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

February 14, 2018

Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference, Holland

Comments Off on However late you think you are

However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.

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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

General Conference, April, 2012

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February 11, 2018

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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February 10, 2018

Bradford, Charity, General Authorities, General Conference, Service

Comments Off on Selflessness is Righteousness

Selfless service projects are the projects of the gospel. They have continuity. They are not one-time special events based on entertainment and fun and games. They need not be regimented nor regulated. Selfless service projects are people-to-people projects. They are face-to-face, eye-to-eye, voice-to-ear, heart-to-heart, spirit-to-spirit, and hand-in-hand, people-to-people projects.

We must remember that we are social beings. Our eternal destiny is welded to the destiny of our fellows. Within this social system, there is always a desire for recognition, and this is as it should be, if that desire is kept within its bounds.

Elder Marvin J. Ashton once related that during a meeting a woman seated behind him passed him a note. It simply said, “Would you please turn around and look at me?” Then he said, “Everyone needs to be looked at.”

. . . .

Selflessness is righteousness. It embraces the true spirit of companionship. It is the very essence of friendship. It is the portrayer of true love and oneness in humanity. Its reward is the freeing of the soul, a nearness to divinity, a worthiness for the companionship of the Spirit. Every requirement that God’s plan for our salvation places upon us is based on the giving of one’s self.

The only way under the heavens whereby a person can be sanctified is in selfless service.

Elder William R. Bradford
Selfless Service“, Ensign, Nov. 1987, 75

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February 9, 2018

Cook, Enabling Power, General Authorities, General Conference

Comments Off on The Enabling Power of the Atonement

While Elder David A. Bednar is most closely connected with teaching about the Enabling Power of the Atonement, others have also discussed this aspect of our Savior’s greatest gift to us.

Elder Gene R. Cook of the Seventy said:

Grace is a “divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.” It is “an enabling power.” (Bible Dictionary, p. 697.) The doctrine of the grace of the Father and the Son and how it affects us is so significant that it is mentioned more than two hundred times in the standard works.

If we can obtain the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that divine enabling power to assist us, we will triumph in this life and be exalted in the life to come.

Let me share with you five principles that may help us obtain that divine intervention in our own life or perhaps vicariously assist in the life of another. These principles are simple to understand but most challenging to apply. You already know all of them. However, you may not have considered how directly related they are to obtaining grace.

The first principle is faith. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace.” (Rom. 5:1–2.)

It is evident that this grace, or enabling power, is accessed by faith. No wonder faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel.

How clear Christ’s question was to a sinking Peter, after he had walked on the water: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:31.) The moment Peter doubted and took his eyes off the Savior, he severed himself from the power of Jesus Christ that had sustained him on the water.

How many times, likewise, as we have prayed for assistance or help with our problems, have we severed ourselves from the power of God because of doubt or fear, and thus could not obtain this enabling power of God? (See D&C 6:36; D&C 67:3.)

Gene R. Cook

Receiving Divine Assistance through the Grace of the Lord,” Ensign, May 1993, 79

See posts on Elder Bednar’s discussions of this part of the Atonement here and here.

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February 7, 2018

Adversity, General Authorities, General Conference, Holland, Video

Comments Off on Don’t You Quit

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January 25, 2018

Eyring, General Authorities, General Conference, Trust

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I am to build trust in God and His servants enough that we will go out and obey His counsel. He wants that because He loves us and wants our happiness. And He knows how a lack of trust in Him brings sadness.

That lack of trust has brought sorrow to Heavenly Father’s children from before the world was created. We know through the revelations of God to the Prophet Joseph Smith that many of our brothers and sisters in the premortal world rejected the plan for our mortal life presented by our Heavenly Father and His eldest Son, Jehovah.

President Henry B. Eyring
Trust in God, Then Go and Do

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January 21, 2018

General Authorities, General Conference, Humility, Porter, Repentance

Comments Off on The Very Essence of a Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit

The Savior’s perfect submission to the Eternal Father is the very essence of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Christ’s example teaches us that a broken heart is an eternal attribute of godliness. When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognize our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are. The sacrifice so entailed is a sacrifice of pride in all its forms. Like malleable clay in the hands of a skilled potter, the brokenhearted can be molded and shaped in the hands of the Master.

A broken heart and a contrite spirit are also preconditions to repentance. Lehi taught:

“Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah. …

“Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered” (2 Nephi 2:6–7).

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Elder Bruce D. Porter
A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit

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January 19, 2018

Alma, Change, General Authorities, General Conference, Repentance, Scott

Comments Off on Scott – To You Who have Sincerely Repented

Formulas have been crafted to help remember some of the essential actions required for full repentance. While these can be helpful, generally they ignore the most fundamental aspect of repentance—that it is centered in Jesus Christ and in His Atonement, that it has efficacy because He willingly paid the full price through His redeeming sacrifice, motivated by a perfect love of His Father and of each of us.

. . . .

To you who have sincerely repented yet continue to feel the burden of guilt, realize that to continue to suffer for sins when there has been proper repentance and forgiveness of the Lord is prompted by the master of deceit. Lucifer will encourage you to continue to relive the details of past mistakes, knowing that such thoughts can hamper your progress. Thus he attempts to tie strings to the mind and body so that he can manipulate you like a puppet to discourage personal achievement.

I testify that Jesus Christ paid the price and will satisfy the demands of justice for all who are obedient to His teachings. Thus, full forgiveness is granted, and the distressing effects of sin need no longer persist in one’s life. Indeed, they cannot persist if one truly understands the meaning of Christ’s Atonement. Alma conquered thoughts of past unworthiness by remembering the mercy of the Redeemer. He marveled, “Behold, he did not exercise his justice upon us, but in his great mercy hath brought us … the salvation of our souls.” 18

When memory of past mistakes encroaches upon your mind, turn your thoughts to the Redeemer and to the miracle of forgiveness with the renewal that comes through Him. Your depression and suffering will be replaced by peace, joy, and gratitude for His love.

How difficult it must be for Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, to see so many needlessly suffer, because His gift of repentance is ignored. It must pain Him deeply to see the pointless agony both in this life and beyond the veil that accompany the unrepentant sinner after all He did so that we need not suffer.

. . . .

Have you wandered from the path of joy and now find yourself where you do not want to be, with feelings you do not want to have? Is there a yearning to return to the peace and joy of a worthy life? I invite you with all the love of my heart to repent and come back. Decide to do it now. That journey is not as difficult as it seems. You can cast out guilt, overcome depression, receive the blessing of peace of mind, and find enduring joy. Pray for help and guidance, and you will be led to find it. Go to where you know the light of truth shines—to a worthy friend, a loving bishop or stake president, an understanding parent. Please come back. We love you. We need you. Follow the path to peace and joy through complete repentance. The Savior will help you obtain forgiveness as you sincerely follow all of the steps to repentance. He is the Redeemer. He loves you. He wants you to have peace and joy in your life.

Elder Richard G. Scott

The Path to Peace and Joy,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 25–27

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January 14, 2018

General Authorities, General Conference, Joy, Priesthood, Uchtdorf

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Brethren, our religion is a joyful one! We are most blessed to bear the priesthood of God! In the book of Psalms we read, “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.”  We can experience this greater joy if we but look for it.

Too often we fail to experience the bliss that comes from daily, practical priesthood service. At times assignments can feel like burdens. Brethren, let us not pass through life immersed in the three Ws: wearied, worrying, and whining. We live beneath our privileges when we allow worldly anchors to keep us away from the abundant joy that comes from faithful and dedicated priesthood service, especially within the walls of our own homes. We live beneath our privileges when we fail to partake of the feast of happiness, peace, and joy that God grants so bountifully to faithful priesthood servants.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Your Potential, Your Privilege, General Conference, April, 2011

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January 13, 2018

Easter, Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, General Conference, Holland

Comments Off on Because Jesus Walked Such a Long, Lonely Path Utterly Alone, We Do Not Have To Do So

Another re-post of a fundamental building block of faith in Christ:

Now I speak very carefully, even reverently, of what may have been the most difficult moment in all of this solitary journey to Atonement. I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually—that concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; emphasis added)
The loss of mortal support He had anticipated, but apparently He had not comprehended this. Had He not said to His disciples, “Behold, the hour … is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” and “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”? (John 16:328:29)

With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.

But Jesus held on. He pressed on. The goodness in Him allowed faith to triumph even in a state of complete anguish. The trust He lived by told Him in spite of His feelings that divine compassion is never absent, that God is always faithful, that He never flees nor fails us. When the uttermost farthing had then been paid, when Christ’s determination to be faithful was as obvious as it was utterly invincible, finally and mercifully, it was “finished.” (See John 19:30) Against all odds and with none to help or uphold Him, Jesus of Nazareth, the living Son of the living God, restored physical life where death had held sway and brought joyful, spiritual redemption out of sin, hellish darkness, and despair. With faith in the God He knew was there, He could say in triumph, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said: “I will not leave you comfortless: [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].” (John 14:18; see also v. 23)

Jeffrey R. Holland
None Were with Him“, Ensign, May 2009, 86–88

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