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 13, 2017

Eternal Life, Hymns, Video

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I love the “There is no end” verses in the hymn, “If You Could Hie to Kolob”.  For me, they poetically evoke a sense of the incalculably immense reach and reward of the Atonement.

What a contrast they are to a daily life of bill-paying and yard work, a reminder for me to raise my spiritual eyes to a higher plane.

The works of God continue,
And worlds and lives abound;
Improvement and progression
Have one eternal round.
There is no end to matter;
There is no end to space;
There is no end to spirit;
There is no end to race.

There is no end to virtue;
There is no end to might;
There is no end to wisdom;
There is no end to light.
There is no end to union;
There is no end to youth;
There is no end to priesthood;
There is no end to truth.

There is no end to glory;
There is no end to love;
There is no end to being;
There is no death above.
There is no end to glory;
There is no end to love;
There is no end to being;
There is no death above.

William W. Phelps

If You Could Hie to Kolob, Hymns, No. 284

And a marvelous musical and video evocation of a creation without an end.

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September 25, 2017

Eternal Life, Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, Hinckley, Sacrifice

Comments Off on The Fact of All Life is that It is Eternal

The fact of all life is that it is eternal. That’s the great, salient truth. We have come into the world for a purpose, under a divine plan, and when we conclude this life we will go on to something that will be better, if we live worthy of it. And that great eternal course which we may follow is made possible through the sacrifice of the Son of God.

President Gordon B. Hinckley
Charlotte North Carolina Regional Conference, priesthood leadership session, February 24, 1996
Included in Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley
Deseret Book Company, 1997

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July 24, 2017

Eternal Life, General Authorities, General Conference, Grace, Immortality, Wirthlin

Comments Off on Coming Fully Unto Christ

The Atonement of Jesus Christ, an act of pure love, overcame the effects of the Fall and provided the way for all mankind to return to the presence of God. As part of the Atonement, the Savior overcame physical death and provided immortality for every one of God’s children through the Resurrection. He also overcame spiritual death and provided the possibility of eternal life, the life that God lives and the greatest of all the gifts of God. This He did by taking upon Himself the suffering for the sins of all humankind.

. . . .

By obeying God’s commands, we deny ourselves of all ungodliness. Through obedience motivated by a wholehearted love of God, we come fully unto Christ and allow His grace, through the Atonement, to lead us into perfection.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Christians in Belief and Action,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 70

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April 24, 2017

Eternal Life, Exaltation, General Authorities, Kimball

Comments Off on On Through the Eternities to Exaltation

The Lord restored his kingdom in these days, with all its gifts and powers and blessings. Any church that you know of may possibly be able to take you for a long ride, and bring you some degree of peace and happiness and blessing, and they can carry you to the veil and there they drop you. The Church of Jesus Christ picks you up on this side of the veil and, if you live its commandments, carries you right through the veil as though it weren’t there and on through the eternities to exaltation.

President Spencer W. Kimball
The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 49–50, quoted in Chapter 1: “To Live with Him Someday”, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, Salt Lake City, The Church of the Latter Day Saints, 2006

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April 17, 2017

Death, Eternal Life, Hope, Longfellow, Resurrection

Comments Off on Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul

After the death of his wife, American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow went into a long depression.  For a period of three years, he was unable to write.

Following is the poem that brought him out of his despondency:

TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!—
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,—act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A Psalm of Life

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April 13, 2017

Eternal Life, General Authorities, General Conference, Grace, Immortality, Wirthlin

Comments Off on Wirthlin – Coming Fully Unto Christ

The Atonement of Jesus Christ, an act of pure love, overcame the effects of the Fall and provided the way for all mankind to return to the presence of God. As part of the Atonement, the Savior overcame physical death and provided immortality for every one of God’s children through the Resurrection. He also overcame spiritual death and provided the possibility of eternal life, the life that God lives and the greatest of all the gifts of God. This He did by taking upon Himself the suffering for the sins of all humankind.

. . . .

By obeying God’s commands, we deny ourselves of all ungodliness. Through obedience motivated by a wholehearted love of God, we come fully unto Christ and allow His grace, through the Atonement, to lead us into perfection. 38

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Christians in Belief and Action,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 70

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March 7, 2017

Eternal Life, General Authorities, Grace, Hinckley, Resurrection

Comments Off on The Work of the Lord is a Work of Salvation

The work of the Lord is a work of salvation. For whom? Through the grace of our Eternal Father and without any effort on the part of the beneficiaries, the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God has made it possible for all to rise from the dead. And beyond this, by virtue of that divine sacrifice, and through His grace and goodness, opportunities for eternal life may be opened to all through personal or vicarious service.

President Gordon B. Hinckley
Utah Genealogical Society Fireside, November 13, 1994
Included in Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley
Deseret Book Company, 1997

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August 2, 2016

C.S. Lewis, Eternal Life, Exaltation, General Authorities, Morrison, Nature of Christ, Perfection, Salvation

Comments Off on Christ is Going to Make Good His words

“The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He [Christ] is going to make us creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were ‘Gods’ and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said”

C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity, London: Fount Paperbacks, 1977, p. 172, quoted by Elder Alexander B. Morrison in “‘I Am the Resurrection and the Life’,” Ensign, Apr 1995, 36

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July 30, 2016

Eternal Life, Exaltation, Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, General Conference, McConkie, Plan of Salvation

Comments Off on No Uncertainty in Our Minds – The Full Assurance of Eternal Life

I shall speak of a subject which strikes dread—even terror—into the hearts of most men. It is something we fear, of which we are sorely afraid, and from which most of us would flee if we could.

I shall speak of the passing of the immortal soul into the eternal realms ahead, of that dread day when we shall shuffle off this mortal coil and go back to the dust from whence we came. I shall speak of death—mortal death, the natural death, the death of the body—and of the state of the souls of men when this final consummation is imposed upon them.
. . . .
If we are to place death in its proper perspective in the eternal scheme of things, we must first learn the purposes of life. We must know whence we came, Whose we are, and why He placed us here. Only then can we envision whither we shall yet go in the providences of Him who made us.

We know, because the Lord has revealed it in this our day, that we are the spirit children of an exalted, glorified Being, a Holy Man who has a body of flesh and bones and who is our Father in heaven.

We know that the name of the kind of life He lives is eternal life and that it consists of living in the family unit and of possessing all power, all might, and all dominion.

We know that He ordained and established the plan of salvation to enable us to advance and progress from our spirit state, to the same state of glory, honor, and exaltation which He Himself possesses.

We know that the Father’s plan called for the creation of this earth, where we could dwell as mortals, receive bodies made of the dust of the earth, and undergo the tests and trials which now face us.

We know that this plan of salvation included provisions for the fall of man, with its consequent temporal and spiritual death; for a redemption from death through the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God; and for an inheritance of eternal life for all the obedient.

We know that this great plan of progression called for a birth which would provide a mortal tabernacle for our eternal spirits, and for a death which would free those spirits from the frailties, diseases, and weaknesses of mortality.

And may I say that this life never was intended to be easy. It is a probationary estate in which we are tested physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually. We are subject to disease and decay. We are attacked by cancer, leprosy, and contagious diseases. We suffer pain and sorrow and afflictions. Disasters strike; floods sweep away our homes; famines destroy our food; plagues and wars fill our graves with dead bodies and our broken homes with sorrow.

We are called upon to choose between the revealed word of God and the soul-destroying postulates of the theoretical sciences. Temptations, the lusts of the flesh, evils of every sort all these are part of the plan, and must be faced by every person privileged to undergo the experiences of mortality.

. . . .
“Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ,” Nephi said to members of the Church, “having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” (2 Ne. 31:20.) That is to say—all the faithful Saints, all of those who have endured to the end, depart this life with the absolute guarantee of eternal life.

There is no equivocation, no doubt, no uncertainty in our minds. Those who have been true and faithful in this life will not fall by the wayside in the life to come. If they keep their covenants here and now and depart this life firm and true in the testimony of our blessed Lord, they shall come forth with an inheritance of eternal life.

We do not mean to say that those who die in the Lord, and who are true and faithful in this life, must be perfect in all things when they go into the next sphere of existence. There was only one perfect man—the Lord Jesus whose Father was God.

There have been many righteous souls who have attained relative degrees of perfection, and there have been great hosts of faithful people who have kept the faith, and lived the law, and departed this life with the full assurance of an eventual inheritance of eternal life.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie
The Dead Who Die in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov 1976, 106

(emphasis added in bold)

For another statement on this subject by Elder McConkie, see this previous post.

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June 23, 2016

Eternal Life, Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference, Oaks

Comments Off on Eternal Beings Forgive All Who Have Wronged Them

As important as it is to lose every desire for sin, eternal life requires more. To achieve our eternal destiny, we will desire and work for the qualities required to become an eternal being. For example, eternal beings forgive all who have wronged them. They put the welfare of others ahead of themselves. And they love all of God’s children.

If this seems too difficult—and surely it is not easy for any of us—then we should begin with a desire for such qualities and call upon our loving Heavenly Father for help with our feelings. The Book of Mormon teaches us that we should “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that [we] may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ” (Moroni 7:48).

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Desire, General Conference, April, 2011
(Paragraph break inserted to enhance online readability)

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