“Elder Neal A. Maxwell suggests that the prime reason the Savior personally acts as the gatekeeper of the celestial kingdom is not to exclude people, but to personally welcome and embrace those who have made it back home.”
“Every temptation proves a crossroad where we must choose between the high road and the low road. On some occasions it is a trial of agonizing frustration. On other occasions, it is a mere annoyance, a nuisance of minor proportions. but in each case there is some element tot uneasiness, anxiety, and spiritual tugging--ultimately a choosing that forces us to take sides. Neutrality is a nonexistent condition in this life. We are always choosing, always taking sides. That is part of the human experience--facing temptations on a daily, almost moment-by-moment basis--facing them not only on the good days but on the days we are down, the days we are tired, rejected, discouraged, or sick. Every day of our lives we battle temptation--and so did the Savior. It is an integral part of the human experience, faced not only by us but also by him. He drank from the same cup.”
“A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist."15”
“The Atonement of Jesus Christ outweighs, surpasses, and transcends every other mortal event, every new discovery, and every acquisition of knowledge, for without the Atonement all else in life is meaningless.”
“We become like those things we habitually love and admire. And thus, as we study Christ's life and live his teachings, we become more like him.”
“Part of the human experience is to confront temptation. No one escapes. It is omnipresent. It is both externally driven and internally prompted. It is like the enemy that attacks from all sides. It boldly assaults us in television shows, movies, billboards, and newspapers in the name of entertainment or free speech. It walks down our streets and sits in our offices in the name of fashion. It drives our roads in the name of style. It represents itself as political correctness or business necessity. It claims moral sanction under the guise of free choice. On occasion it roars like thunder; on others it whispers in subtle, soothing tones. With chameleon-like skill it camouflages its ever-present nature, but it is there--always there.”
“If the Atonement is the foundation of our faith (and it is), then no one should be content with a casual acquaintance of this doctrine. Instead, the Atonement should be paramount in our intellectual and spiritual pursuits.”
“President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of its relationship to other events in world history: "When all is said and done, when all of history is examined, when the deepest depths of the human mind have been explored, there is nothing so wonderful, so majestic, so tremendous as this act of grace.”
“A cathedral without windows, a face without eyes, a field without flowers, an alphabet without vowels, a continent without rivers, a night without stars, and a sky without a sun—these would not be so sad as a . . . soul without Christ.”
“The Savior was no ivory-tower observer, no behind-the-lines captain... The Savior was a participant, a player, who not only understood our plight intellectually, but who felt our wounds because they became his wounds.”
“The powers of the Atonement do not lie dormant until one sins and then suddenly spring forth to satisfy the needs of the repentant person. Rather, like the forces of gravity, they are everywhere present, exerting their unseen but powerful influence.”
“The Atonement is our singular hope for a meaningful life.”
“But how does the Atonement motivate, invite, and draw all men unto the Savior? What causes this gravitational pull-- this spiritual tug? There is a certain compelling power that flows from righteous suffering-- not indiscriminate suffering, not needless suffering, but righteous, voluntary suffering for another. Such suffering for another is the highest and purest form of motivation we can offer to those we love. Contemplate that for a moment: How does one change the attitude or the course of conduct of a loved one whose every step seems bent on destruction? If example fails to influence, words of kindness go unheeded, and the powers of logic are dismissed as chaff before the wind, then where does one turn...
In the words of the missionary evangelist, E. Stanley Jones, suffering has "an intesnse moral appeal." Jones once asked Mahatma Gandhi as he sat on a cot in an open courtyard of Yervavda jail, "'Isn't your fasting a species of coercion?' 'Yes,' he said very slowly, 'the same kind of coercion which Jesus exercises upon you from the cross.'" As Jones reflected upon that sobering rejoinder, he said: "I was silent. It was so obviously true that I am silent again every time I think of it. He was prfoundly right. The years have clarified it. And I now see it for what it is: a very morally potent and redenptive power if used rightly. But it has to be used rightly.”
“There was something in the Savior's descent that made possible man's ascent.”
“A Personal Atonement At some point the multitudinous sins of countless ages were heaped upon the Savior, but his submissiveness was much more than a cold response to the demands of justice. This was not a nameless, passionless atonement performed by some detached, stoic being. Rather, it was an offering driven by infinite love. This was a personalized, not a mass atonement. Somehow, it may be that the sins of every soul were individually (as well as cumulatively) accounted for, suffered for, and redeemed for, all with a love unknown to man. Christ tasted "death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9; emphasis added), perhaps meaning for each individual person. One reading of Isaiah suggests that Christ may have envisioned each of us as the atoning sacrifice took its toll—"when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed" (Isaiah 53:10; emphasis added; see also Mosiah 15:10–11). Just as the Savior blessed the "little children, one by one" (3 Nephi 17:21); just as the Nephites felt his wounds "one by one" (3 Nephi 11:15); just as he listens to our prayers one by one; so, perhaps, he suffered for us, one by one. President Heber J. Grant spoke of this individual focus: "Not only did Jesus come as a universal gift, He came as an individual offering with a personal message to each one of us. For each one of us He died on Calvary and His blood will conditionally save us. Not as nations, communities or groups, but as individuals."55 Similar feelings were shared by C. S. Lewis: "He [Christ] has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world."56 Elder Merrill J. Bateman spoke not only of the Atonement's infinite nature, but also of its intimate reach: "The Savior's atonement in the garden and on the cross is intimate as well as infinite. Infinite in that it spans the eternities. Intimate in that the Savior felt each person's pains, sufferings, and sicknesses."57 Since the Savior, as a God, has the capacity to simultaneously entertain multiple thoughts, perhaps it was not impossible for the mortal Jesus to contemplate each of our names and transgressions in concomitant fashion as the Atonement progressed, without ever sacrificing personal attention for any of us. His suffering need never lose its personal nature. While such suffering had both macro and micro dimensions, the Atonement was ultimately offered for each one of us.”
“The Savior's message was essential to our salvation, but his personal exposition of it was not. President J. Reuben Clark Jr. gave this caution: "Brethren, it is all right to speak of the Savior and the beauty of his doctrines, and the beauty of the truth. But remember, and this is the thing I wish you . . . [to] always carry with you, the Savior is to be looked at as the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world. His teachings were ancillary and auxiliary to that great fact."6”
“Zaphod felt he was teetering on the edge of madness and wondered if he shouldn't just jump over and have done with it.”
“The fundamental response to change is not logical, but emotional.”
“Your guts also have about 100 million nerves, more than the number of nerves in your spinal cord or your entire peripheral nervous system.”
“When we are in the grip of craving or fury, head-over-heals in love our recoiling in dread, it is the limbic system that has us in its grip.”
“Father says I'm perfect, but would a prince agree if he knew what I was made of? Would he value me for the usefulness of my parts, or for the contents of my heart? Or would he only value me as a prize to slay the monsters in the story?”
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