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

November 10, 2017

Book of Mormon, Garments, Sanctification

Comments Off on Washed White Through the Blood of the Lamb

Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.  Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.

Alma 13:11-12

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September 27, 2017

Eyring, General Authorities, McKay, Moroni, Sanctification

Comments Off on A Tug to be Someone Better

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

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August 1, 2017

Christofferson, Fundamental Principles, General Authorities, Justification, Sanctification

Comments Off on One Who is Justified is Pardoned, Without Sin, or Guiltless

Because of “the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice,” Jesus Christ can satisfy or “answer the ends of the law” on our behalf. Pardon comes by the grace of Him who has satisfied the demands of justice by His own suffering, “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).  He removes our condemnation without removing the law. We are pardoned and placed in a condition of righteousness with Him. We become, like Him, without sin. We are sustained and protected by the law, by justice. We are, in a word, justified.

Thus, we may appropriately speak of one who is justified as pardoned, without sin, or guiltless. For example, “Whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world” (3 Nephi 27:16).”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Justification and Sanctification,” Ensign, June 2001, 1

 

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July 27, 2017

Book of Mormon, Sanctification, Words of Christ

Comments Off on Be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified

And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.

3 Nephi 27:19-20

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May 6, 2017

General Authorities, Hafen, Sanctification

Comments Off on Our Longing to Belong

Charity is but one illustration of the way obedience to God’s commandments both nurtures and satisfies our longing to belong. Many other core gospel doctrines instruct us to develop relationships of belonging with the Lord and with family members. For example, the commandment to accept the Savior’s Atonement directs us to become “at one” with him and his Father: “Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me.” (3 Nephi 27:20.) Our embracing of Christ’s gospel can lead us eventually to embrace him, in a relationship of unity that fulfills everlastingly our longing to belong. At the very hour of his Atonement, the Savior prayed: “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified. . . . That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: . . . that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17:19-22.) The Savior’s intercessory prayer for at-one-ment expressed in words what his sacrifice made possible.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen  and, Marie K. Hafen

The Belonging Heart: The Atonement And Relationships With God And Family


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April 23, 2017

Book of Mormon, Fundamental Principles, Grace, Sanctification

Comments Off on Sanctification by Grace

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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April 4, 2017

General Authorities, Romney, Sanctification

Comments Off on He is a New Person; He Takes on the Divine Nature

Of the two aspects of the atonement, resurrection from the dead is most readily and widely accepted. It is succinctly and accurately thus stated by Paul:

“… as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22.)

Mormon puts the two aspects of the atonement in perspective in his great discourse on faith, hope, and charity in these words:

“… what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal. …” (Moro. 7:41.)

Men are not required to have faith in Christ to be resurrected, “for [as Jesus said] the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

“And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28–29.)

It is the aspect of the atonement that will raise men “unto life eternal” that we are considering here. It is not necessary to await the resurrection to receive the blessing of this aspect of the resurrection. Amulek, teaching the Nephites, said:

“And now, my brethren, I would that … ye come forth and bring fruit unto repentance.

“… for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent, and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.” (Alma 34:30–31.)

When a person qualifies himself to receive the blessing of this aspect of Christ’s atonement, he is by the power of God forgiven of his sins; he is born again of the Spirit; he is a new person; he takes on the divine nature; he has “no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2); he has peace of conscience and is filled with joy. (See Mosiah 4:3.) This is what Jesus meant when He said:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28–30.)

. . . .

Essential to an understanding of the aspect of the atonement of Christ which enables men to attain unto eternal life is a realization that mortal man, while he lives on earth, is enlightened by the spirit of God and that he is also tempted by Satan; that every human being who lives beyond the age of accountability yields to some degree to the temptations of Satan. Jesus, who was the Son of God in the flesh, as well as in the spirit, was the only exception.

By yielding to the temptation of Satan we become unclean. To the extent to which we yield we become carnal, sensual, and devilish. As a consequence, we are banished from the presence of God. Without being cleansed from the stain of our transgressions we cannot be readmitted into the presence of God because “no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom.” (3 Ne. 27:19.) Men, in the exercise of their own free agency, having disqualified themselves for a place in the kingdom of God, are banished therefrom and cannot by their own unaided efforts return. If they are ever to return, atonement for their sins must be made by someone not himself banished: Jesus was that one.

Marion G. Romney

Christ’s Atonement: The Gift Supreme,” Ensign, Dec 1973, 2

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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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January 4, 2017

General Authorities, Hafen, Sanctification

Comments Off on Our Longing to Belong

Charity is but one illustration of the way obedience to God’s commandments both nurtures and satisfies our longing to belong. Many other core gospel doctrines instruct us to develop relationships of belonging with the Lord and with family members. For example, the commandment to accept the Savior’s Atonement directs us to become “at one” with him and his Father: “Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me.” (3 Nephi 27:20.) Our embracing of Christ’s gospel can lead us eventually to embrace him, in a relationship of unity that fulfills everlastingly our longing to belong. At the very hour of his Atonement, the Savior prayed: “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified. . . . That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: . . . that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17:19-22.) The Savior’s intercessory prayer for at-one-ment expressed in words what his sacrifice made possible.

.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen  and, Marie K. Hafen
The Belonging Heart: The Atonement And Relationships With God And Family

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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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