The miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ never ceases to amaze me. I am forever grateful for Jesus Christ's sacrifice for me. That is what's been on my mind lately.
Jesus Christ died for us. That statement and many of similar effect are used a lot in describing the atonement. That statement is true. Jesus Christ offered his life as a ransom for all the inhabitants of the Earth. But there is so much more to it than that. The events of the atonement began in the garden of Gethsemane. Our savior suffered more pain than any mortal man could ever handle. Christ suffered the punishment for the sins of the world. The punishment that is attached to each law of God must be carried out. Jesus Christ has taken care of that for each of us. I know that this is true. But we are not releived of all responsibility of overcoming sin. For more on the atonement see http://www.mormonworld.org/mormoncopia/mormon-messages-none-were-with-him-jeffrey-r-holland.
The only way to take advantage of the infinite atonement that our Redeemer performed for us is through sincere and lasting repentance. We have the promise that if we come unto Christ and repent we can be forgiven of those things that hold us back from him. We can put the blessings of the atonement into our lives and receive eternal life. The Savior himself said in a prayer to His and our Father in Heaven that "this is life eternal, that [we] might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3).
I bear witness that the principle of repentance, as taught through the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way we can truly "know ... the only true God". I know that with repentance, prayer and daily study of God's words (the scriptures), we can "know ... Jesus Christ, whom [God] has sent". And because of this repentance and obedience to God's commandments we can gain that blessed "life eternal" of which Jesus Christ spoke.