances, trials, windows of heaven opened, revelations, angelic ministrations and the presence of Christ in the flesh. Such gifts must be sought after, labored over, and hungered and thirsted for. Failure to do so is rejecting God’s gift. Rejecting such gifts is a form of declining the gift of sanctification (like the children of Israel did with Moses), and placing yourself under condemnation. It isn’t God’s condemnation, since He offered the gift. It is your own condemnation for not receiving the gift, rejecting it, and seeking something else.
Those who receive the gift of sanctification, will be given more and more light, until they know all the mysteries of God, until they know them in full. The longer we are able to maintain being constantly filled with light, the more our bodies are sanctified, in preparation to Christ stepping out from behind the veil, to personally minister to us. For this reason we are instructed to pray always and consecrate all you do for the welfare of your soul:
2 Nephi 32:9
“9. But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.”
The Sacrament: When we properly partake of the sacrament, then the bread you being offered on a sacrificial alter, …and the wine is the atoning blood of Christ making it an acceptable offering. When we offer up proper sacrifices, the atoning blood of Christ consecrates your performance for the welfare of your soul, and you are promised to have Christ’s spirit to always be with you. If Christ’s spirit is always with you, all He need do is to step out from behind the veil, as He did for the brother of Jared.
When the brother of Jared saw the finger of the Lord, he was frightened and surprised at the same time. He did not expect a visitation. He only sought the company of the spirit of the Lord. But once he saw Christ’s finger, he grew bold and told the Lord, “…show thyself unto me…” The doctrines and mysteries progressively move the soft hearted through a process of ascension. God is no respecter of persons, so it is available to all, even the unlearned. To lay hold on these gifts, Nephi recommends that we awaken to the awful situation we are in, repent and arise to receive the gifts of light being offered us, to break free from our condemnation. The task of arising is to labor …over acquiring the gifts being offered: doctrines (the word), mysteries, trials, windows of heaven opened, revelations, etc. It is a labor, and one must constantly work at it, without haste.
Conclusion: The atonement is only complete once you have been reunited with Christ, in the flesh, and the community of gods. The atonement is not institutional, but individual. It is the flesh that creates resistance. As we are sanctified by the light we are being offered, our flesh can become consecrated to be able to house and be filled with light, constantly. Once filled with light, nothing can withhold the presence of Christ from stepping out from behind the veil to personally minister unto you. That is what is meant by receiving your atonement. Without awakening and arising, the atonement is incomplete!