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

May 16, 2017

Christmas, General Authorities, Hunter, Sacrifice, Service

Comments Off on It is Possible for Christ to be Born in Men’s Lives

It is possible for Christ to be born in men’s lives, and when such an experience actually happens, a man is “in Christ”—Christ is “formed” in him. This presupposes that we take Christ into our hearts and make Him the living contemporary of our lives. He is not just a general truth or a fact in history, but the Savior of men everywhere and at all times. When we strive to be Christlike, He is “formed” in us; if we open the door, He will enter; if we seek His counsel, He will counsel us. For Christ to be “formed” in us, we must have a belief in Him and in His Atonement. Such a belief in Christ and the keeping of His commandments are not restraints upon us. By these, men are set free. This Prince of Peace waits to give peace of mind, which may make each of us a channel of that peace.

The real Christmas comes to him who has taken Christ into his life as a moving, dynamic, vitalizing force. The real spirit of Christmas lies in the life and mission of the Master. I continue with what the writer defines as the real spirit of Christmas:

“It is a desire to sacrifice for others, to render service, and to possess a feeling of universal brotherhood. It consists of a willingness to forget what you have done for others, and to remember only what others have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and think only of … your duties in the middle distance, and your chance to do good and aid your fellow-men in the foreground—to see that your fellow-men are just as good as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts—to close your book of grievances against the universe, and look about you for a place to sow a few seeds of happiness and go your way unobserved” [Improvement Era, Dec. 1919, 155].

President Howard W. Hunter
The Real Christmas“, Ensign, Dec. 2005, 22–25

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January 9, 2017

General Authorities, General Conference, Holy Ghost, Hunter, Women

Comments Off on Our Lord and Savior Needed the Women

It must be comforting to you beloved sisters of his Church to remember that this same Jesus, our Savior through the Atonement, demonstrated his love and concern for the women of his time. He enjoyed the company of women and had close friends among them. One of his great parables was about ten virgins. He blessed children. He honored the poor widow who gave two mites. He taught the woman of Samaria and revealed to her that he was the Messiah. He cast out seven devils from Mary Magdalene and forgave the woman taken in adultery. He healed the daughter of the Greek woman, the one stooped and bent for eighteen years, and healed Peter’s mother of a fever.

He restored the dead son to his mother, the daughter of Jairus to her parents, and Lazarus to his grieving sisters, whom he counted among his closest friends. As he hung on the cross, his heart went out to his mother, and he placed her in the care of his beloved disciple, John. Women prepared his body for burial. It was Mary to whom he first appeared as the resurrected Lord, and it was she to whom he entrusted the delivery of the glorious message to his disciples that he had risen.

Is there any reason to think that he cares any less about women today? Before his ascension, he made this promise to his disciples: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter. … I will not leave you comfortless.” (John 14:16, 18.) His daughter-disciples, too, are privileged to have been given that other Comforter as well, the gift of the Holy Ghost.

As special witnesses of our Savior, we have been given the awesome assignment to administer the affairs of his church and kingdom and to minister to his daughters and his sons wherever they are on the face of the earth. By reason of our call to testify, govern, and minister, it is required of us that despite age, infirmity, exhaustion, and feelings of inadequacy, we do the work he has given us to do, to the last breath of our lives.

As our Lord and Savior needed the women of his time for a comforting hand, a listening ear, a believing heart, a kind look, an encouraging word, loyalty—even in his hour of humiliation, agony, and death—so we, his servants all across the Church, need you, the women of the Church, to stand with us and for us in stemming the tide of evil that threatens to engulf us. Together we must stand faithful and firm in the faith against superior numbers of other-minded people. It seems to me that there is a great need to rally the women of the Church to stand with and for the Brethren in stemming the tide of evil that surrounds us and in moving forward the work of our Savior. Nephi said, “Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men, [women, and children].” (2 Ne. 31:20.) Obedient to him we are a majority. But only together can we accomplish the work he has given us to do and be prepared for the day when we shall see him.

President Howard W. Hunter
To the Women of the Church,” Ensign, Nov 1992, 95

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September 7, 2016

Hope, Hunter

Comments Off on Jesus Was Capable of Sinning, But Did Not

It is important to remember that Jesus was capable of sinning, that he could have succumbed, that the plan of life and salvation could have been foiled, but that he remained true. Had there been no possibility of his yielding to the enticement of Satan, there would have been no real test, no genuine victory in the result. If he had been stripped of the faculty to sin, he would have been stripped of his very agency. It was he who had come to safeguard and ensure the agency of man. He had to retain the capacity and ability to sin had he willed so to do. As Paul wrote, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8); and he “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). He was perfect and sinless, not because he had to be, but rather because he clearly and determinedly wanted to be. As the Doctrine and Covenants records, “He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them” (D&C 20:22).

President Howard W. Hunter

The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, edited by Clyde J. Williams, 76-02, p. 19

Modernists dispute that the Master voluntarily offered himself to atone for the sins of mankind, and they deny that there was in fact such an atonement. It is our firm belief that it is a reality, and nothing is more important in the entire divine plan of salvation than the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We believe that salvation comes because of the Atonement. In its absence the whole plan of creation would come to naught.

Without this atoning sacrifice, temporal death would be the end, and there would be no resurrection and no purpose in our spiritual lives. There would be no hope of eternal life.

President Howard W. Hunter

The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, edited by Clyde J. Williams, 68-05, p. 106

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August 28, 2016

Charity, General Authorities, General Conference, Hunter

Comments Off on The Grandeur of Christ’s Spirit

To the very end of his mortal life Jesus was demonstrating the grandeur of his spirit and the magnitude of his strength. He was not, even at this late hour, selfishly engrossed in his own sorrows or contemplating the impending pain. He was anxiously attending to the present and future needs of his beloved followers. He knew their own safety, individually and as a church lay only in their unconditional love one for another. His entire energies seem to have been directed toward their needs, thus teaching by example what he was teaching by precept.

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President Howard W. Hunter
Ensign, May 1974

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November 2, 2015

Christmas, General Authorities, Hunter

Comments Off on The Real Christmas – Taking Christ Into Our Lives

It is possible for Christ to be born in men’s lives, and when such an experience actually happens, a man is “in Christ”—Christ is “formed” in him. This presupposes that we take Christ into our hearts and make Him the living contemporary of our lives. He is not just a general truth or a fact in history, but the Savior of men everywhere and at all times. When we strive to be Christlike, He is “formed” in us; if we open the door, He will enter; if we seek His counsel, He will counsel us. For Christ to be “formed” in us, we must have a belief in Him and in His Atonement. Such a belief in Christ and the keeping of His commandments are not restraints upon us. By these, men are set free. This Prince of Peace waits to give peace of mind, which may make each of us a channel of that peace.

The real Christmas comes to him who has taken Christ into his life as a moving, dynamic, vitalizing force. The real spirit of Christmas lies in the life and mission of the Master. I continue with what the writer defines as the real spirit of Christmas:

“It is a desire to sacrifice for others, to render service, and to possess a feeling of universal brotherhood. It consists of a willingness to forget what you have done for others, and to remember only what others have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and think only of … your duties in the middle distance, and your chance to do good and aid your fellow-men in the foreground—to see that your fellow-men are just as good as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts—to close your book of grievances against the universe, and look about you for a place to sow a few seeds of happiness and go your way unobserved” [Improvement Era, Dec. 1919, 155].

President Howard W. Hunter

The Real Christmas,” Liahona, Dec 2005, 12

From a devotional address given at Brigham Young University on December 5, 1972


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November 2, 2015

General Authorities, General Conference, Hunter, Repentance

Comments Off on Repentance is the Homesickness of the Soul

When the prodigal boy, in that parable which most perfectly tells the story of the sinning and repentant life, “came to himself,” his first words were, “I will arise and go to my father” (Luke 15:18). While he is yet afar off the waiting father sees him coming and is moved with compassion. Repentance is but the homesickness of the soul, and the uninterrupted and watchful care of the parent is the fairest earthly type of the unfailing forgiveness of God. The family is, to the mind of Jesus, the nearest of human analogies to that divine order which it was his mission to reveal.

Elder Howard W. Hunter
Conference Report, 3 April 1960, pp. 124-26; “As He Thinketh.”
Church of the Air Address, CBS Radio, 3 April 1960.

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November 2, 2015

Charity, General Authorities, Hunter, Obedience

Comments Off on He Loves the Lord with All His Heart

He loves the Lord with all his heart who . . . is ready to give up, do, or suffer anything in order to please and glorify him.

He loves God with all his soul . . . who is ready to give up life for his sake and to be deprived of the comforts of the world to glorify him.

He loves God with all his strength who exerts all the powers of his body and soul in the service of God.

He loves God with all his mind who applies himself only to know God and his will, who sees God in all things and acknowledges him in all ways.

Howard W. Hunter
General Conference, April, 1965

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September 13, 2015

Forgiveness, General Authorities, General Conference, Hunter, Repentance

Comments Off on Repentance is the Homesickness of the Soul

When the prodigal boy, in that parable which most perfectly tells the story of the sinning and repentant life, “came to himself,” his first words were, “I will arise and go to my father” (Luke 15:18). While he is yet afar off the waiting father sees him coming and is moved with compassion.

Repentance is but the homesickness of the soul, and the uninterrupted and watchful care of the parent is the fairest earthly type of the unfailing forgiveness of God. The family is, to the mind of Jesus, the nearest of human analogies to that divine order which it was his mission to reveal.

Elder Howard W. Hunter
Conference Report, 3 April 1960, pp. 124-26; “As He Thinketh.”
Church of the Air Address, CBS Radio, 3 April 1960.
(Paragraph break added to enhance online readability.)