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

Adversity, General Authorities, Grace, Hafen

I sense that an increasing number of deeply committed Church members are weighed down beyond the breaking point with discouragement about their personal lives. When we habitually understate the meaning of the Atonement, we take more serious risks than simply leaving one another without comforting reassurances-for some may simply drop out of the race, worn out and beaten down with the harsh and untrue belief that they are just not celestial material.

The Savior himself was not concerned that he would give aid and comfort to backsliders or that he would seem to be soft on sin. Said he, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. . . . For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)  He spoke these words of comfort in the overall context of his demanding teachings about the strait and narrow way and the need to develop a love so pure that it would extinguish not only hatred, but lust and anger. He said his yoke is easy, but he asked for all our hearts.

His words do not describe an event or even simply an attitude, but a process; not the answer to a yes or no question, but an essay, written in the winding trail of our experience. Along that trail, he is not only aware of our limitations, he will also in due course compensate for them, “after all we can do.” That, in addition to forgiveness for sin, is a crucial part of the Good News of the gospel, part of the Victory, part of the Atonement. For such a purpose each of us needs to take the Atonement more fully into the deep parts of our consciousness, even if there are some good reasons not to stress the role of grace excessively.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen

The Broken Heart: Applying the Atonement to Life’s Experiences, Deseret Book, 1989

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