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

January 31, 2017

Grace, McKay

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President David O. McKay related a story which illustrates the relationship between works and grace. He told of a group of boys who were learning to swim when one fell into a treacherous hole in the stream. The boy would have drowned but for a quick-thinking companion who extended a branch to him and helped pull him to shore.

“There are those who claim that no one will sink and be lost if he will look to Jesus on the shore and say, ‘I believe.’ There are others who declare that every one must by his own efforts swim to the shore or be lost forever. The real truth is that both of these extreme views are incorrect. Christ redeemed all men from death which was brought upon them through no act of theirs, but He will not save men from their personal transgressions who will put forth no effort themselves, any more than the young rescuer on the river bank could have saved the drowning lad if the latter had not seized the means provided him. Neither can man save himself without accepting the means provided by Christ for man’s salvation.”

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November 2, 2015

General Authorities, McKay, Resurrection

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What was it that suddenly changed these disciples to confident, fearless, heroic preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ? It was the revelation that Christ had risen from the grave. His promises had been kept, his Messianic mission fulfilled. In the words of one universal writer, “The final and absolute seal of genuineness had been put on all his claims, and the indelible stamp of a divine authority upon all his teachings. The gloom of death had been banished by the glorious light of the presence of their risen, glorified Lord and Savior.”

On the evidence of these unprejudiced, unexpectant, incredulous witnesses, faith in the resurrection has its impregnable foundation.

President David O. McKay
Steppingstones to an Abundant Life, Compiled by Llewelyn R. McKay
Deseret Book Company, 1971

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February 15, 2013

Eyring, General Authorities, McKay, Moroni, Sanctification

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President Henry B. Eyring speaking about President McKay and Moroni:
You have felt a tug, maybe many tugs, to be someone better. And what sets those yearnings apart from all your daydreams is that they were not about being richer or smarter or more attractive but about being better.

I am sure you have had such moments, not just from my experience but because of what President David O. McKay once said. Listen very carefully:
“Man is a spiritual being, a soul, and at some period of his life everyone is possessed with an irresistible desire to know his relationship to the Infinite. . . . There is something within him which urges him to rise above himself, to control his environment, to master the body and all things physical and live in a higher and more beautiful world” (True to the Faith: From the Sermons and Discourses of David O. McKay, comp. Llewelyn R. McKay, Salt Lake City, Bookcraft, 1966, 244)

That pull upward is far beyond what you would call a desire for self-improvement. When I felt it, I knew I was being urged to live so far above myself that I could never do it on my own. President McKay had it right. You feel an urging to rise above your natural self. What you have felt is an urging from your Heavenly Father to accept this invitation:

“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
“And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.” (Moroni 10:32–33)

That urge to rise above yourself is a recognition of your need for the Atonement to work in your life, and your need to be sure that it is working. After all you can do, after all your effort, you need confidence that the Atonement is working for you and on you.

President Henry B. Eyring
Henry B. Eyring, “Coming unto Christ,” New Era, April 2007, 2–7

April 12, 2012

General Authorities, General Conference, McKay, Words of Christ

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President David O. McKay said, “Man is a spiritual being, and sometime or another every man is possessed with a longing, an irresistible desire, to know his relationship to the Infinite. He realizes that he is not just a physical object to be tossed for just a short time from bank to bank, only to be submerged finally in the ever-flowing stream of life. There is something within him that urges him to rise above himself, to control his environment, to master the body and all things physical, and to live in a higher and more beautiful world.” (Conference Report, April, 1968, Priesthood Session)

Jesus said:

And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works. (3 Nephi 27:14-15)

The upward pull comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ, who is drawing us towards Him, reminding us that our true home is another, higher place where only He can take us.