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 25, 2017

Eternal Life, Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, Hinckley, Sacrifice

Comments Off on The Fact of All Life is that It is Eternal

The fact of all life is that it is eternal. That’s the great, salient truth. We have come into the world for a purpose, under a divine plan, and when we conclude this life we will go on to something that will be better, if we live worthy of it. And that great eternal course which we may follow is made possible through the sacrifice of the Son of God.

President Gordon B. Hinckley
Charlotte North Carolina Regional Conference, priesthood leadership session, February 24, 1996
Included in Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley
Deseret Book Company, 1997

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June 23, 2017

Covenants, Nibley, Sacrifice

Comments Off on The Atonement is Either Dead to Us or in Full Effect

If we would have God “apply the atoning blood of Christ” (Mosiah 4:2) to our case, we can also reject it. We can take advantage of it, or we can refuse it. The Atonement is either dead to us or in full effect. It is the supreme sacrifice made for us, and to receive it, we must live up to every promise and covenant related to it—the Day of Atonement was the day of covenants, and the place was the temple.

We cannot keep ourselves chaste in a casual and convenient way, nor can we accept chastity as St. Augustine did, as to be operative at some future time—“God give me chastity and continency, only not yet.” 1 We cannot enjoy optional obedience to the laws of God, or place our own limits on the law of sacrifice, or mitigate the charges of righteous conduct connected with living the gospel. We cannot be willing to sacrifice only that which is convenient to part with, and then expect a reward. The Atonement is everything; it is not to be had “on the cheap.” God is not mocked in these things; we do not make promises and covenants with mental reservations. Unless we keep our covenants, Satan has power over us—a condition we can easily recognize by the mist of fraud and deception that has enveloped our whole society.

Hugh W. Nibley

The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Part 4,” Ensign, Oct 1990, 26

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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 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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September 11, 2016

Bergin and Butler, Repentance, Sacrifice

Comments Off on Reversing Sinful Traditions

While we cannot atone for the sins of the human family in the same way the Savior did (Alma 34:10-12), we can become redeemers within our families by sacrificing personal need on behalf of others (John 15:4-5, 10-13; D&C 4; D&C 97:8-9) and by reversing sinful traditions to create a righteous heritage for succeeding generations.
Allen E. Bergin and Mark H. Butler
“Love and Intimacy in Family, Kingship, Friendship, and Community,” BYU Studies 42:2 (2003): 140.

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September 10, 2016

Bateman, General Authorities, Sacrifice

Comments Off on God’s children are more than intellect and body

God’s children are more than intellect and body. The intellect is housed in a spirit that must also be educated. Sacred or higher truths relating to the spirit are the foundational truths in a Zion community and center on Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, the sacrificial Lamb who gave his life for the sins of the world.

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Elder Merrill J. Bateman
A Zion University
Elder Bateman was president of Brigham Young University when this devotional address was given on 9 January 1996

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July 31, 2016

Faith, General Authorities, Hafen, Sacrifice, Tests

Comments Off on Part of the Sacrifice the Lord May Require

[P]art of the sacrifice the Lord may require is that we accept what He may inflict upon us without understanding to our rational satisfaction why we should be lost in some dark night of the soul. Eventually the light of Christ’s atoning power can pierce our darkness and bless us with understanding, but we may receive no such witness until after the trial of our faith.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen
Reason, Faith, and the Things of Eternity, FARMS Review: Volume 20, Issue 2, Pages: 15-35

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June 11, 2016

Covenants, General Authorities, Humility, Maxwell, Sacrifice

Comments Off on The usual gifts we give to God could be stamped “Return to Sender”

In striving for ultimate submission, our wills constitute all we really have to give God anyway. The usual gifts and their derivatives we give to Him could be stamped justifiably “Return to Sender,” with a capital S. Even when God receives this one gift in return, the fully faithful will receive “all that [He] hath” (D&C 84:38). What an exchange rate!

Meanwhile, certain realities remain: God has given us our lives, our agency, our talents, and our opportunities; He has given us our possessions; He has given us our appointed mortal spans complete with the needed breaths (see D&C 64:32). Guided by such perspective, we will avoid serious errors of proportion. Some of these are far less amusing than would be hearing a double quartet and mistaking it for the Tabernacle Choir!

No wonder President [Gordon B.] Hinckley … stressed our being a covenant people, emphasizing the covenants of the sacrament, tithing, and the temple, citing sacrifice as the “very essence of the Atonement.” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley (1997), 147)

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
“Consecrate Thy Performance”, Ensign, Dec. 2008, 26–30

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April 21, 2016

Adversity, Maxwell, Sacrifice, Tests

Comments Off on If We Were Allowed to Bypass Certain Trials

Christ on the cross gave out the cry “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” That cry on the cross is an indication that the very best of our Father’s children found the trials so real, the tests so exquisite and so severe, that he cried out–not in doubt of his Father’s reality, but wondering “why” at that moment of agony–for Jesus felt so alone. James Talmage advises us that in ways you and I cannot understand, God somehow withdrew his immediate presence from the Son so that Jesus Christ’s triumph might be truly complete.

From Gethsemane and Calvary there are many lessons we need to apply to our own lives. We, too, at times may wonder if we have been forgotten and forsaken. Hopefully, we will do as the Master did and acknowledge that God is still there and never doubt that sublime reality–even though we may wonder and might desire to avoid some of life’s experiences. We may at times, if we are not careful, try to pray away pain or what seems like an impending tragedy, but which is, in reality, an opportunity. We must do as Jesus did in that respect–also preface our prayers by saying, “If it be possible,” let the trial pass from us–by saying, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt,” and bowing in a sense of serenity to our Father in heaven’s wisdom, because at times God will not be able to let us pass by a trial or a challenge. If we were allowed to bypass certain trials, everything that had gone on up to that moment in our lives would be wiped out. It is because he loves us that at times he will not intercede as we may wish him to. That, too, we learn from Gethsemane and from Calvary.

It is interesting to me, brothers and sisters, to note that among the qualities of a saint is the capacity to develop patience and to cope with the things that life inflicts upon us. That capacity brings together two prime attributes–patience and endurance. These are qualities, in the process of giving service to mankind that most people reject or undervalue. Most people would gladly serve mankind if somehow they could get it over with once, preferably with applause and recognition. But, for the sake of righteousness, to endure, to be patient in the midst of affliction, in the midst of being misunderstood, and in the midst of suffering–that is sainthood!

Neal A. Maxwell

But for a Small Moment

Later a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Maxwell was an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles when this fireside address was given at Brigham Young University on 1 September 1974.

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March 3, 2016

Eternal Life, Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, Hinckley, Sacrifice

Comments Off on The Fact of All Life is that It is Eternal

The fact of all life is that it is eternal. That’s the great, salient truth. We have come into the world for a purpose, under a divine plan, and when we conclude this life we will go on to something that will be better, if we live worthy of it. And that great eternal course which we may follow is made possible through the sacrifice of the Son of God.

 

President Gordon B. Hinckley
Charlotte North Carolina Regional Conference, priesthood leadership session, February 24, 1996
Included in Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley
Deseret Book Company, 1997

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