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

July 9, 2017

Book of Mormon, Fundamental Principles, Grace, Joseph Smith, Moroni, Perfection

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The nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 51)

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.

Moroni 10:32

 

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April 9, 2017

Book of Mormon, Callister, General Authorities, General Conference, Moroni

Comments Off on The Book of Mormon will Teach You that Christ’s Atonement is Infinite

The list of doctrinal confirmations and clarifications goes on and on, but none is more powerful nor poignant than the Book of Mormon’s discourses on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Would you like to have emblazoned on your soul an undeniable witness that the Savior descended beneath your sins and that there is no sin, no mortal plight outside the merciful reach of His Atonement—that for each of your struggles He has a remedy of superior healing power? Then read the Book of Mormon. It will teach you and testify to you that Christ’s Atonement is infinite because it circumscribes and encompasses and transcends every finite frailty known to man. That is why the prophet Mormon declared, “Ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ” (Moroni 7:41).

 

Elder Tad R. Callister
The Book of Mormon—a Book from God, General Conference, October, 2011

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January 16, 2017

Bednar, General Authorities, General Conference, Grace, Moroni, Sanctification

Comments Off on Both Clean Hands and a Pure Heart

Some . . . may think the spiritual progress I am describing is not attainable in their lives. We may believe these truths apply to others but not to us.

We will not attain a state of perfection in this life, but we can and should press forward with faith in Christ along the strait and narrow path and make steady progress toward our eternal destiny. The Lord’s pattern for spiritual development is “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30). Small, steady, incremental spiritual improvements are the steps the Lord would have us take. Preparing to walk guiltless before God is one of the primary purposes of mortality and the pursuit of a lifetime; it does not result from sporadic spurts of intense spiritual activity.

I witness that the Savior will strengthen and assist us to make sustained, paced progress. The example in the Book of Mormon of “many, exceedingly great many” (Alma 13:12) in the ancient Church who were pure and spotless before God is a source of encouragement and comfort to me. I suspect those members of the ancient Church were ordinary men and women just like you and me. These individuals could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence, and they “were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God” (v. 12). And these principles and this process of spiritual progress apply to each of us equally and always.

The requirement to put off the natural man and become a saint, to avoid and overcome bad and to do and become good, to have clean hands and a pure heart, is a recurring theme throughout the Book of Mormon. In fact, Moroni’s concluding invitation at the end of the book is a summary of this theme.

“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 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; emphasis added).

May you and I repent with sincerity of heart and truly come unto Christ. I pray that we will seek through the Savior’s Atonement to have both clean hands and a pure heart, that we may become holy, without spot.

Elder David A. Bednar

Clean Hands and a Pure Heart,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 80–83

 

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December 1, 2016

Ballard, Enabling Power, General Authorities, Grace, Humility, Moroni

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The Lord promised us through the prophet Moroni: “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).

There are several interesting things about this scripture. First is that the Lord gives us weaknesses—not sin, but weaknesses—so that we may be humble. Think about that for a moment. If we were perfect in every respect, it would be hard to be humble. Even in specific things, humility comes harder to those who are very strong in one area or another. The woman or man who is remarkably beautiful or handsome can easily become proud of her or his appearance. A brilliant scholar may look down in condescension on those less intellectually blessed. Our weaknesses help us to be humble.

Then comes the promise. If we are willing to humble ourselves, then, as it says, “my grace is sufficient.” In the Bible Dictionary, grace is defined as an “enabling power” (697). Can you see the significance of that promise?

One of the signs of our day is how frequently we use the word addiction to describe destructive behavior. We talk about being addicted to alcohol, to drugs, to pornography. These are all insidious and powerful evils. Jesus warned His disciples that “whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). Alma used a similar metaphor when he warned us about the “chains of hell” (Alma 12:11).

One of the most devastating effects of sin is that it weakens you, binds you, brings you down to slavery. The grace of God and of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the answer to that predicament. If you will but humble yourselves and turn to Them, then Their grace, Their enabling power, can not only help you throw off the chains of sin but actually turn your weaknesses into strengths.

Brothers and sisters, how I long to have the reality of that promise sink into your hearts. Are you struggling with some sin or weakness? It can be something as simple as not having the willpower to rise in the morning early enough to have time for scripture study and prayer. It can be something so powerful, such as Internet pornography or lack of moral self-control, that you feel you have been pulled down into an abyss and there is no hope for you. Do you find yourself hating what you are doing but not able to find the willpower to turn away from it? Then reach out and humble yourself. The Lord’s enabling power is sufficient to change your heart, to turn your life, to purge your soul. But you must make the first move, which is to humble yourself and realize that only in God can you find deliverance.

Elder M. Russell Ballard

Be Strong in the Lord,” Ensign, Jul 2004, 8–15, adapted from a talk given at a Church Educational System fireside at Brigham Young University on 3 March 2002

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October 29, 2016

Bednar, General Authorities, General Conference, Grace, Moroni, Sanctification

Comments Off on Both Clean Hands and a Pure Heart

Some . . . may think the spiritual progress I am describing is not attainable in their lives. We may believe these truths apply to others but not to us.

We will not attain a state of perfection in this life, but we can and should press forward with faith in Christ along the strait and narrow path and make steady progress toward our eternal destiny. The Lord’s pattern for spiritual development is “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30). Small, steady, incremental spiritual improvements are the steps the Lord would have us take. Preparing to walk guiltless before God is one of the primary purposes of mortality and the pursuit of a lifetime; it does not result from sporadic spurts of intense spiritual activity.

I witness that the Savior will strengthen and assist us to make sustained, paced progress. The example in the Book of Mormon of “many, exceedingly great many” (Alma 13:12) in the ancient Church who were pure and spotless before God is a source of encouragement and comfort to me. I suspect those members of the ancient Church were ordinary men and women just like you and me. These individuals could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence, and they “were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God” (v. 12). And these principles and this process of spiritual progress apply to each of us equally and always.

The requirement to put off the natural man and become a saint, to avoid and overcome bad and to do and become good, to have clean hands and a pure heart, is a recurring theme throughout the Book of Mormon. In fact, Moroni’s concluding invitation at the end of the book is a summary of this theme.

“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 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; emphasis added).

May you and I repent with sincerity of heart and truly come unto Christ. I pray that we will seek through the Savior’s Atonement to have both clean hands and a pure heart, that we may become holy, without spot.

Elder David A. Bednar

Clean Hands and a Pure Heart,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 80–83

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November 2, 2015

Alma, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Hope, Lyon, Moroni, Paul

Comments Off on Hope springs from knowledge that mankind is saved through the Atonement

The concept of hope plays a vital role in Latter-day Saint thought. Firmly centered in Christ and his resurrection, it is the “hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:2) repeatedly alluded to by Paul. It is the opposite of the despair found among those who are “without Christ, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). As the Book of Mormon prophet Moroni writes, “If ye have no hope, ye must needs be in despair” (Moro. 10:22). For those, however, who accept Christ’s Atonement and resurrection, there comes a “brightness of hope” (2 Ne. 31:20) through which all who believe in God “might with surety hope for a better world” (Ether 12:4).

. . . .

Regardless of their form, the individual variations of meaning all center on the confidence or trust in God that springs from knowledge that mankind is saved through the Atonement (“for we are saved by hope,” Rom. 8:15). Hence, hope is inseparably connected with faith. Book of Mormon passages add insight to New Testament teachings by expanding on this interactive relationship: “How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?” (Moro. 7:40); “hope cometh of faith” (Ether 12:4); “without faith there cannot be any hope” (Moro. 7:42).

In combination with faith, hope leads to knowledge of the truth about Jesus Christ (“if ye have faith, ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” [Alma 32:21]). It is also an essential attitude for individual salvation (“man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared” [Ether 12:32]).

James K. Lyon
Hope, The Encyclopedia of Mormonism

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November 2, 2015

Book of Mormon, Fundamental Principles, Grace, Moroni, Sanctification

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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 10:33

 

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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