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

General Authorities, Oaks, Sanctification


The laws of man are never concerned about a person’s desires or thoughts, in isolation. When the law inquires into a person’s state of mind or intent, it only seeks to determine what consequence should be assigned to particular actions that person has taken.

In contrast, the laws of God are concerned with spiritual things. Spiritual consequences are affected by actions, but they are also affected by desires or thoughts, independent of actions. Gospel consequences flow from the desires of our hearts.

. . . .

God judges us not only for our acts, but also for the desires of our hearts. He has said so again and again. This is a challenging reality, but it is not surprising. Agency and accountability are eternal principles. We exercise our free agency not only by what we do,but also by what we decide, or will, or desire. Restrictions on freedom can deprive us of the power to do, but no one can deprive us of the power towill or desire. Accountability must therefore reach and attach consequences to the desires of our hearts.

. . . .

Our divinely granted willpower gives us control over our desires, but it may take many years for us to be sure that we have willed and educated them to the point that all are entirely righteous.

President Joseph F. Smith taught that the “education … of our desires is one of far-reaching importance to our happiness in life.” (Gospel Doctrine,Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939, p. 297.)

. . . .

If we refrain from evil acts, we have clean hands. If we refrain from forbidden thoughts, we have pure hearts. Those who would ascend and stand in the ultimate holy place must have both.

 

 

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
The Desires of Our Hearts, Ensign, June, 1986

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