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

March 10, 2017

General Authorities, General Conference, Hales, Resurrection

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What we must remember about the Savior is that He and He alone had the power to lay down His life and take it up again. He had the ability to die from His mortal mother, Mary, and the ability to overcome death from His immortal Father. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, went willingly and deliberately to His death, having told His followers that this would happen. Why? one might ask. The answer: to give immortality to all mankind and the promise of eternal life to those who believed in Him (see John 3:15), to give His own life for a ransom for others (see Matt. 20:28), to overcome Satan’s power, and to make it possible for sins to be forgiven. Without Jesus’ Atonement, there would be an impassable barrier between God and mortal men and women. When we comprehend the Atonement, we remember Him with awe and gratitude.

. . . .

As we remember the Savior, we remember an empty tomb, a symbol that the Lord has risen and a promise to all of the Resurrection and life after death.

Because of our Savior’s Atonement, in death’s darkness there is no sting, in death’s depression there is no victory. His resurrected light dispels the darkness, defeating the prince of darkness, with a brightness of eternal hope.

. . . .

When the time for the Atonement was near, the disciples were concerned how long Jesus would remain with them. He told them that He would not tarry with them for long but that He would leave a Comforter with them, the Holy Ghost (see John 14:26). For you and me, we have to understand the loving nature of our Savior. We are not left alone. He has given us this day, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, a restoration of the gospel in these latter days. He has provided another testament of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon. He has restored the priesthood and the keys that He gave to Peter, James, and John when He was with them and they were His Apostles. They came to Joseph Smith and restored those same keys in 1829. Additional priesthood keys were brought by Elijah, Moses, and Elias after the appearance of the Savior in the Kirtland Temple on April 3rd of 1836. These keys have been given for the ordinances of the temple (see D&C 110).

We have not been left alone. We have the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost to lead and guide us in an otherwise very dark and dreary world. The keys of the priesthood have been restored to make available all of the ordinances that are necessary, that we may return to His presence.

Elder Robert D. Hales

In Remembrance of Jesus,” Ensign, Nov 1997, 24

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January 20, 2017

Adversity, Faith, General Authorities, General Conference, Hales, Healing

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I pondered deeply the purpose of pain and studied in my mind what I could learn from my experience and began to comprehend pain a little better. I learned that the physical pain and the healing of the body after major surgery are remarkably similar to the spiritual pain and the healing of the soul in the process of repentance. “Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul” (D&C 101:37).

I have come to understand how useless it is to dwell on the whys, what ifs, and if onlys for which there likely will be given no answers in mortality. To receive the Lord’s comfort, we must exercise faith. The questions Why me? Why our family? Why now? are usually unanswerable questions. These questions detract from our spirituality and can destroy our faith. We need to spend our time and energy building our faith by turning to the Lord and asking for strength to overcome the pains and trials of this world and to endure to the end for greater understanding.

. . . .

Recent months have brought some tender experiences with families going through all the pain inherent in the peaceful passing of a family member. As the one passing away prepares to depart mortality, the family members experience a peace and willingness to let go of their loved one. The family members feel the pain of separation but are comforted by the peace that comes from priesthood blessings, family prayers, and the knowledge of the Resurrection that assures them they will be reunited with their loved one in the not-too-distant future. Their faith and putting their trust in the Lord help them put the whys and ifs behind them and feel the comfort of the Spirit of the Lord.

Our Savior knows the heart of each of us. He knows the pains of our hearts. If we seek the truth, develop faith in Him, and, if necessary, sincerely repent, we will receive a spiritual change of heart which only comes from our Savior. Our hearts will become new again.

Elder Robert D. Hales
Healing Soul and Body,” , (October 3, 1998)

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December 27, 2016

General Authorities, General Conference, Hales

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This promised Zion always seems to be a little beyond our reach. We need to understand that as much virtue can be gained in progressing toward Zion as in dwelling there. It is a process as well as a destination. We approach or withdraw from Zion through the manner in which we conduct our daily dealings, how we live within our families, whether we pay an honest tithe and generous fast offering, how we seize opportunities to serve and do so diligently. Many are perfected upon the road to Zion who will never see the city in mortality.

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Elder Robert D. Hales

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March 11, 2016

General Authorities, General Conference, Hales

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Now, my brothers and sisters, in this, the last great conflict between light and darkness, I am grateful for the opportunity to “endure hardness, as a [disciple] of Jesus Christ.” 30 With Paul, I declare, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” 31 I bear my special witness that Jesus Christ “is the light and the life of the world; yea, [the] light that is endless, that can never be darkened.” 32

He is the Light of Bethlehem, born of Mary, His mortal mother, and His Father, Almighty God.

He is the Light who was baptized by immersion, by John the Baptist, upon whom the Holy Ghost was manifest in the Spirit like a dove descending.

He is the Light in whom His Father was well pleased.

He is the Light at the head of the ancient Church, organized with Twelve Apostles, prophets, and seventies.

He is the Light of the Atonement fulfilled in the Garden of Gethsemane and on Golgotha, who took upon Himself the sins of the world, that all mankind may obtain eternal salvation.

He is the Light of the empty tomb, the resurrected Lord with a glorified body of flesh and bone, who broke the bands of death and gained an everlasting victory over the grave.

He is the Light that ascended into heaven before the eyes of His disciples, with a promise that in like manner He would come again.

He is the Light that appeared with His Father and restored, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the same Church He established during His ministry on earth.

He is the Light that leads and guides this Church today through revelation to a prophet, his counselors, and the Twelve Apostles.

He is my Light, my Redeemer, my Savior—and yours.

I know that God lives. I know that He hath called us “out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 33 I pray that the light of His restored gospel will continue to spread throughout the world so that all may have the opportunity to hear and choose, and that His Church will “come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth … fair as the moon, clear as the sun,” so that His “glory may fill the earth.” 34

Elder Robert D. Hales

Out of Darkness into His Marvelous Light,” Ensign, May 2002, 69

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