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

November 2, 2015

Adversity, Advocate, General Authorities, Hafen, Healing

Comments Off on Not as Our Judge But as Our Advocate – Hafen

Our repentance and our continued obedience are thus necessary prerequisites to our receiving the sustaining, healing, and compensating power that flows from belonging to Christ-not because we can “repent” of our undeserved pains and infirmities, but because we must repent of our sins to be entitled to the relationship whose healing and nurturing influence will wipe away all our other tears. That such incomprehensible blessings are unlocked through the two-way covenants of the Atonement unveils an entire body of well-developed, powerful doctrine that gives meaning, life, and theological foundations to our search for peace and personal growth. Because we are his and he is ours, the Lord will continually “at-one for” our separation and estrangement from him, whether that separation has been caused by our sins, our mistakes, the sins of others, or any other cause.

These are the blessings of belonging to Christ, ultimately made possible by the power of his Atonement: “O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:1-3; emphasis added.)

These sublime promises describe the Savior not as our judge but as our advocate. So has he described himself: “Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father.” (D&C 29:5; emphasis added.) His advocacy-his defense of us before the judgment bar of the Father-derives directly from his atoning act for us: “In mine own name, by the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I pleaded before the Father for them.” (D&C 38:4.) In that role, as our champion, he “is pleading [our] cause before [the Father], saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; . . . spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.” (D&C 45:3-5.)

We must always seek to be on the Lord’s side; but what good news it is to know that he is on our side

Elder Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen
The Belonging Heart: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family
Deseret Books (March 1994)

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