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 pondered deeply the purpose of pain and studied in my mind what I could learn from my experience and began to comprehend pain a little better. I learned that the physical pain and the healing of the body after major surgery are remarkably similar to the spiritual pain and the healing of the soul in the process of repentance. “Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul” (D&C 101:37).

I have come to understand how useless it is to dwell on the whys, what ifs, and if onlys for which there likely will be given no answers in mortality. To receive the Lord’s comfort, we must exercise faith. The questions Why me? Why our family? Why now? are usually unanswerable questions. These questions detract from our spirituality and can destroy our faith. We need to spend our time and energy building our faith by turning to the Lord and asking for strength to overcome the pains and trials of this world and to endure to the end for greater understanding.

. . . .

Recent months have brought some tender experiences with families going through all the pain inherent in the peaceful passing of a family member. As the one passing away prepares to depart mortality, the family members experience a peace and willingness to let go of their loved one. The family members feel the pain of separation but are comforted by the peace that comes from priesthood blessings, family prayers, and the knowledge of the Resurrection that assures them they will be reunited with their loved one in the not-too-distant future. Their faith and putting their trust in the Lord help them put the whys and ifs behind them and feel the comfort of the Spirit of the Lord.

Our Savior knows the heart of each of us. He knows the pains of our hearts. If we seek the truth, develop faith in Him, and, if necessary, sincerely repent, we will receive a spiritual change of heart which only comes from our Savior. Our hearts will become new again.

Elder Robert D. Hales
Healing Soul and Body,” , (October 3, 1998)

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We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word.

.

President Henry B. Eyring

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January 18, 2017

General Authorities, John, Maxwell

Comments Off on Just as the love of God for us is unconditional

Just as the love of God for us is unconditional, one day ours for Him will be likewise. This is what the first commandment is all about. But even then, the adoration and awe we have developed for God will take humble and eternal notice of the vital fact stressed by John—that God loved us first. (1 John 4:19.) Indeed, while God’s great plan of redemption was made feasible by His omniscience and His omnipotence, it was made inevitable because of His perfect love for us!

 
Elder Neal A. Maxwell
All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience

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January 17, 2017

Christmas, Faust, General Authorities

Comments Off on The Immeasurable Love of the Giver

As one of the special witnesses of Jesus and of the gospel restored to earth by God working through the Prophet Joseph Smith, I testify that the greatest gift of this or any other Christmas is the Atonement of Jesus as the Redeemer, the Son of God. Paul said this was a “free gift” (Rom. 5:15). It is a gift we cannot handle or touch, but we can feel the immeasurable love of the Giver.

Through this gift we can all find the pathway to eternal life. My testimony of this is sure, real, and absolute, as is my sacred testimony of Him. I invoke the blessings of God upon us all at this special Christmastime.

President James E. Faust

A Christmas with No Presents,” Ensign, Dec 2001, 2–6

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January 16, 2017

Bednar, General Authorities, General Conference, Grace, Moroni, Sanctification

Comments Off on Both Clean Hands and a Pure Heart

Some . . . may think the spiritual progress I am describing is not attainable in their lives. We may believe these truths apply to others but not to us.

We will not attain a state of perfection in this life, but we can and should press forward with faith in Christ along the strait and narrow path and make steady progress toward our eternal destiny. The Lord’s pattern for spiritual development is “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30). Small, steady, incremental spiritual improvements are the steps the Lord would have us take. Preparing to walk guiltless before God is one of the primary purposes of mortality and the pursuit of a lifetime; it does not result from sporadic spurts of intense spiritual activity.

I witness that the Savior will strengthen and assist us to make sustained, paced progress. The example in the Book of Mormon of “many, exceedingly great many” (Alma 13:12) in the ancient Church who were pure and spotless before God is a source of encouragement and comfort to me. I suspect those members of the ancient Church were ordinary men and women just like you and me. These individuals could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence, and they “were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God” (v. 12). And these principles and this process of spiritual progress apply to each of us equally and always.

The requirement to put off the natural man and become a saint, to avoid and overcome bad and to do and become good, to have clean hands and a pure heart, is a recurring theme throughout the Book of Mormon. In fact, Moroni’s concluding invitation at the end of the book is a summary of this theme.

“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ. …

“And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot” (Moroni 10:32–33; emphasis added).

May you and I repent with sincerity of heart and truly come unto Christ. I pray that we will seek through the Savior’s Atonement to have both clean hands and a pure heart, that we may become holy, without spot.

Elder David A. Bednar

Clean Hands and a Pure Heart,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 80–83

 

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January 15, 2017

Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, Hinckley, Resurrection

Comments Off on When all is said and done, this is the purpose of our being

I think we must never lose sight of our Father’s transcendent declaration: “For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

When all is said and done, this is the purpose of our being, to assist our Father in the accomplishment of His work and His glory. For this reason He sent His Son into the world to take upon himself the sins of the world, to offer his life in a wondrous atonement for those sins, to suffer and die upon the cross in a supreme sacrifice for the blessing of all mankind, to come forth triumphant from the tomb as the master of life and death, of mortality and immortality.

President Gordon B. Hinckley
General Authority Training Meeting, September 27, 1994
Included in Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley
Deseret Book Company, 1997

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January 14, 2017

Christmas, Forgiveness, Hymns, Rescue

Comments Off on Prone to Wander – A Season for Prodigals to Return

I woke up very early this morning with the words of this hymn running through my mind and thought I would share it with you.

For me, it represents the open arms that Christ extends to every man or woman who has wandered off into strange paths and desires to return.

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January 13, 2017

Edgley, Faith, Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference, Repentance

Comments Off on A Mountain of Sin Replaced with Repentance and Forgiveness

I have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But, because of faith I have seen a mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with optimism and hope. Because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness. And because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of pain replaced with peace, hope and gratitude. Yes, I have seen mountains removed.

Bishop Richard C. Edgley
Saturday Afternoon Session, General Conference, 2010

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January 12, 2017

General Authorities, General Conference, Maxwell, Repentance, Rescue

Comments Off on Repentance is a Rescuing, Not a Dour Doctrine

For some months, I’ve tried to emphasize repentance, one of the most vital and merciful doctrines of the kingdom. It is too little understood, too little applied by us all, as if it were merely a word on a bumper sticker. Since we have been told clearly by Jesus what manner of men and women we ought to become—even as He is (see 3 Ne. 27:27)—how can we do so, except each of us employs repentance as the regular means of personal progression? Personal repentance is part of taking up the cross daily. (See Luke 9:23.) Without it, clearly there could be no “perfecting of the Saints.” (Eph. 4:12.)

Besides, there is more individuality in those who are more holy.

Sin, on the other hand, brings sameness; it shrinks us to addictive appetites and insubordinate impulses. For a brief surging, selfish moment, sin may create the illusion of individuality, but only as in the grunting, galloping Gadarene swine! (See Matt. 8:28–32.)

Repentance is a rescuing, not a dour doctrine. It is available to the gross sinner as well as to the already-good individual striving for incremental improvement.

Repentance requires both turning away from evil and turning to God. (See Deut. 4:30; see also Bible Dictionary, s.v. “Repentance.”) When “a mighty change” is required, full repentance involves a 180-degree turn, and without looking back! (Alma 5:12–13.) Initially, this turning reflects progress from telestial to terrestrial behavior, and later on to celestial behavior. As the sins of the telestial world are left behind, the focus falls ever more steadily upon the sins of omission, which often keep us from full consecration.

Real repentance involves not a mechanical checklist, but a checkreining of the natural self. Often overlapping and mutually reinforcing, each portion of the process of repentance is essential. This process rests on inner resolve but is much aided by external support.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Repentance,”

Ensign, Nov 1991, 30

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January 11, 2017

Joy, Nibley, Repentance

Comments Off on We are Commanded to be Joyful Because He has Borne Our Sorrows

We are commanded to be joyful because he has borne our sorrows. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief so that we need not be. Our own sins and limitations are the things that make us sad. He had no sins and limitations; he was not sad for his sake, but wholly for ours. Only one could suffer for others who did not deserve to suffer for himself.

If we remain gloomy after what he did for us, it is because we do not accept what he did for us. If we suffer, we deserve to suffer because there is no need for it if we only believe in him.

Hugh Nibley
“Prophets and Glad Tidings,” Collected Works of Hugh Nibley 8:259

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