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

Recently I was in private conversation with one who, having committed a serious transgression, had also made intense effort to repent and receive forgiveness from those personally offended, from the Church, and from the Lord. When I asked, “Do you feel forgiven by your Heavenly Father?” he answered hesitantly with an affirmative but qualified response. “How do we obtain divine forgiveness?” I asked.

He spoke of how he had forsaken his transgressive behavior of the past, confessed to proper priesthood authorities, and attempted to make restitution to those offended. He further described his efforts to live according to gospel principles and Church standards.

The Savior and his atoning sacrifice were not mentioned. The underlying assumption seemed to be that divine forgiveness is obtained through those steps of repentance limited to changing one’s behavior. Despite the brother’s earnest efforts to repent, he appeared to be burdened still by remorse and regret and to feel that he must continue to pay for his sins.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. Others, to my knowledge, are burdened by past mistakes, large and small, because of an incomplete or incorrect understanding of our Father’s plan of redemption and mercy. Those so burdened may unnecessarily struggle through life without the joy and peace of mind which are the intended result of true repentance and divine forgiveness.

One who assumes that he can or must pay the price for his sins and thereby earn divine forgiveness will not feel free to continue progress toward realizing his divine potential, that is, eternal life.

The fact is we cannot save ourselves.

. . . .

We learn from the prophet Alma that we are subject to divine law, which all have transgressed in some respect, making us subject to the demands of justice (see Alma 42:14, 18). God’s justice is based upon divine laws, under which we receive what we deserve according to our disobedience or obedience to the law.

Justice affords no forgiveness for transgressors but imposes penalties (see D&C 82:4). None is exempt (see D&C 107:84). After all we can do to repent, we are still subject to the demands of justice and its penalties, which we cannot satisfy.

. . . .

The beginning and completion of repentance leading to forgiveness is faith in Jesus Christ, who is the “author and the finisher of [our] faith” (Moroni 6:4). Our faith in him as Savior and Redeemer engenders in us godly sorrow for our transgressions, a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and a sense of personal accountability. There follows a change in attitude and a turning toward God.

. . . .

The Lord’s gift of forgiveness, however, is not complete until it is accepted. True and complete repentance is a process by which we may become reconciled with God and accept the divine gift of forgiveness.

In the words of Nephi, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).

The effect of the infinite, atoning sacrifice was twofold: First, resurrection and immortality for all, unconditionally granted. Second, eternal life for each one who fulfills the prescribed conditions, which are faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer, followed by repentance.

Then we must qualify for and receive the saving and exalting ordinances of the gospel with their associated covenants, continuously striving to keep those covenants and obey the commandments of God.

Being mortal, and despite our resolve and efforts, we will continue to fall short of perfection. However, with Nephi of old, conscious of our weaknesses, temptations, and past mistakes, we may say, “Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted” (2 Nephi 4:19). There follows a natural resolve to renew our efforts.

Essential to receiving divine forgiveness are personal, individual recognition and acceptance of our Father’s mercy, made available to us by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and a renewed covenant to obey the principles of the gospel.

Elder Ronald E. Poelman
Divine Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov 1993, 84

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August 14, 2017

General Authorities, General Conference, Hope, Maxwell

Comments Off on Souls can be Roused and Rallied by Hope’s Reveille as by No Other Music

Souls can be roused and rallied by hope’s “reveille” as by no other music. Even if comrades slumber or desert, “lively hope” performs like a reconnoitering scout out in advance of God’s columns; “there is hope smiling brightly before us” (see 1 Pet. 1:3; Hymns, 1985, no. 19). Hope caused disciples to go quickly and expectantly to an empty garden tomb (see Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:8–12). Hope helped a prophet to see rescuing rain in a distant cloud which appeared to be no larger than a man’s hand (see 1 Kgs. 18:41–46).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

“‘Brightness of Hope’,” Ensign, Nov 1994, 34

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August 13, 2017

Faith, General Authorities, General Conference, Obedience, Scott

Comments Off on We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day

[T]rue faith, faith unto salvation, is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in His doctrines and teachings, faith in the prophetic guidance of the Lord’s anointed, faith in the capacity to discover hidden characteristics and traits that can transform life. Truly, faith in the Savior is a principle of action and power.

Faith and character are intimately related. 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. As a result, your capacity and confidence to conquer the trials of life is enhanced. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith. You will discover how faith and character interact to strengthen one another. Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principle, doctrine, and obedience.

President Hugh B. Brown said: “Wherever in life great spiritual values await man’s appropriation, only faith can appropriate them. Man cannot live without faith, because in life’s adventure the central problem is character-building—which is not a product of logic, but of faith in ideals and sacrificial devotion to them” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1969, 105). We exercise faith by doing. Joseph Smith said that “faith [is] the principle of action and of power” (Lectures on Faith [1985], 72).

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.

Elder Richard G. Scott
The Transforming Power of Faith and Character, General Conference, October, 2010 (emphasis in original)

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August 12, 2017

General Authorities, Hinckley, Hope

Comments Off on Hinckley – The Greatest Event in Human History

[Jesus Christ’s] Atonement is the greatest event in human history. There is nothing to compare with it. It is the most fundamental part of our Father’s plan for the happiness of His children. Without it, mortal life would be a dead-end existence with neither hope nor future. The gift of our divine Redeemer brings an entirely new dimension to our lives. Because of our Savior’s sacrifice, instead of dismal oblivion, death becomes only a passage to a more glorious realm. The Resurrection becomes a reality for all. Eternal life becomes available to those who walk in obedience to His commandments” (Australia stake conference satellite broadcast, Feb. 12, 2005).

President Gordon B. Hinckley

Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, September, 2007, 4-8

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August 11, 2017

Fundamental Principles, Resurrection, Video

Comments Off on Easter

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August 10, 2017

General Authorities, Video

Comments Off on We Must be Firmly Attached to Him

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August 9, 2017

Bednar, Testimony, Video

Comments Off on What Does an Apostle of Jesus Christ Do?

Elder David A. Bednar describes what an Apostle of Jesus Christ does.  Click HERE if you don’t see a video below.

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August 8, 2017

Dew, General Conference

Comments Off on The Savior – Our Only Chance

“The Savior isn’t our last chance; He is our only chance. Our only chance to overcome self-doubt and catch a vision of who we may become. Our only chance to repent and have our sins washed clean. Our only chance to purify our hearts, subdue our weaknesses, and avoid the adversary. Our only chance to obtain redemption and exaltation. Our only chance to find peace and happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.

“The Lord knows the way because He is the way and is our only chance for successfully negotiating mortality.”

Sheri L. Dew

Our Only Chance,” Ensign, May 1999, 66

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August 7, 2017

Hope, Hunter

Comments Off on Jesus Was Capable of Sinning, But Did Not

It is important to remember that Jesus was capable of sinning, that he could have succumbed, that the plan of life and salvation could have been foiled, but that he remained true. Had there been no possibility of his yielding to the enticement of Satan, there would have been no real test, no genuine victory in the result. If he had been stripped of the faculty to sin, he would have been stripped of his very agency. It was he who had come to safeguard and ensure the agency of man. He had to retain the capacity and ability to sin had he willed so to do. As Paul wrote, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8); and he “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). He was perfect and sinless, not because he had to be, but rather because he clearly and determinedly wanted to be. As the Doctrine and Covenants records, “He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them” (D&C 20:22).

President Howard W. Hunter

The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, edited by Clyde J. Williams, 76-02, p. 19

Modernists dispute that the Master voluntarily offered himself to atone for the sins of mankind, and they deny that there was in fact such an atonement. It is our firm belief that it is a reality, and nothing is more important in the entire divine plan of salvation than the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We believe that salvation comes because of the Atonement. In its absence the whole plan of creation would come to naught.

Without this atoning sacrifice, temporal death would be the end, and there would be no resurrection and no purpose in our spiritual lives. There would be no hope of eternal life.

President Howard W. Hunter

The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, edited by Clyde J. Williams, 68-05, p. 106

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August 6, 2017

General Authorities, General Conference, Packer, Repentance

Comments Off on Remember our sins no more

The discouraging idea that a mistake (or even a series of them) makes it everlastingly too late, does not come from the Lord. He has said that if we will repent, not only will He forgive us our transgressions, but He will forget them and remember our sins no more.

.

Elder Boyd K. Packer
To Young Women and Men, Ensign, May 1989, 59).

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