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

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.

John Wesley
Rule of Conduct, Letters of John Wesley, ed. George Eayrs, p. 423, footnote

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However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.

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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

General Conference, April, 2012

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February 13, 2018

Justification, Sanctification, The Pearl of Great Price

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For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified.

Moses 6:60

 

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February 12, 2018

Perry, Temple

Comments Off on I Love to See the Temple

The Provo Temple re-opened this week after an extra-long (five weeks) closure for remodeling, cleaning and repair. Today was my first day working in the temple since it re-opened and it looks great.

The overwhelming sentiment among the temple workers I spoke with was how much they missed the temple while it was closed. More than one male worker told me that his wife had informed him he was a better person when he was in the temple every week.

While we don’t speak of temple ordinances outside the temple, I can say that the temple is filled to overflowing with the peace and power that comes from the atoning sacrifice of a loving Savior.

I love to see the temple.
I’m going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty.
I’ll prepare myself while I am young;
This is my sacred duty.

Janice Kapp Perry
“I Love to See the Temple,”
Children’s Songbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 95

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February 11, 2018

Benson, Fall, General Authorities, General Conference

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No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind. And no other book in the world explains this vital doctrine nearly as well as the Book of Mormon.

Brethren and sisters, we all need to take a careful inventory of our performance and also the performance of those over whom we preside to be sure that we are teaching the “great plan of the Eternal God” to the Saints.

Are we accepting and teaching what the revelations tell us about the Creation, Adam and the fall of man, and redemption from that fall through the atonement of Christ? Do we frequently review the crucial questions which Alma asks the members of the Church in the fifth chapter of Alma in the Book of Mormon?

Do we understand and are we effective in teaching and preaching the Atonement? What personal meaning does the Lord’s suffering in Gethsemane and on Calvary have for each of us?

What does redemption from the Fall mean to us? In the words of Alma, do we “sing the song of redeeming love”? (Alma 5:26).

President Ezra Taft Benson

The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants,” Ensign, May 1987, 83

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February 10, 2018

Bradford, Charity, General Authorities, General Conference, Service

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Selfless service projects are the projects of the gospel. They have continuity. They are not one-time special events based on entertainment and fun and games. They need not be regimented nor regulated. Selfless service projects are people-to-people projects. They are face-to-face, eye-to-eye, voice-to-ear, heart-to-heart, spirit-to-spirit, and hand-in-hand, people-to-people projects.

We must remember that we are social beings. Our eternal destiny is welded to the destiny of our fellows. Within this social system, there is always a desire for recognition, and this is as it should be, if that desire is kept within its bounds.

Elder Marvin J. Ashton once related that during a meeting a woman seated behind him passed him a note. It simply said, “Would you please turn around and look at me?” Then he said, “Everyone needs to be looked at.”

. . . .

Selflessness is righteousness. It embraces the true spirit of companionship. It is the very essence of friendship. It is the portrayer of true love and oneness in humanity. Its reward is the freeing of the soul, a nearness to divinity, a worthiness for the companionship of the Spirit. Every requirement that God’s plan for our salvation places upon us is based on the giving of one’s self.

The only way under the heavens whereby a person can be sanctified is in selfless service.

Elder William R. Bradford
Selfless Service“, Ensign, Nov. 1987, 75

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February 9, 2018

Cook, Enabling Power, General Authorities, General Conference

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While Elder David A. Bednar is most closely connected with teaching about the Enabling Power of the Atonement, others have also discussed this aspect of our Savior’s greatest gift to us.

Elder Gene R. Cook of the Seventy said:

Grace is a “divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.” It is “an enabling power.” (Bible Dictionary, p. 697.) The doctrine of the grace of the Father and the Son and how it affects us is so significant that it is mentioned more than two hundred times in the standard works.

If we can obtain the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that divine enabling power to assist us, we will triumph in this life and be exalted in the life to come.

Let me share with you five principles that may help us obtain that divine intervention in our own life or perhaps vicariously assist in the life of another. These principles are simple to understand but most challenging to apply. You already know all of them. However, you may not have considered how directly related they are to obtaining grace.

The first principle is faith. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace.” (Rom. 5:1–2.)

It is evident that this grace, or enabling power, is accessed by faith. No wonder faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel.

How clear Christ’s question was to a sinking Peter, after he had walked on the water: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:31.) The moment Peter doubted and took his eyes off the Savior, he severed himself from the power of Jesus Christ that had sustained him on the water.

How many times, likewise, as we have prayed for assistance or help with our problems, have we severed ourselves from the power of God because of doubt or fear, and thus could not obtain this enabling power of God? (See D&C 6:36; D&C 67:3.)

Gene R. Cook

Receiving Divine Assistance through the Grace of the Lord,” Ensign, May 1993, 79

See posts on Elder Bednar’s discussions of this part of the Atonement here and here.

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February 8, 2018

Christmas, General Authorities, Hinckley

Comments Off on We Sing His Praises and Speak our Words of Faith and Gratitude and Love

A little more than 2,000 years ago the Redeemer of mankind was born in Bethlehem of Judea (see D&C 20:1). While yet an infant, He was brought to the temple in Jerusalem. There Mary and Joseph heard the wonderful prophecies spoken by Simeon and Anna about the tiny babe who was destined to become the Savior of the world.

He spent His boyhood in Nazareth of Galilee, and when 12 years of age He was brought to the temple again. Mary and Joseph found Him conversing with learned men, who were listening to Him and asking Him questions (see Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 2:46).

. . . .

He was and is the Son of the Almighty. He was the only perfect man to walk the earth. He healed the sick and caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He raised the dead. Yet He suffered His own life to be taken in an act of Atonement, the magnitude of which is beyond our comprehension.

. . . .

No event of human history carries a more compelling witness than does the reality of the Resurrection. His followers on two continents testified of it. Uncounted millions of men and women through the ages have suffered, even unto death, for the witness in their hearts that He lives, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, whose Atonement came as an act of grace for the entire world. How long and how great is the concourse of brave and humble people who have kept alive the name of Jesus and a testimony of His Redemption!

Now He has come again, in the latter days, to bless us and warm our hearts, to quicken our faith and bring us sure and certain knowledge of His living reality. We, of all people, can sing:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev’ry heart prepare him room,
And Saints and angels sing.
(“Joy to the World,” Hymns, number 201)

We honor Him, we worship Him, we love Him as our Redeemer, the great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New Testament. The entire thrust of the testimony of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants declares our living Lord, before whom we kneel in humility and faith.

And so at this Christmas season, we sing His praises and speak our words of faith and gratitude and love. It is His influence in our lives that stirs within us more kindness, more respect, more love, more concern. It is because of Him and His teachings that we reach out to those in trouble, distress, and need wherever they may be.

It is proper during this season when we commemorate His birth that we remember the Lord Jesus Christ in reverence and with love. He has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. He has brought meaning to our mortal existence. He has given us the gift of eternal life. He was and is the Son of God, who was “made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

God be thanked for the gift of His Son, the Redeemer of the world, the Savior of mankind, the Prince of Life and Peace, the Holy One.

President Gordon B. Hinckley

A Testimony of the Son of God,” Liahona, Dec 2002, 3

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February 7, 2018

Adversity, General Authorities, General Conference, Holland, Video

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February 5, 2018

General Authorities, McConkie

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I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

Luke 17:34-37

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And so we see the eagles of Israel scattered by the four winds from one end of heaven to the other. We see them flying in the skies of all nations in search of spiritual food, waiting for a day when life-assuring morsels will come into view. They are free, independent thinkers, anxious to escape the darkness of the night and to soar into the dawn of a new day. The creeds of men do not feed their souls. They are not at rest in the lands of their scattering. They yearn for that which their fathers enjoyed in the days of their ancient glory.

Then the food that will feed their souls is made available. The gospel is restored; the Book of Mormon comes forth; the gifts and graces enjoyed by the ancients are again found on earth. It is time for Israel to come home. The eagles are invited to feast upon the good word of God. They seek the food that satisfies the soul. They descend from their lofty heights of worldliness and feast upon those things of which men may eat and never hunger more. The gospel gathers Israel, and where it is, there the eagles of Israel shall be found.

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Elder Bruce R. McConkie
The Millennial Messiah

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