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

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

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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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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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October 17, 2016

Holy Ghost, McConkie, Millett, Sanctification

Comments Off on To be sanctified is not only to be free from sin but also to be free from the effects of sin

The Holy Ghost is a sanctifier….

One who lives worthy of the guidance and cleansing influence of the Spirit will, in process of time, become sanctified.  Sanctification is the process whereby one comes to hate the worldliness he once loved and love the holiness and righteousness he once hated.  

To be sanctified is not only to be free from sin but also to be free from the effects of sin, free from sinfulness itself, the very desire to sin.  One who is sanctified comes to look upon sin with abhorrence (cf .Mosiah 5:2; Alma 13:12; Alma 19:33).

McConkie and Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 1, p. 263
(paragraph breaks inserted to enhance online readability)

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September 12, 2016

Enoch, Justification, Sanctification

Comments Off on By the Spirit Ye are Justified, and by the Blood Ye are Sanctified

WE may not often think of the Prophet Enoch, the seventh in a chain of patriarchs going back to Adam,  as a teacher of the Atonement, but he does a masterful job.

And he said unto them: Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death; and we are made partakers of misery and woe.

Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God.

But God hath made known unto our fathers that all men must repent.

And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice, saying: I am God; I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh.

And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you.

And our father Adam spake unto the Lord, and said: Why is it that men must repent and be baptized in water? And the Lord said unto Adam: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden.

Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world.

And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying: Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good.

And it is given unto them to know good from evil; wherefore they are agents unto themselves, and I have given unto you another law and commandment.

Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.

Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying:

That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;

For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;

Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.

And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.

Moses 6:48-62

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