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

By , on November 2, 2015

Enabling Power, Grace, Lehi, Lund

Lehi said, “Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah,” (2 Nephi 2:6) is the natural follow through from verse five. Simply put, Lehi stated that men are condemned by the law but redeemed by the Messiah.  Lehi’s point was that, if Christ were not full of this grace or this “enabling power,” [of the Atonement] the redemption would not be possible.

Lehi’s next statement was that the Holy Messiah would offer himself as “a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law.” (2 Nephi 2:7) In light of our understanding of the law of justice, we see why Lehi made this statement. Remembering the two principles that constitute the law of justice, i.e. obedience brings joy, violation brings suffering, one could say that there are only two ways to satisfy the demands of that law. The first would be to keep the law perfectly; that is, to never violate in any degree the law that is given. The second way would be to pay the penalty for any violations.

This is what the Messiah did, for he met both conditions. Jesus kept the law perfectly. Not once in his entire mortal life did he violate the law in any degree or in any way. He was the Lamb without spot or blemish. He was the ultimate in perfection. Here then was one who, in Lehi’s words, was justified by the law. In other words, the law had no claim on him. But Christ did more than this. In 2 Nephi 9:21, Jacob again added commentary to our understanding of what his father taught: the Messiah “suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.” So not only did Christ keep the law perfectly for himself, but he suffered the penalty for all violations as though he himself were guilty of them.

Lehi indicated that the sacrifice answering the ends of the law was given only for those who have “a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” Then he added, “unto none else” can that be done. (2 Nephi 2:7)

Gerald N. Lund, later Elder Gerald N. Lund

Jesus Christ – Key to the Plan of Salvation, Deseret Book Company (1991)

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