Summertime, as a child, seemed magical; beautiful long days, warmth, and fun were all part of the season. Popsicles, picnics, blue skies, and hours squandered at the swimming pool. What could be better than that? I spent summers working and playing, learning, and enjoying life: parades, green meadows, lemonade, and friends made the endless summers back in those days more than bearable; they were delightful. Never-ending is a difficult concept to comprehend for an adult, much less for a child—total understanding is beyond our capacity.
Yet I know as a child, I spent many summer days looking into the beautiful blue sky to try and conceive the immensity of a cosmos without end. Though infinity was a challenging concept for a child, I reasoned that no matter how far one travels through space, one can always go further, so that must be infinity. Even more mind boggling was the concept of time continuing forever.
I grew up in the country. The land was undeveloped and remote. When we purchased our property, there was no electricity, well water, or improvements, so we learned to do without these necessities for a time. Even as we developed the land, lights were few and the nearest city was small and removed 25 miles down the windy Colorado River. So needless to say, we had peaceful circumstances and dark nights, except for the brilliant stars. Often, during the summer months, we would lay a blanket in the field and lie down to gaze upon the milky way of stars in the heavens. It seemed as though the Milky Way stretched the entire sky, for the stars were so numerous that the firmament took on a misty white aura about it. Falling stars were frequent and even satellites were visible. Somehow, it was all too grand to really comprehend in its magnitude. Still, I marveled at its size, capacity, and beauty.
Nevertheless as an adult, I have learned that principles of perpetuity can be understood. Take for instance, the fact that infinity is all inclusive and all encompassing. Nothing can be taken away from or added to infinity: infinity +/- a million, a billion, or any other number is still infinity. Perhaps that concept sheds further light on the meaning of an Infinite Atonement.
Mindful of his endless creations, we have come to believe that faith is significant as the first principle of the gospel. There is much we do not understand. But we don’t have to comprehend it all because of the hope we have in Jesus Christ. He wrought an Infinite Atonement, because he loves us, and his work and glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. Mosiah 3:19
Though we still have questions, we can rest assured that following Him will bless us now and into the eternities. Our faith and confidence in him permeates everything we do.
Lest we think the immensity of God’s creations lessens our worth, we are told in scripture that even a sparrow does not fall to the ground without our Father knowing. He sees all things. Matthew 10:29-31
And because of his love for his children, he gives us direction to bring us true joy now and eternal happiness in the world to come.
He gives us all these things because he loves us and has high expectations for all his children. His gift to us this Christmas is the same gift he gives us every Christmas, every week, every day: His Son.
Share the Gift.
You can’t take away from or add to infinity.
About Walter Penning
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.