“O How Great the Plan of Our God”

by Michelle Pack

Jesus Praying in Gethsemane by Harry Anderson

In 2 Nephi 9, the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob explained the plan of salvation, central to which is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In verse 7 he called it the “infinite atonement.” The word “infinite” brings up the idea of something that has no limits, that is too great to count, like the sands of the sea—something that can never end.

The opportunity to gain experience from our mistakes, grow closer to God through repentance, and move forward on the covenant path is given to us through the sacrifice, or Atonement, of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter to Christ the number of times we make mistakes or if we make the same mistake repeatedly. What matters is that we continue to repent, to learn, and to walk the covenant path back to our Father in Heaven.

Elder David A. Bednar said, “Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints—for good men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better.”1

I came to understand the truth of Elder Bednar’s words during a challenging time in my life. The trial was not a consequence of my actions but, as I turned to Heavenly Father, I realized that Christ understood how I was feeling because of His infinite Atonement. Christ didn’t live an easy life. He knew disappointment, hardship, rejection, betrayal, and pain. He learned those lessons the way we do—by living life.

Because He lived in the fallen world, as we do, He knows exactly how we feel in our times of trial. He performed the Atonement so that “he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12). 

I have felt His love frequently as I have not only repented of my sins but passed through challenging times. I feel the love of my Savior when I think of His infinite Atonement and the plan of the Father to help us return to Him again. President Wilford Woodruff once said, “I believe that the Almighty knew what He was going to do with this world before He made it.”2 As we come to know more about Christ’s Atonement and apply it in our lives, we can echo the words of Jacob: “O how great the plan of our God!” (2 Nephi 9:13). 

Michelle graduated from Utah State University–Eastern in 1995 with an associate degree in Graphic Design. After serving in the Guatemala, Guatemala North Mission from 1996 to 1998, she continued her education at Utah Valley University, graduating in 1999 with an associate degree in Paralegal Studies and in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Technology Management and an emphasis in Graphic Design. She worked as a paralegal for two years before having her children and becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom. Her two children are now in college. Not wanting to let her children suffer through college alone, Michelle went back to school and is now attending Utah Tech University, working on her master’s in Technical Writing and Digital Rhetoric. Michelle loves the gospel, family history, and the temple. She and her husband enjoy camping, hiking, and spending time together. She is excited to be a volunteer with the Wilford Woodruff Papers.


1 David A. Bednar, “The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality,” Ensign, April 2012, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

2 Discourse by Wilford Woodruff, July 29, 1889, p. 1, The Wilford Woodruff Papers, wilfordwoodruffpapers.org/discourse/1889-07-29.