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

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 3, 2017

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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August 22, 2017

General Authorities, Holland

Comments Off on The role and prevalence and central participation of angels

I am convinced that one of the profound themes of the Book of Mormon, one which may not yet have been developed enough in our teaching of young people, is the role and prevalence and central participation of angels in the everlasting gospel story.

May I suggest to you that one of the things we need to teach our students, and one of the things which will become more important in their lives the longer they live, is the reality of angels, their work, and their ministry. Obviously I speak here not alone of the angel Moroni, but also of those more personal ministering angels who are with us and around us, empowered to help us, and who do exactly that.

Perhaps more of us, including our students, could literally, or at least figuratively, behold the angels around us if we would but awaken from our stupor and hear the voice of the Spirit as those angels try to speak.

I believe we need to speak of and believe in and bear testimony to the ministry of angels more than we sometimes do. They constitute one of God’s great methods of witnessing through the veil, and no document in all this world teaches that principle so clearly and so powerfully and so often as does the Book of Mormon.

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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

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July 21, 2017

Chastity, General Authorities, Holland, Repentance

Comments Off on Holland – The Peace and Renewal of Repentance

I have declared here the solemn word of revelation that the spirit and the body constitute the soul of man, and that through the Atonement of Christ the body shall rise from the grave to unite with the spirit in an eternal existence. That body is therefore something to be kept pure and holy. Do not be afraid of soiling its hands in honest labor. Do not be afraid of scars that may come in defending the truth or fighting for the right, but beware scars that spiritually disfigure, that come to you in activities you should not have undertaken, that befall you in places where you should not have gone. Beware the wounds of any battle in which you have been fighting on the wrong side. 17

If some few of you are carrying such wounds—and I know that you are—to you is extended the peace and renewal of repentance available through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. In such serious matters the path of repentance is not easily begun nor painlessly traveled. But the Savior of the world will walk that essential journey with you. He will strengthen you when you waver. He will be your light when it seems most dark. He will take your hand and be your hope when hope seems all you have left. His compassion and mercy, with all their cleansing and healing power, are freely given to all who truly wish complete forgiveness and will take the steps that lead to it.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Personal Purity,” Ensign, Nov 1998, 75

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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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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 19, 2017

Children, General Authorities, Holland, Prayer

Comments Off on Perhaps no anguish of the human spirit

Perhaps no anguish of the human spirit matches the anguish of a mother or father who fears for the soul of a child. … [But] parents can never give up hoping or caring or believing. Surely they can never give up praying. At times prayer may be the only course of action remaining—but it is the most powerful of them all.

Jeffrey R. Holland, Alma, Son of Alma,” Ensign, March, 1977

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May 2, 2017

General Authorities, General Conference, Holland, Rescue

Comments Off on Holland – Come Unto Me

When He says to the poor in spirit, “Come unto me,” He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way.

Jeffrey R. Holland

Broken Things to Mend,” Ensign, May 2006, 69–71

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February 28, 2017

General Authorities, General Conference, Holland

Comments Off on None Were with Him

Elder Holland does such an excellent job of expressing some of the complex emotions that surround our contemplation of our Savior and His great sacrifice for us.

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?”16

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”?17

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.”18 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.”19

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].”20

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

None Were with Him,” Ensign, May 2009, 86–88

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January 28, 2017

General Authorities, Holland

Comments Off on Peace I leave with you

The Savior said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

I submit to you, that may be one of the Savior’s commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord’s merciful heart. I can tell you this as a parent: as concerned as I would be if somewhere in their lives one of my children were seriously troubled or unhappy or disobedient, nevertheless I would be infinitely more devastated if I felt that at such a time that child could not trust me to help or thought his or her interest was unimportant to me or unsafe in my care. In that same spirit, I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands or trust in his commandments

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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

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