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

We need not visit the Holy Land to feel him close to us. We need not walk by the shores of Galilee or among the Judean hills to walk where Jesus walked.

In a very real sense, all can walk where Jesus walked when, with his words on our lips, his spirit in our hearts, and his teachings in our lives, we journey through mortality.

Then-Elder Thomas S. Monson
The Paths Jesus Walked“, Ensign, May 1974, 48

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November 15, 2017

Bateman, Chastity, Temple

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Writing to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul described sexual sin as a sin against one’s own body and then used the temple metaphor to indicate the seriousness of such acts. He said:

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. [1 Corinthians 6:19­20]

To some the last sentence may seem strange. If we own anything on this earth, one would expect it to be our body and our spirit. In a sense that is true. We are our own person. But Paul is pointing out that Christ’s Atonement determines what we become. We still have our agency, but He paid for our future possibilities. In that sense He owns us. We still must submit to Him. We still must give ourselves to Him.

In the garden and on the cross, the Savior’s Atonement made possible our sanctification through the power of His blood and the help of the Holy Ghost. If we strive to live the gospel, our bodies become temples in which the Spirit of God resides. The price paid by the Savior insures that our bodies and spirits will overcome death and be raised to a higher state. By living close to the Holy Ghost, the day will come when we will be changed from mortals to immortals, and our souls will receive a celestial glory. In terms of everything that counts, Christ owns us.

Elder Merrill J. Bateman, then President of Brigham Young University

Temples of Learning, a devotional address was given on 10 September 2002.

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November 14, 2017

Humility, Mother Teresa

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If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.

Mother Teresa

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November 14, 2017

Grace, Nibley

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What are we to do? Lehi explains that if we approach the Lord with “a broken heart and contrite spirit,” we have a case; “and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.” (2 Ne. 2:7.) This puts an end to legalism and litigation. A broken heart and a contrite spirit cannot be faked or even calmly discussed, and that is a prime point: “How great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth.” (2 Ne. 2:8.) When all men stand in God’s presence to be judged, punishment will be meted out in terms of legal penalties—the law by which we were bound, the preliminary trials and tests to get us to our final hearing. But that is not what the Judgment is about. What we are expecting in this final judgment is that “happiness which is affixed” to the law and which is the final purpose or end “of the atonement.” (2 Ne. 2:10.)

So we also have our part in achieving in the Atonement. How is it all done? The explanation of predestinationism, Neoplatonism, and Islam is simply that God does it all because he can, which leaves us as completely irresponsible nonentities. That is not the way it really is, and it is not what we want—and it is not what God wants. He wants to be one with us, and we want to be one with the Father, which obviously is completely beyond our present capacity; it is only the Son who can help us: then we need to “look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments”—he will tell us what to do, for he is anxious to help us. “Be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit.” (2 Ne. 2:28.) The Holy Ghost, that other Mediator, who comes to take over when the Lord is absent, seconds him in all things.

“Redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah,” Lehi tells his son, “for he is full of grace and truth.” (2 Ne. 2:6.) That says everything: to be full of grace is everything good that you can possibly conceive of; it is a combination of love, charity, and joy—charis, gratia, and “cheer.” It is everything to be cheerful about and grateful for, and it is boundless love without a shadow of mental reservation, self-interest, or ulterior motive—in short, of anything false or untrue; it is all real, for he is full of grace and truth.

Hugh W. Nibley

The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Part 3,” Ensign, Sep 1990, 22

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November 13, 2017

Eyring, General Authorities, Rescue, Tests

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Today I wish to bear witness of God’s power of deliverance. At some point in our lives we will all need that power. Every person living is in the midst of a test. We have been granted by God the precious gift of life in a world created as a proving ground and a preparatory school. The tests we will face, their severity, their timing, and their duration will be unique for each of us. But two things will be the same for all of us. They are part of the design for mortal life.

First, the tests at times will stretch us enough for us to feel the need for help beyond our own. And, second, God in His kindness and wisdom has made the power of deliverance available to us.

Now you might well ask, “Since Heavenly Father loves us, why does His plan of happiness include trials that could overwhelm us?” It is because His purpose is to offer us eternal life. He wants to give us a happiness that is only possible as we live as families forever in glory with Him. And trials are necessary for us to be shaped and made fit to receive that happiness that comes as we qualify for the greatest of all the gifts of God.

Today I will talk about some of the trials we are given and the power of deliverance available to us as we pass through them. There are many different tests, but today I will speak of only three. You may be in one of these tests now. For each, the power of deliverance is available—not to escape the test but to endure it well.

First: We can feel overcome with pain and sorrow at the death of a loved one.

Second: Each of us will struggle against fierce opposition—some of which comes from dealing with our physical needs and some from enemies.

Third: Each of us who live past the age of accountability will feel the need to escape from the effects of sin.

Each of these tests can provide the opportunity for us to see that we need the power of God to help us pass them well.

President Henry B. Eyring
God’s Power of Deliverance
a devotional address given at Brigham Young University on 15 January 2008

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November 13, 2017

Eternal Life, Hymns, Video

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I love the “There is no end” verses in the hymn, “If You Could Hie to Kolob”.  For me, they poetically evoke a sense of the incalculably immense reach and reward of the Atonement.

What a contrast they are to a daily life of bill-paying and yard work, a reminder for me to raise my spiritual eyes to a higher plane.

The works of God continue,
And worlds and lives abound;
Improvement and progression
Have one eternal round.
There is no end to matter;
There is no end to space;
There is no end to spirit;
There is no end to race.

There is no end to virtue;
There is no end to might;
There is no end to wisdom;
There is no end to light.
There is no end to union;
There is no end to youth;
There is no end to priesthood;
There is no end to truth.

There is no end to glory;
There is no end to love;
There is no end to being;
There is no death above.
There is no end to glory;
There is no end to love;
There is no end to being;
There is no death above.

William W. Phelps

If You Could Hie to Kolob, Hymns, No. 284

And a marvelous musical and video evocation of a creation without an end.

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November 12, 2017

Nibley, Repentance, Tests

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The gospel of repentance is a constant reminder that the most righteous are still being tested and may yet fall, and that the most wicked are not yet beyond redemption and may still be saved. And that is what God wants: “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” (Ezekiel 18:23)

There are poles for all to see, but in this life no one has reached and few have ever approached either pole, and no one has any idea at what point between his neighbors stand. Only God knows that.

.

Hugh Nibley
“The Prophetic Book of Mormon,” vol. 8, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, 462

 

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November 11, 2017

Book of Mormon, Fundamental Principles, King Benjamin

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The Book of Mormon is the Atonement Testament and few testify as well as King Benjamin.

6 I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body—

7 I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world.

8 And this is the means whereby salvation cometh. And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you.

9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

Mosiah 4:6-10

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November 10, 2017

Book of Mormon, Garments, Sanctification

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Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.  Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.

Alma 13:11-12

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November 9, 2017

Resurrection

Comments Off on I believe that this life is not all

I believe that this life is not all; neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.

.

Charlotte Bronte

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