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 July 16, 2016

General Authorities, Hafen, Happiness

On some days, our dealings with other people might prompt us to think that the greatest reward in the life after death should be that God, and everyone else, will just leave us alone, unencumbered by the needs and demands of others.

However, Jesus Christ came to accomplish the great at-one-ment, not the great alone-ment. He came to overcome our separation from God and from one another. He seeks to bring us to his Father, to himself, and to each other, at one, through the gift and power of his Atonement. Even though we do need some space for ourselves, something deep inside each of us instinctively responds to this gospel of belonging, drawing us to certain other people and to God.

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The good news is that the gospel of Jesus Christ answers the heart’s longing for fulness. The Father of our spirits knows where we belong-where our core being can say, “I was made for this.” To that end, God would have us fulfill our deepest eternal yearnings and know the meaning of our very existence.

We do not live by bread alone, and we were not made to be alone. “Happiness is the object and design of our existence,” wrote Joseph Smith. But the life of alienation and distance from God and from other people leads away from that object and design. The life of faith, hope, and charity-the life of the belonging heart-brings us to and keeps us within the arms of the Holy One of Israel. When in his presence, we will embrace not only him but also those we loved and served on earth. And in all these bonds of belonging is the fulness of our joy.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen
The Belonging Heart: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family
Deseret Books (March 1994)

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