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 16, 2017

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

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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 9, 2017

Book of Mormon, Fundamental Principles, Grace, Joseph Smith, Moroni, Perfection

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The nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 51)

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 if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

Moroni 10:32

 

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June 30, 2017

Doctrine & Covenants, Fundamental Principles

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Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.

Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:36-37

Note how our ability to look to Christ and banish doubt and fear is connected to the Atonement.  The reason we can be completely confident in Christ is because we know that he has atoned for our sins and our weaknesses.

 

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June 22, 2017

Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, General Conference, Grace, Holland, Mercy, Nature of Christ, Sacrament, Sacrifice

Comments Off on Every Ordinance of the Gospel Focuses on the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ

Since that upper room experience on the eve of Gethsemane and Golgotha, children of the promise have been under covenant to remember Christ’s sacrifice in this newer, higher, more holy and personal way.

With a crust of bread, always broken, blessed, and offered first, we remember his bruised body and broken heart, his physical suffering on the cross where he cried, “I thirst,” and finally, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (John 19:28; Matt. 27:46.)

The Savior’s physical suffering guarantees that through his mercy and grace (see 2 Ne. 2:8) every member of the human family shall be freed from the bonds of death and be resurrected triumphantly from the grave. Of course the time of that resurrection and the degree of exaltation it leads to are based upon our faithfulness.

With a small cup of water we remember the shedding of Christ’s blood and the depth of his spiritual suffering, anguish which began in the Garden of Gethsemane. There he said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” (Matt. 26:38). He was in agony and “prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).

The Savior’s spiritual suffering and the shedding of his innocent blood, so lovingly and freely given, paid the debt for what the scriptures call the “original guilt” of Adam’s transgression (Moses 6:54). Furthermore, Christ suffered for the sins and sorrows and pains of all the rest of the human family, providing remission for all of our sins as well, upon conditions of obedience to the principles and ordinances of the gospel he taught (see 2 Ne. 9:21–23). As the Apostle Paul wrote, we were “bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20). What an expensive price and what a merciful purchase!

That is why every ordinance of the gospel focuses in one way or another on the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and surely that is why this particular ordinance with all its symbolism and imagery comes to us more readily and more repeatedly than any other in our life. It comes in what has been called “the most sacred, the most holy, of all the meetings of the Church” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56, 2:340).

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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
This Do in Remembrance of Me, Ensign, November, 1995

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June 19, 2017

Adversity, Alma, C.S. Lewis, Fundamental Principles, Pain

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God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

C.S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain, page 91

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And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

Alma 7:11

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June 13, 2017

Book of Mormon, Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, Samuelson

Comments Off on What Does the Atonement Mean to You?

What does the Atonement mean to you and to me? It means everything. As Jacob explained, we can “be reconciled unto [the Father] through the atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son” (Jacob 4:11). This means that we can repent, come into full harmony and complete acceptance with Him, and avoid the mistakes or misunderstandings that “denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption” (Moroni 8:20).

We avoid dishonoring and disrespecting the Savior’s Atonement by heeding the counsel of Helaman, which is as pertinent today as it was in the years immediately preceding the Lord’s earthly advent: “O remember, remember, my sons … that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world” (Helaman 5:9).

His Atonement does indeed cover the world and all people from the beginning to the end. Let us not forget, however, that in its comprehensiveness and completeness it is also intensely personal and uniquely crafted to fit perfectly and address perfectly each of our own individual circumstances. The Father and the Son know each of us better than we know ourselves and have prepared an Atonement for us that is fully congruent with our needs, challenges, and possibilities.

Thanks be to God for the gift of His Son, and thanks be to the Savior for His Atonement. It is true and is in effect and will lead us where we need and want to be.

 

Elder Cecil. O. Samuelson, Jr.
What Does the Atonement Mean to You?, Ensign, April, 2009

 

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June 8, 2017

Fundamental Principles, Grace, Mercy

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Latter-day Saints stress that neither the unconditional nor the conditional blessings of the Atonement would be available to mankind except through the grace and goodness of Christ. Obviously the unconditional blessings of the Atonement are unearned, but the conditional ones are also not fully merited. By living faithfully and keeping the commandments of God, one can receive additional privileges; but they are still given freely, not fully earned. They are always and ever a product of God’s grace. Latter-day Saint scripture is emphatic in its declaration that “there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Nephi 2:8)

From the Encyclopedia of Mormonism

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May 31, 2017

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Fundamental Principles, Holland

Comments Off on That They Might Not Suffer If They Would Repent

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism is a work that was undertaken by a group of professors at Brigham Young University. While it is not recognized as official Church doctrine, the Encyclopedia has been cited on a number of occasions by General Authorities in general conference and is a highly-reliable non-doctrinal resource.

As I was reading the entry for Atonement, I noticed that Jeffrey R. Holland was the author. Elder Holland was the president of Brigham Young University when the Encyclopedia project was begun.

Following is an excerpt from Elder Holland’s essay on the Atonement:

The universal, infinite, and unconditional aspects of the Atonement of Jesus Christ are several. They include his ransom for Adam’s original transgression so that no member of the human family is held responsible for that sin (A of F 2; see Original Sin). Another universal gift is the resurrection from the dead of every man, woman, and child who lives, has ever lived, or ever will live, on the earth. Thus, the Atonement is not only universal in the sense that it saves the entire human family from physical death, but it is also infinite in the sense that its impact and efficacy in making redemption possible for all reach back in one direction to the beginning of time and forward in the other direction throughout all eternity. In short, the Atonement has universal, infinite, and unconditional consequences for all mankind throughout the duration of all eternity.

Emphasizing these unconditional gifts arising out of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, Latter-day Saints believe that other aspects of Christ’s gift are conditional upon obedience and diligence in keeping God’s commandments. For example, while members of the human family are freely and universally given a reprieve from Adam’s sin through no effort or action of their own, they are not freely and universally given a reprieve of their own sins unless they pledge faith in Christ, repent of those sins, are baptized in his name, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and confirmation into Christ’s church, and press forward with a brightness of hope and faithful endurance for the remainder of life’s journey. Of this personal challenge, Christ said, “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; but if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit-and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink” (D&C 19:16-18).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
The Atonement of Jesus Christ
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Macmillan Publishing, 1992

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May 17, 2017

Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, General Conference, McConkie, Testimony

Comments Off on Do I believe in the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Do I believe in the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ?

As to this question, I give my own personal answer. It is:

I know that my Redeemer lives; with Job I testify. “What though the ravages of disease destroy my body; what though I am slain by the sword of death—yet I know that he who bought me with his blood shall soon reign on earth and that “in my flesh shall I see God.” (Job 19:26; see also Job 19:25.)

I am a witness that he was lifted up upon the cross of Calvary; that he was crucified, died, and rose again the third day; that he ascended into heaven, where, sitting on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, he now reigns in everlasting glory; and that he will soon come again among the sons of men.

I know that he is the one Mediator between God and man; that he brings to pass the immortality and eternal life of man; that his is a ministry of reconciliation whereby fallen man can be reconciled with his Maker.

I know that salvation is in Christ and that only by faith in his name can we hope for the riches of eternity.

He is my Brother and Friend, but he is more. He is my Lord, my God, and my King, whom I worship in the full majesty of his Godhead and who will continue to be my Savior, my Redeemer, and my God through all the eternities that lie ahead.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie
The Caravan Moves On“, Ensign, Nov. 1984, 82

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April 23, 2017

Book of Mormon, Fundamental Principles, Grace, Sanctification

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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 10:33

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