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

While teaching at BYU in 1978, Brother Dennis Rasmussen applied and was selected to study at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. In the opening session, as he gave his name and university, Rabbi Muffs boomed, “You’re the Mormon! … Do you pay your tithing?”

“Yes,” he answered.

“Do you pay it with a joyful heart?” “I believe,” the rabbi said, “that joy is the essence of religion. There is nothing more fundamental to religious living than joy. … I am working on a book about joy.”

Brother Rasmussen responded, “There’s a passage in the Book of Mormon … , ‘Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.’ ” (2 Ne. 2:25; compare Moses 5:10; Moses 6:48)

Rabbi Muffs was profoundly touched and exclaimed, “I’ve found the text I’ve searched for all my life … in the Book of Mormon.” Turning to Brother Rasmussen he said, “Say it again, but not so fast.” As he repeated the familiar words, the rabbi’s eyes glowed in appreciation of this great truth he understood but had not heard so succinctly expressed.

How important it is to know the purpose of our existence. Man is that he might have joy, and that joy will come to us as we keep God’s commandments!

Elder Lynn A. Mickelsen
Eternal Laws of Happiness“, Ensign, Nov. 1995, 78, quoting Dennis Rasmussen, “An Elder among the Rabbis,” Brigham Young University Studies 21 (summer 1981): 344–45
(paragraph breaks inserted to enhance online readibility)

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