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

I have no question that we are here now, that we were sent now, because we have everything it takes to deal with the world now. We were put through our paces premortally. That we are here now speaks to how well we did. We have it in us not only to withstand the pressures of the last days but to triumph over them.

Now, that doesn’t mean we are living up to who we are. Typically we are in need of making some degree of course corrections. To help with this, I invite you to undergo the spring cleaning to end all spring cleanings by enrolling in Integrity 101. Let me outline the coursework. First, take an inventory of your integrity by asking yourself the kind of questions I listed earlier. Look for cracks that may have started to form. Be honest with yourself about your past dishonesties. Second, for the next thirty days take time every night to assess how you did that day. Were you true to yourself and to others? Were you true to God in every situation? See if this increased effort makes a difference in what you say, how you spend your time and money, the decisions you make, and what you repent of. See if it also makes a difference in how you feel about yourself and your life.

Finally, as you become more fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses, turn to the Savior more frequently and with increasing fervor. Thank our Father for the gift of His Son and the privilege of repenting. Express your deep desire to live with integrity. And then plead for help. The Savior has the power to help you change. He has the power to help you turn weakness into strength. He has the power to make you better than you have ever been.

I know that this is true, for I have felt His redeeming and enabling power again and again and again. May we come to be more true than we have ever been before-true to ourselves, true to others, and, most important, true to God, with whom we have made sacred covenants. May we be like the sons of Helaman-who were strict to remember God day in and day out, and who were true at all times to whatsoever thing with which they had been entrusted. May we be true blue, through and through.

Sheri L. Dew
No Doubt About It
Deseret Book (2001)

 

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“Keep your eye on the Savior of the world…He will forgive you…Don’t be deceived by the wiles of the adversary and think because you may have made mistakes that you have committed the unpardonable sin. This gospel is primarily the gospel of second chance, the gospel of repentance.”

Hugh B. Brown
The Abundant Life, pp. 270-1

[The] ability to turn everything into something good appears to be a godly characteristic. Our Heavenly Father always seems able to do this. Everything, no matter how dire, becomes a victory to the Lord. Joseph, although a slave and wholly undeserving of this fate, nevertheless remained faithful to the Lord and continued to live the commandments and made something very good of his degrading circumstances. People like this cannot be defeated.

Elder Hartman Rector Jr. General Conference, Oct. 1972

“For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;

“Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.” 6

That scripture emphasizes that the Lord cannot abide sin but He will forgive the repentant sinner because of His perfect love. It also teaches that not only is it important to keep a commandment you have broken, but by obeying all of the commandments you will obtain additional power and support in the process of repentance.

Another vital aspect of repentance is to recognize the role of the Savior through His Atonement. Indeed, it is that very Atonement that makes repentance even possible. As you pray and ponder the role of Jesus Christ as your Savior and Redeemer, you will acquire great motivation and encouragement to help you repent. Follow this example of Alma:

“I was … in the most bitter pain and anguish of soul; and never, until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy, did I receive a remission of my sins. But behold, I did cry unto him and I did find peace to my soul.

“… I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn … that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world.” 7

Elder Richard G. Scott

To Be Free of Heavy Burdens,” Liahona, Nov 2002, 86–88

“What would each of us say if we had to open our mouth three times? If I may, I would like to offer a suggestion. First and foremost, we should declare our belief in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. His redeeming act blesses all mankind with the gift of immortality and the potential of enjoying God’s greatest gift to man, the gift of eternal life.”

Elder L. Tom Perry

“Bring Souls unto Me,” Ensign, May 2009, 111 via LDS Daily Gems

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 3:23-28

Note that when Paul speaks of the law in verse 28, he is referring to the Law of Moses and the term, “without” in the original Greek is “apart from” or “without intervention of”.

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)

. . . .

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.

. . . .

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

That the atonement was a fact is as essential to the gospel of Jesus Christ as is the Sonship of Jesus. We have the sacrament to remind us every week or his atonement. The only purpose, or at least the main purpose, for which Jesus came into the world was to make the atonement. Others could have been sent to preach the gospel. As a matter of fact, others have been sent in every other dispensation-Abraham, Enoch, Moses, for example, and in this dispensation the Prophet Joseph Smith. These great prophets taught the gospel of Jesus Christ as plainly as did Jesus himself. But in the Meridian of Time Jesus came. He came not only to teach the gospel, but also to be the Redeemer of the world. He was the only one who qualified to be the Redeemer, first, because he and he alone had life within himself-eternal life, which he inherited from his divine Father. He was the only one who ever lived a sinless life upon the earth, and he alone was foreordained to be the Redeemer.

The resurrection is inherent in the atonement. Jesus said he came to do the will of his Father, and that the will of his Father was that he should be lifted up upon the cross. He further said that the purpose for which he was to be lifted up upon the cross was that he might draw all men to him. That he does through the resurrection.

The purpose for which men are to come before him after the resurrection is that they may be judged of the works which they have done in the flesh.

These are the fundamentals of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as he put them in his own language. Having stated them, he followed with the commandment,

Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost. (Ibid., 27:20.)

Elder Marion G. Romney
Second Day-Morning Session, Conference Report, April, 1955

Prayer, in fact, is to be a reflection of our attitude toward God and life. In this sense, we can always be praying. (Luke 18:1.)

Clearly, however, since praying is a part of living, if we are not living righteously the quality of our prayers will be affected.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, pages 92-93

For LDS readers, the insights of C.S. Lewis concerning Christian doctrine are quite startling because we see this so seldom in the writings of many other Christian authors. Lewis has probably been quoted more often than any other non-LDS author in General Conference (I count 19 mentions) and has been referred to as “the thirteenth apostle” with only a touch of humor by some LDS observers.

C.S. Lewis was a committed member of the Church of England, although some have noted Roman Catholic influences in many of his writings, possibly absorbed from his close friend, J.R.R. Tolkien. We read so many insightful and wry observations from C.S. Lewis concerning Christianity that we may conclude that his view of religion is all tea and biscuits — all rewards and no consequences.

The following will correct that misapprehension:

When the author walks on the stage, the play is over.

God is going to invade [the earth], all right: but what’s the good of saying you’re on his side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else — something it never entered your head to conceive — comes crashing in; something so beautiful to us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?

For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love, or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down, when it’s become impossible to stand up.

That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realize it or not.

Now, today, in this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever; we must take it or leave it.

C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity, page 65
(paragraph breaks inserted to enhance online readability)