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

The three pillars of eternity, the three events, preeminent and transcendent above all others, are the creation, the fall, and the atonement. These three are the foundations upon which all things rest. Without any one of them all things would lose their purpose and meaning, and the plans and designs of Deity would come to naught.

If there had been no creation, we would not be, neither the earth, nor any form of life upon its face. All things, all the primal elements, would be without form and void. God would have no spirit children; there would be no mortal probation; and none of us would be on the way to immortality and eternal life.

If there had been no fall of man, there would not be a mortal probation. Mortal man would not be, nor would there be animals or fowls or fishes or life of any sort upon the earth. And, we repeat, none of us would be on the way to immortality and eternal life.

If there had been no atonement of Christ, all things would be lost. The purposes of creation would vanish away. Lucifer would triumph over men and become the captain of their souls. And, we say it again, none of us would be on the way to immortality and eternal life.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

The Three Pillars of Eternity, devotional address at Brigham Young University on 17 February 1981.

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January 15, 2018

General Authorities, Holland

Comments Off on A God who cares about us

A God who cares about us as tenderly as a parent cares about a child cannot be an ethereal mist or a vague philosophical ‘first cause’ or a deistic absentee landlord. He must be recognized for what He truly is: a merciful, compassionate Father in whose image every one of His children have been made.

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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

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January 14, 2018

General Authorities, General Conference, Joy, Priesthood, Uchtdorf

Comments Off on Our Religion is a Joyful One

Brethren, our religion is a joyful one! We are most blessed to bear the priesthood of God! In the book of Psalms we read, “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.”  We can experience this greater joy if we but look for it.

Too often we fail to experience the bliss that comes from daily, practical priesthood service. At times assignments can feel like burdens. Brethren, let us not pass through life immersed in the three Ws: wearied, worrying, and whining. We live beneath our privileges when we allow worldly anchors to keep us away from the abundant joy that comes from faithful and dedicated priesthood service, especially within the walls of our own homes. We live beneath our privileges when we fail to partake of the feast of happiness, peace, and joy that God grants so bountifully to faithful priesthood servants.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Your Potential, Your Privilege, General Conference, April, 2011

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January 13, 2018

Easter, Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, General Conference, Holland

Comments Off on Because Jesus Walked Such a Long, Lonely Path Utterly Alone, We Do Not Have To Do So

Another re-post of a fundamental building block of faith in Christ:

Now I speak very carefully, even reverently, of what may have been the most difficult moment in all of this solitary journey to Atonement. I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually—that concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; emphasis added)
The loss of mortal support He had anticipated, but apparently He had not comprehended this. Had He not said to His disciples, “Behold, the hour … is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” and “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”? (John 16:328:29)

With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.

But Jesus held on. He pressed on. The goodness in Him allowed faith to triumph even in a state of complete anguish. The trust He lived by told Him in spite of His feelings that divine compassion is never absent, that God is always faithful, that He never flees nor fails us. When the uttermost farthing had then been paid, when Christ’s determination to be faithful was as obvious as it was utterly invincible, finally and mercifully, it was “finished.” (See John 19:30) Against all odds and with none to help or uphold Him, Jesus of Nazareth, the living Son of the living God, restored physical life where death had held sway and brought joyful, spiritual redemption out of sin, hellish darkness, and despair. With faith in the God He knew was there, He could say in triumph, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said: “I will not leave you comfortless: [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].” (John 14:18; see also v. 23)

Jeffrey R. Holland
None Were with Him“, Ensign, May 2009, 86–88

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January 12, 2018

Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, General Conference, Justice, Mediator, Mercy, Packer

Comments Off on The Mediator Will Save Us If We Are Willing

Another repost of a classic:

You, perhaps, are among those troubled people. When you come face to face with yourself in those moments of quiet contemplation—that many of us try to avoid—are there some unsettled things that bother you?

Do you have something on your conscience? Are you still, to one degree or another, guilty of anything small or large?

We often try to solve guilt problems by telling one another that they don’t matter. But somehow, deep inside, we don’t believe one another. Nor do we believe ourselves if we say it. We know better. They do matter!

Our transgressions are all added to our account, and one day if it is not properly settled, each of us, like Belshazzar of Babylon, will be weighed in the balance and found wanting.

There is a Redeemer, a Mediator, who stands both willing and able to appease the demands of justice and extend mercy to those who are penitent, for “He offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.” (2 Ne. 2:7.)

Already He has accomplished the redemption of all mankind from mortal death; resurrection is extended to all without condition.

He also makes possible redemption from the second death, which is the spiritual death, which is separation from the presence of our Heavenly Father. This redemption can come only to those who are clean, for no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God.

If justice decrees that we are not eligible because of our transgression, mercy provides a probation, a penitence, a preparation to enter in.

Elder Boyd K. Packer
The Mediator,” Ensign, May 1977, 54

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January 11, 2018

Christofferson, General Authorities, General Conference, Grace, Repentance

Comments Off on You Can Offer the Lord the Gift of Your Broken, or Repentant, Heart

In ancient times when people wanted to worship the Lord and seek His blessings, they often brought a gift. For example, when they went to the temple, they brought a sacrifice to place on the altar. After His Atonement and Resurrection, the Savior said He would no longer accept burnt offerings of animals. The gift or sacrifice He will accept now is “a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” (3 Ne. 9:20) As you seek the blessing of conversion, you can offer the Lord the gift of your broken, or repentant, heart and your contrite, or obedient, spirit. In reality, it is the gift of yourself—what you are and what you are becoming.

Is there something in you or in your life that is impure or unworthy? When you get rid of it, that is a gift to the Savior. Is there a good habit or quality that is lacking in your life? When you adopt it and make it part of your character, you are giving a gift to the Lord. Sometimes this is hard to do, but would your gifts of repentance and obedience be worthy gifts if they cost you nothing? Don’t be afraid of the effort required. And remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Jesus Christ will help you make of yourself a worthy gift. His grace will make you clean, even holy. Eventually, you will become like Him, “perfect in Christ.” (See Moro. 10:32–33)

With conversion, you will wear a protective armor, “the whole armour of God,” (See Eph. 6:13–17) and the words of Christ, which come by the Holy Spirit, “will tell you all things” you should do. (2 Ne. 32:3)

Elder D. Todd Christofferson
When Thou Art Converted,” Ensign, May 2004, 11

(Some references omitted for readibility)

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January 10, 2018

Clark, General Authorities, General Conference

Comments Off on Adam Could Not Un-Eat

Adam became mortal; spiritual death came to him; and mortal death came to him. This was the first great crisis in the history of mankind. Indeed, it may be said to have produced mankind.

In order for him to get back to the place whence he began, it was necessary that there should be an atonement for this disobedience.

Quite obviously, Adam could not retrace his steps; he could not un-eat. He was mortal. No matter how good any of his children might be, they, also mortal, had no more power than had he. So, to pay for the disobedience, it took a Being conceived by the Infinite, not subject to death as were Adam’s posterity; someone to whom death was subject; someone born of woman but yet divine. He alone could make the sacrifice which would enable us to have our bodies and our spirits reunited in the due time of the Lord and then go back to the Father, thus reunited; and finally, body and spirit together, we might go on through all the eternities.

President J. Reuben Clark

Conference Report, October 23, 1955

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January 9, 2018

Adversity, Faith, General Authorities, General Conference, Scott

Comments Off on Nobility of Character Gives Life Its Direction

Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is intended to be used. Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character; fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith.

. . . .

With even your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you, when it will yield the greatest advantage. Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow.

. . . .

It is nobility of character, that fabric of inner strength and conviction woven from countless righteous decisions, that gives life its direction.

Elder Richard G. Scott
Saturday Morning Session, General Conference, October, 2010

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January 8, 2018

Eyring, Faith, General Conference, Gethsemane, Humility, King Benjamin

Comments Off on What we do allows the Atonement of Jesus Christ to change us into what we must be

Repost of a classic from President Eyring

King Benjamin, who understood as well as any mortal what it meant to be a man of strength and courage, makes it clear that to be like a child is not to be childish. It is to be like the Savior, who prayed to His Father for strength to be able to do His will and then did it. Our natures must be changed to become as a child to gain the strength we must have to be safe in the times of moral peril.

Here is King Benjamin’s stirring description of what that change to become like a child is and how it comes to us:

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

We are safe on the rock which is the Savior when we have yielded in faith in Him, have responded to the Holy Spirit’s direction to keep the commandments long enough and faithfully enough that the power of the Atonement has changed our hearts. When we have, by that experience, become as a child in our capacity to love and obey, we are on the sure foundation.

From King Benjamin we learn what we can do to take us to that safe place. But remember: the things we do are the means, not the end we seek. What we do allows the Atonement of Jesus Christ to change us into what we must be. Our faith in Jesus Christ brings us to repentance and to keeping His commandments. We obey and we resist temptation by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. In time our natures will change. We will become as a little child, obedient to God and more loving. That change, if we do all we must to keep it, will qualify us to enjoy the gifts which come through the Holy Ghost. Then we will be safe on the only sure rock.

President Henry B. Eyring

As a Child,” Ensign, May 2006, 14–17

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January 7, 2018

C.S. Lewis, Light of Christ

Comments Off on God Will Make Us Good Because He Loves Us

The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or – if they think there is not – at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.

C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity, page 41

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