Archive for the ‘Jesus Christ’ Tag

The Savior Suffered For Us

Reading: “None Were With Him,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, April 2009 General Conference, Saturday Morning Session

At a time when many are feeling lonely and downtrodden, Elder Holland encourages us to remember the suffering the Savior endured in order to atone for our sins.  The Savior suffered embarassment, loneliness, verbal attack, and great pain in his final days.  Having suffered great pain himself, the Savior is perfectly able to help us through our times of loneliness and sorrow.  Elder Holland says,

Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said, “I will not leave you comfortless. [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].”

When I feel lonely or downtrodden I am comforted to know that Savior knows my pain and will help me through it.  Many times I have prayed for and received help, guidance, and comfort in times of great sorrow or pain.  The Savior is the light in our lives that can get us through any trial.

Today I am going to take some time to think about how knowing the Savior suffered so greatly for us affects me and write about it in my journal.

What does it mean to you that the Savior has suffered all things?  Have you ever had a hard time that this knowledge helped you endure?

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Our Advocate

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:9, Moroni 7:28, D&C 29:5, TG Jesus Christ, Advocate

One of the roles of Jesus Christ is to be our advocate with God, the Father.  This means that he pleads with him for our salvation. In 2 Nephi 2:9 it says:

Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men.

“Intercession” is defined as an intervention, or a mediation.  Christ as the “firstfruits” or the firstborn is on our side, advocating for us as God makes his judgements.  In Moroni 7:28 it elaborates just a little bit more:

For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens.

I have never really thought of the Savior before as my “advocate.”  It gives me hope to think that he is arguing my case for me, because I think I could really use the help.  It also gives me comfort to know that God would love for us to get the best possible, but is constrained by justice, as it says in D&C 29:5:

Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom.

The image I see is of God as the good judge who is doing all he can to make the right judgment, and Jesus as a close counselor who argues for leniency, but who also recognizes the necessity of making a correct judgement.

Today I am going to try and be an advocate for the people around me.  The Savior is not just my advocate, but also everybody else’s, so it behooves me to also look for the best in other people.  I’m thinking this will mostly be an internal thing as I try to be patient and think the best of the people I interact with today.

Have you ever had an experience where someone was your advocate?  How did that make you feel?

Saved In and Through Jesus Christ

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:6, BD Grace

Yesterday I talked about how none of us can be saved through simple obedience.  The second half of that statement should be that we are saved through Jesus Christ.  It says in 2 Nephi 2:6

Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.

Since we cannot save ourselves, we are saved through Jesus Christ.  Since Christ lived a perfect life and never broke the law, he was not subject to the same punishment that we are.  Because he was perfect he was able to pay the debt for all of us, and free us from condemnation so that we could repent and try again.

“Grace” is defined in the bible dictionary as an “enabling power.” Christ is full of grace such that he is able to enable us to change our ways and become better people.

However, this is not a free ticket to everyone to do whatever they want.  There are certain conditions that we must meet in order to qualify for Christ’s gift, and that is what I will talk about tomorrow.

When I first came to truly understand how much we depend on Christ for salvation, I found it to be very encouraging.  Instead of having to rely on myself, I have the Savior to help me through every step of progression.  When I think about this aspect of the Atonement it gives me hope for my future.

Today I am going to remember in my prayers to thank Heavenly Father for Atonement, and to thank him for specific effects of the Atonement in my life.

How would our life be different with or without knowing that you depend on the Savior for salvation?

Spirit of Christmas, Spirit of Christ

Reading: “The Best Christmas Ever,” Thomas S. Monson, Ensign December 2008

I’m back!  We are moved in, we have an internet connection, and the house is starting to get settled.  I hope to be back to my semi-regular postings starting today.

The center of President Monson’s article was this quote from David O. McKay:

True happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service.

It is the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ, obedience to which will bring ‘peace on earth,’ because it means—good will toward all men.

It seems that what he is saying is that to truly celebrate Christmas we should endeavor to become more like Christ.

In my life, sometimes I have a hard time remembering to focus on Christ in Christmas.  I get very busy with everything that needs to be done.  Presents to shop for and presents to make, as well as goodies and so on, fill up my time.

Today we are going shopping for a Christmas tree, and so it is the beginning of truly celebrating Christmas in our house.  Today I’m also going to talk to my husband and see if we can come up with a fun activity that encourages us to do kind things for other people to celebrate Christmas.

How do you celebrate Christ at Christmas?

Jesus Christ is the Only Path to Happiness

Reading: “The Way,” Elder Lawrence E. Corbidge of the Seventy, October 2008 General Conference, Saturday Afternoon Session

The Savior Jesus Christ is the center of our worship.  This is because everything we are and do is possible through him.  Through the Atonement, we are able to repent and to return to the presence of God.  Elder Corbidge’s talk is a beautiful reminder of these important truths.

One thing that I especially appreciated was his pointing out that everyone is able to obtain the blessings of the gospel.  He says,

While the Lord’s invitation to follow Him is the highest of all, it is also achievable by everyone, not because we are able, but because He is, and because He can make us able too. “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind [everyone, living and dead] may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” (3rd Article of Faith)

We are dependent on the Savior for everything, even our own ability to repent.  And, we need not feel hopeless because the Savior will help us to overcome our weaknesses.

I have written several times now about perfectionism.  When we are perfectionists  we demand that we be perfect now, instead of allowing God to help us to become better over time.  The Savior wants us to be perfect eventually, and he is willing to help us if we but ask and are ready to receive his help.  Perfectionism is something I often struggle with, so every reminder that God wants to help me better over time is encouraging and uplifting.

When I was a teenager I came up with several goals for my life, including getting married in the temple and graduating from college, and then set out how to achieve those goals.  Since I’ve achieved most of those, I think today I will sit down and write down goals for the next 10-20 years of my life and think about how to achieve them.  They may be obvious, but by thinking about them actively I will be better able to achieve them.

There was a lot in Elder Corbidge’s talk, and I just focused on one thing that meant a lot to me.  What stood out to you?