The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

Parables are a call to investigate the truth; to learn more; to inquire into the spiritual realities, which, through them, are but dimly viewed.

Parables start truth seekers out in the direction of further light and knowledge and understanding; they invite men to ponder such truths as they are able to bear in the hope of learning more.

Parables are a call to come unto Christ, to believe his doctrines, to live his laws, and to be saved in his kingdom. They teach arithmetic to those who have the capacity to learn calculus in due course. They are the mild milk of the word that prepares our spiritual digestive processes to feast upon the doctrinal meat of the kingdom.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie
The Mortal Messiah, Vol.2, p.245
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Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Matthew 13:24:30

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In one degree or another we all struggle with selfishness. Since it is so common, why worry about selfishness anyway? Because selfishness is really self-destruction in slow motion.

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In daily discipleship, the many ways to express selfishness are matched by many ways to avoid it. Meekness is the real cure, for it does not merely mask selfishness but dissolves it! Smaller steps could include asking ourselves inwardly before undertaking an important action, Whose needs am I really trying to meet?

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Selfishness is actually the detonator of all the cardinal sins. It is the hammer for the breaking of the Ten Commandments, whether by neglecting parents, the Sabbath, or by inducing false witness, murder, and envy. No wonder the selfish individual is often willing to break a covenant in order to fix an appetite. No wonder those who will later comprise the telestial kingdom, after they have paid a price, were once unrepentant adulterers, whoremongers, and those who both loved and made lies.

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No wonder we have been told, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” and this includes self-worship! (Ex. 20:3; emphasis added). One way or another, the grossly selfish will finally be shattered, whimpering, against the jagged, concrete consequences of their selfishness.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
““Repent of [Our] Selfishness” (D&C 56:8)”, Ensign, May 1999, 23

From C.S. Lewis for Christmas:

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God. (Mere Christianity, page 178)

What are we to make of Jesus Christ? . . . The real question is not what we are to make of Christ, but what is He to make of us? (God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, page 156)

Life’s disappointments often represent the debris of our failed, proximate hopes. Instead, however, I speak of the crucial need for ultimate hope.

Ultimate hope is a different matter. It is tied to Jesus and the blessings of the great Atonement, blessings resulting in the universal Resurrection and the precious opportunity provided thereby for us to practice emancipating repentance, making possible what the scriptures call “a perfect brightness of hope” (2 Nephi 31:20).

Moroni confirmed: “What is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ” (Moroni 7:40–41; see also Alma 27:28). Real hope, therefore, is not associated with things mercurial, but rather with things immortal and eternal!

Unsurprisingly, hope is intertwined with other gospel doctrines, especially faith and patience.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, Ensign, Nov 1998, 61

We are almost daily put under obligations to one another, especially to friends and acquaintances, and the sense of obligation creates within us feelings of thankfulness and appreciation which we call gratitude.

The spirit of gratitude is always pleasant and satisfying because it carries with it a sense of helpfulness to others; it begets love and friendship, and engenders divine influence. Gratitude is said to be the memory of the heart.

President Joseph F. Smith
Gospel Doctrine, page 262
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Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery.

President Spencer W. Kimball
Faith Precedes the Miracle, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1972, p. 98

Will we understand everything? Of course not. We will put some issues on the shelf to be understood at a later time.

Will everything be fair? It will not. We will accept some things we cannot fix, and forgive others when it hurts.

Will we feel separated on occasion from those around us? Absolutely.

Will we be astonished at times to see the anger a few feel toward the Lord’s Church, and their efforts to steal the struggling faith of the weak? Yes. But this will not deter the growth or destiny of the Church, nor need it impede the spiritual progress of each of us as disciples of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

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As we follow the Savior, without question there will be challenges that confront us. Approached with faith, these refining experiences bring a deeper conversion of the Savior’s reality. Approached in a worldly way, these same experiences cloud our view and weaken our resolve. Some we love and admire slip from the straight and narrow path, and “walk no more with Him.”

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Offense comes in many costumes and continually finds its way on stage. People we believe in disappoint us. We have unanticipated difficulties. Our life doesn’t turn out exactly the way we were expecting. We make mistakes, feel unworthy, and worry about being forgiven. We wonder about a doctrinal issue. We learn of something spoken from a Church pulpit 150 years ago that bothers us. Our children are treated unfairly. We are ignored or underappreciated. It could be a hundred things, each very real to us at the time.

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If we are not watchful, our injured spirit will retreat back into the cold, dark crust of our former bloated ego, leaving behind the warm, healing light of the Savior.

Elder Neil L. Andersen
Saturday Morning Session
General Conference, October 2010

Hope is the anchor of our souls. I know of no one who is not in need of hope—young or old, strong or weak, rich or poor. As the prophet Ether exhorted, “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.” (Ether 12:4)

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The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death.

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Our greatest hope comes from the knowledge that the Savior broke the bands of death. His victory came through His excruciating pain, suffering, and agony. He atoned for our sins if we repent. In the Garden of Gethsemane came the anguished cry, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39) Luke described the intensity of the agony: “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)

President James E. Faust
Hope, an Anchor of the Soul,” Ensign, Nov 1999, 59

Because I have been forgiven much, I, too must forgive.

Among many other things, our Savior is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, a Savior for our sorrows and for our grief.