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

July 10, 2016

Condie, Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, Maxwell

Comments Off on I Will Give Away All My Sins to Know Thee

The Book of Mormon teaches us of an infinite atonement (see 2 Ne. 9:7; 2 Ne. 25:16; Alma 34:10, 12, 14), an atoning sacrifice by Christ that is unbounded by time, ethnicity, geography, or even kinds of sins, save for the unpardonable sin of denying the Holy Ghost (see Alma 39:6). The Resurrection includes all people “from the days of Adam down” to the end of time (Alma 40:18), those “both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female” (Alma 11:44). The Atonement is also infinite in the sense that the Savior not only overcame death and sin, but he also took upon himself “the pains and the sicknesses” and the “infirmities” of his people (Alma 7:11–12). The Atonement is infinite, too, in that because of the redemption made possible by his beloved Son, our Heavenly Father is able to forgive us “as often as [we] repent” (Mosiah 26:30–31; see also Moro. 6:8).

Through repentance we can become at one with Christ, or, as Jacob put it, we can “be reconciled unto him” (Jacob 4:11). Amaleki invited the people of his day—and us as well—to “come unto Christ … and partake of his salvation … and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him” (Omni 1:26). We become reconciled with him when we willingly give our souls to him as he offered his life for us.

After Aaron had taught the father of King Lamoni about the fall of man and of the plan of redemption and the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, the king prayed to God: “I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day” (Alma 22:18). That is precisely what each of us must do to become reconciled with our Savior: we must give away all our sins. Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has explained that “real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed!” (“Deny Yourselves of All Ungodliness,” Ensign, May 1995, p. 68.)

Elder Spencer J. Condie

The Fall and Infinite Atonement,” Ensign, Jan 1996, 22

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March 21, 2016

Alma, Amulek, Condie, Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, Justice, Mercy

Comments Off on Good for That Which is Good, Righteous for That Which is Righteous

To his struggling son Corianton, Alma clearly explained that “it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works” (Alma 41:3). Thus, after the Resurrection and Judgment some will be “raised to happiness according to [their] desires of happiness … ; and the other[s] to evil according to [their] desires of evil” (Alma 41:5). Continuing, Alma explicitly taught that “the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful” (Alma 41:13). Alma cautioned Corianton not to suppose “that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10).

Amulek taught Zeezrom that “we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt” (Alma 11:43). Alma explained to his son Corianton that “the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all” (Alma 41:15). That is the hard, wintry side of justice, judgment, and restoration.

But there is also a merciful side of restoration. Alma declared that “mercy cometh because of the atonement,” and though “justice exerciseth all his demands, … mercy claimeth all which is her own” upon conditions of true repentance. Alma then posed the provocative question: “What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God” (Alma 42:23–25).

It is impossible for each of us to overcome the demands of justice solely through our own individual efforts. Nevertheless, we have been promised that “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Ne. 25:23). Contrary to the distorted doctrine of being saved solely through grace and by predestination, the Book of Mormon teaches us that we must strive to keep the commandments and repent of our sins, and then the Savior makes up the difference.

A necessary part of “all we can do” includes participation in essential ordinances of the gospel. Limited space will permit a discussion of only the first of these essential ordinances, which is baptism. Nephi eloquently explained that it was necessary for the Lamb of God “to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness.” He then posed the soul-searching question, “O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!” (2 Ne. 31:5.)

Elder Spencer J. Condie

The Fall and Infinite Atonement,” Ensign, Jan 1996, 22

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November 2, 2015

Charity, Condie, Forgiveness, General Authorities, Reconciliation, Repentance

Comments Off on A compassionate, forgiving, loving disposition that could do nothing else but love and forgive

Then there is the father [of the prodigal son]. Some may criticize him for having been overly indulgent in granting the younger son’s request to “give me the portion of goods that falleth to me” (Luke 15:12). The father in the parable was undoubtedly sensitive to the divine principle of moral agency and freedom of choice, a principle over which the premortal War in Heaven had been waged. He was not inclined to compel his son to be obedient.

But this loving father never gave up on his wayward son, and his unrelenting vigilance is confirmed in the poignant narration that when the son “was yet a great way off, his father … had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). Not only was there an open display of physical affection toward his son, but the father requested his servants to give him a robe, shoes for his feet, and a ring for his hand and instructed them to kill the fatted calf, joyfully declaring, “He was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:24).

Throughout the years, this father had developed such a compassionate, forgiving, loving disposition that he could do nothing else but love and forgive. This parable is a universal favorite for all of us because it holds out the hope to each one of us that a loving Father in Heaven stands in the roadway, as it were, anxiously awaiting the arrival of each of His prodigal children back home.

Elder Spencer J. Condie
A Disposition to Do Good Continually, a devotional address given at Brigham Young University on 9 February 2010

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