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“In the Strength of the Lord” (Bednar)

  As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the Atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed. Good morning, brothers and sisters. It is for me a blessing and a remarkable responsibility to stand before you today. I appreciate the invitation from Elder Bateman to speak with you. As I entered the Marriott Center this morning, my mind was flooded with wonderful memories. I have been in this arena many, many times. I was a freshman at BYU in 1970 when the construction work on this building was started. I vividly remember sitting way up there on September 11, 1973, and listening to the teachings and testimony of President Harold B. Lee. I had returned from my mission to southern Germany just three weeks earlier, and the message he presented that day was entitled “Be Loyal to the Royal Within You.” I hope I shall never forget what I felt and heard and learned that

there is none like Him (Maxwell)

 “...He is utterly incomparable in what He is , what he knows , what He has accomplished , and what He has experienced .  Yet, movingly, He calls us His friends. We can trust, worship, and even adore Him without any reservation.   As the only perfect person to sojourn on this planet, there is none like Him. In intelligence and performance, He far surpasses the individual and composite capacities and achievements of all who have lived, live now, and will yet live.   He rejoices in our genuine goodness and achievement, but any assessment of where we stand in relation to Him tells us that we do not stand at all.   We kneel.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell, " Even As I Am ", p. 116

the example of Jesus in resisting and dispatching tempations (Maxwell)

Brooding over temptations can produce self pity and a false sense of nobility. Prolonged consideration of the temptation only increases the risks—but it does not increase our options; the two options and the consequences remain the same regardless of our dallying. Moreover, protracted consideration of a temptation does not increase the justification to succumb—only our rationalization. When we are well taught we know, initially, what must be done. Therefore, to give heed to temptation is, in effect, to “give place” for Satan’s seeds to grow and sprout and to bring forth its bitter harvest. So it was that Jesus, for the first recorded time, met the awful if . It was a word to be repeated later when the stress was even greater. So we should do likewise. Otherwise, to host an if is like hosting an insect that breeds and multiplies in the sun of circumstance. Soon one is crawling with ifs and thereby overcome. Some doubters who are overcome even become proud of their doubts—rather like

No scars remain (Packer)

When the respentance process is complete, no scars remain because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ...[He, through t]he Atonement...can wash clean every stain no matter how difficult or how long or how many times repeated.  [He, through t]he Atonement can put you free again to move forward, cleanly and worthily, to pursue that path that you have chosen in life. Boyd K. Packer, "The Plan of Happiness," Ensign, May 2015, 28

Jesus never doubted His power; He governs galaxies but also provides individualized lessons (Maxwell)

"Jesus never doubted His power, but He was never confused about its source, either." "Has not the Lord with equal truth and relevance told us, concerning the resources of this planet, 'For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare'?  Should not this reality sober us in terms of what might be achieved as regards to poverty?  Clearly, it is the attribute of love, not other resources, that is in short supply..." "Though Jesus now governs galaxies, yet of a night He stood by Paul when Paul was in jail.  We do not fully understand how Jesus oversees His vast flock and also provides such individualization in His ministry, but we are counseled: 'Believe in God; believe that He is, and that He created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that He has all wisdom, and all power...believe that man doth not comprehend all things which the Lord can comprehend.'  It is one of the hallmarks of human vanity that we assume, because we cannot

perfection of Jesus compared to mortals (Talmage)

Our Lord's admonition to men to become perfect, even as the Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48) cannot rationally be construed otherwise than as implying the possibility of such achievment.  Plainly, however, man cannot become perfect in mortality in the sense which God is perfect as a supremely glorified Being.  It is possible, though, for man to be perfect in his squere and in a sense of analogous to that in which superior intelligences are perfect in their several spheres; yet the relative perfection of the lower is infintely inferior to that of the higher. Elder James E. Talmage, Jesus The Christ , page 248, note 5

men are not ciphers in vast but dumb space (Maxwell)

  "...men are not mere ciphers in a vast but dumb space; they are everlasting and accountable individuals.  Modern witnesses affirm that meaningfulness of life, human identity and human belonging.  The vastness of God's creations are the verification  of meaning, not its annihilation .  There is eternal purpose, and it is to be found in the Father's Only Begotten, Jesus Christ."  p. 8 "...the Lord's plan of salvation is not a set of floor plans for a new house that we as clients can modify or reject.  The Architect is not our employee, but our Host, even the Lord of Hosts; He is not only our Landlord, He is also our Lord!" p. 9 Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Even AS I Am", pp 8-9

Our Deliverer (Bateman)

As we go through pains, sicknesses, afflictions, and temptations of every kind, our Savior will be there to succor us.  He has paid the price through His atoning sacrifice to know us and to know how to help us.  He knows how to delivery us safely back home.  He is our Deliverer--our all! Marilyn S. Bateman

The Atonement: All for All (Hafen)

  The Atonement: All for All Bruce C. Hafen Of the First Quorum of the Seventy When the Savior’s all and our all come together, we will find not only forgiveness of sin, … “we shall be like him.” In recent years, we Latter-day Saints have been teaching, singing, and testifying much more about the Savior Jesus Christ. I rejoice that we are rejoicing more. As we “talk [more] of Christ,” 1  the gospel’s doctrinal fulness will come out of obscurity. For example, some of our friends can’t see how our Atonement beliefs relate to our beliefs about becoming more like our Heavenly Father. Others  mistakenly  think our Church is moving toward an understanding of the relationship between grace and works that draws on Protestant teachings. Such misconceptions prompt me to consider today the Restoration’s unique Atonement doctrine. The Lord restored His gospel through Joseph Smith because there had been an apostasy. Since the fifth century, Christianity taught that Adam and Eve’s Fall was a tragic

The Exquisite Gift of the Son (Matthew S. Holland)

  For anyone today with pains so intense or so unique that you feel no one else could fully appreciate them, you may have a point. There may be no family member, friend, or priesthood leader—however sensitive and well-meaning each may be—who knows exactly what you are feeling or has the precise words to help you heal. But know this: there is One who understands perfectly what you are experiencing, who is “mightier than all the earth,” 17   and who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that [you] ask or think.” 18   The process will unfold in His way and on His schedule, but Christ stands ready   always   to heal every ounce and aspect of your agony. As you allow Him to do so, you will discover that your suffering was not in vain. Speaking of many of the Bible’s greatest heroes and their griefs, the Apostle Paul said that “God … provided some better things for them through their sufferings, for without sufferings they could not be made perfect.” 19  You see, the very nature of