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

When spiritually aligned, a poise can come, even when we do not know “the meaning of all things” (1 Ne. 11:17). Such contented assurance produces not arrogance but quiet acceptance, which is its own form of being “anxiously engaged” but without all the bells and whistles (D&C 58:27; see also D&C 58:28).

However, this spiritual contentment rests on our accepting the Atonement of Jesus, because we “have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world” (Mosiah 4:6).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Content with the Things Allotted unto Us,” Ensign, May 2000, 72

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September 20, 2017

Faith, General Authorities, General Conference, Humility, Scott

Comments Off on A righteous life produces an inner power and strength that can be resistant to the influence of sin and transgression

Material things do not of themselves produce happiness and satisfaction and the joy of attainment on earth. Nor do they lead us to exaltation. It is nobility of character, that fabric of inner strength and conviction woven from countless righteous decisions, that gives life its direction. A consistent, righteous life produces an inner power and strength that can be permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin and transgression. Your faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His commandments will strengthen your character. Your character is a measure of what you are becoming. It is the evidence of how well you are using your time on earth in this period of mortal probation.

An axiom we all understand is that you get what you pay for. That is true for spiritual matters as well. You get what you pay for in obedience, in faith in Jesus Christ, in diligent application of the truths you learn. What you get is the molding of character, the growth in capacity, and the successful completion of your mortal purpose to be proven and to have joy.

You cannot be passive in life, or in time the natural man will undermine your efforts to live worthily. You become what you do and what you think about. Lack of character leads one under pressure to satisfy appetite or seek personal gain. You cannot successfully bolster a weak character with the cloak of pretense.

. . . .

Humility is that quality that permits us to be taught from on high through the Spirit or to be taught from sources whose origin was inspiration from the Lord, such as the scriptures and the comments of the prophets. Humility is the precious fertile soil of righteous character. In it the seeds of personal growth germinate. When cultivated through the exercise of faith, pruned by repentance, and fortified by obedience and good works, such seeds produce the cherished fruit of spiritual direction. Divine inspiration and power then result—inspiration to know the will of the Lord, power to provide the ability to accomplish that inspired will.

Elder Richard G. Scott
The Transforming Power of Faith and Character

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September 17, 2017

Charity, Eyring, General Authorities

Comments Off on Charity is an Effect of Christ’s Atonement

“The great legacy those who went before you in the Relief Society [has been] passed on to you.

The part of the foundation they laid for you which seems to me most important and persistent is that charity is at the heart of the society and is to come into the heart, to be part of the very nature, of every member. Charity meant to them far more than a feeling of benevolence. Charity is born of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and is an effect of His Atonement working in the hearts of the members.”

President Henry B. Eyring
“The Enduring Legacy of Relief Society,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 121

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September 16, 2017

Didier, General Authorities, General Conference, Mediator

Comments Off on The Centerpiece, The Cornerstone

When I was a young man living in a city called Namur in Belgium, there was a large river separating it from an adjacent city on the other side of the river. At that time, only one bridge connected the two cities. It had been built and rebuilt over the remnants of a bridge built centuries before by the Roman conquerors. It had become too narrow for the traffic, and there were too many small arches to allow the passage of large boats and barges. A new bridge was necessary, wider and with only one arch. The work to establish the foundations soon started on both sides of the river. Rapidly, two huge metallic arms began to stretch from each side with the aim to meet together in the middle of the river. I was fascinated by the engineering and rode my bicycle almost every day to watch the progress of the work. Finally the day came when the centerpiece, a cornerstone made of steel, was going to link the two arms together. Crowds were now watching with me the delicate operation, the final step that would join the two arms together and permit crossing the bridge for the first time. When it took place, people applauded, workers embraced; the obstacle of the river had been conquered and overcome.

I mention this experience because of the symbolism that it represents. The bridge is more than a bridge of metal. It symbolizes the bridge of faith enabling us, children of our Heavenly Father, to meet Him again. The centerpiece of the bridge, the cornerstone, represents the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Mediator, the link between mortality and immortality, the connection between the natural man and the spiritual man, the change from temporal life to eternal life. It is because of Him that mankind can be reconciled with their Heavenly Father and that we can overcome the walls of sin and mortality, these obstacles that represent spiritual and physical death. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of the plan of salvation, the promised reunion with our Heavenly Father, as we read in the book of Moses: “This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time” (Moses 6:62).

The love of God, the other side of the bridge, is the reward of our faith in His Son, Jesus the Christ. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). The greatest of all the gifts of God is the supreme sacrifice of His Son, His Atonement, that brings not only immortality but also eternal life if we keep His commandments and endure to the end (see D&C 14:7).

Elder Charles Didier

Building a Bridge of Faith,” Ensign, Nov 2001, 10

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September 15, 2017

Benson, Fall, General Authorities, General Conference

Comments Off on The Fall and the Atonement

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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September 13, 2017

General Authorities, Maxwell, Resurrection

Comments Off on Oh, How We Adore Jesus for His Atonement!

As signified by Jesus’ personal resurrection and the recognition of him by friends, immortality is not merely being one droplet in some floating sea of cosmic consciousness! Resurrection is not being a mere molecule in an unremembering cloud of drifting molecules! His resurrection was personal and recognizable. So will ours be! Did not the resurrected ancients go into Jerusalem and appear unto many?

Oh, how we adore Jesus for his atonement! For his free gift of immortality to all! Consider for a moment, how would we regard Christ without the reality of his atonement and resurrection? How would we regard the Sermon on the Mount without the resurrection of the sermon giver and eventually all of us? Without the reality of God’s plan of salvation and Jesus’ atonement, how could the meek truly inherit the earth? How could the pure in heart really see God? (See Matthew 5.)

No wonder Paul wrote of Christ, “in him all things hold together” (Revised Standard Version, Colossians 1:17). When, collectively or individually, brothers and sisters, things seem to fly apart for us at times, what fitting imagery: “In him all things hold together”! Given the centrality of the doctrine of resurrection, the Restoration has as one of its main purposes to witness not only of Jesus’ resurrection, but that of all mankind.

Neal A. Maxwell,

In Him All Things Hold Together

Fireside address at Brigham Young University on 31 March 1991

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September 12, 2017

Forgiveness, General Authorities, Holland, Hope, Kimball, Repentance

Comments Off on Many Have Tended to Surrender Hope

I had made up my mind that I would never write a book … [but] when I come in contact almost daily with broken homes, delinquent children, corrupt governments, and apostate groups, and realize that all these problems are the result of sin, I want to shout with Alma: ‘O … that I might go forth … with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people.’ (Alma 29:1)

Hence this book indicates the seriousness of breaking God’s commandments; shows that sin can bring only sorrow, remorse, disappointment, and anguish; and warns that the small indiscretions evolve into larger ones and finally into major transgressions which bring heavy penalties.

[But] having come to recognize their deep sin, many have tended to surrender hope, not having a clear knowledge of the scriptures and of the redeeming power of Christ.

[So I also] write to make the joyous affirmation that man can be literally transformed by his own repentance and by God’s gift of forgiveness.

It is my humble hope that … [those] who are suffering the baleful effects of sin may be helped to find the way from darkness to light, from suffering to peace, from misery to hope, and from spiritual death to eternal life.

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President Spencer W. Kimball
The Miracle of Forgiveness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969, pp. x–xii; emphasis added.

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Quoted in A Robe, a Ring, and a Fatted Calf by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, August, 1985

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September 10, 2017

General Authorities, Nature of Christ, Young

Comments Off on The difference between God and the Devil

The difference between God and the Devil is that God creates and organizes, while the whole study of the Devil is to destroy.

Brigham Young
Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 69

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September 9, 2017

General Authorities, Hinckley, Hope

Comments Off on The Greatest Event in Human History

[Jesus Christ’s] Atonement is the greatest event in human history. There is nothing to compare with it. It is the most fundamental part of our Father’s plan for the happiness of His children. Without it, mortal life would be a dead-end existence with neither hope nor future. The gift of our divine Redeemer brings an entirely new dimension to our lives. Because of our Savior’s sacrifice, instead of dismal oblivion, death becomes only a passage to a more glorious realm. The Resurrection becomes a reality for all. Eternal life becomes available to those who walk in obedience to His commandments” (Australia stake conference satellite broadcast, Feb. 12, 2005).

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President Gordon B. Hinckley
Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, September, 2007, 4-8

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September 7, 2017

Christmas, General Authorities, Monson

Comments Off on Born in a Stable, He was Taught from on High

We laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we love, we live. And then we die. And dead we would remain but for one man and his mission, even Jesus of Nazareth. Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, his birth fulfilled the inspired pronouncements of many prophets. He was taught from on high. He provided the life, the light, and the way. Multitudes followed him. Children adored him. The haughty rejected him. He spoke in parables. He taught by example. He lived a perfect life. Through his ministry, blind men saw, deaf men heard, and lame men walked. Even the dead returned to life.

Then-Elder Thomas S. Monson
““I Know That My Redeemer Lives””, Ensign, Apr. 1982, 6

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