Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Scripture Power Quotes

My favorite quotes about the power of the Scriptures

Linda S. Reeves
Coupled with prayer, the Book of Mormon carries the power to protect families, strengthen relationships, and give personal confidence before the Lord(Protection from Pornography -- A Christ-Focused Home, General Conference, April 2014)

President Gordon B. Hinckley 
Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will [read the Book of Mormon], regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God. (A Testimony Vibrant and True, Ensign, August, 2005)

I hope that for you [reading the scriptures] will become something far more enjoyable than a duty; that, rather, it will become a love affair with the word of God. I promise you that as you read, your minds will be enlightened and your spirits will be lifted. At first it may seem tedious, but that will change into a wondrous experience with thoughts and words of things divine. (The Light Within You, General Conference, April 1995)

President Ezra Taft Benson
I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein.
1) The spirit of reverence will increase;
2) mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow.
3) The spirit of contention will depart.
4) Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom.
5) Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of 
        their parents.
6) Righteousness will increase.
7) Faith,  
 8) hope, and  
9) charity – the pure love of Christ – will abound in our homes and 
        lives, bringing in their wake
10) peace, 
11) joy, and  
12) happiness.
(The Book of Mormon -- Keystone of our Religion, General Conference, Nov. 1986, Quoting Marion G. Romney, numbers added)

There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. (The Book of Mormon -- Keystone of our Religion, General Conference, Nov. 1986) 

President Spencer W. Kimball
I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns. I find myself loving more intensely those whom I must love with all my heart and mind and strength, and loving them more, I find it easier to abide their counsel. ... I find that all I need to do to increase my love for my Maker and the gospel and the Church and my brethren is to read the scriptures. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 135)

The Prophet Joseph Smith
The Book of Mormon [is] the most correct of any book on earth, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book. (History of the Church, 4:461)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Does God have a mission statement?

Steven Covey and others say it's good to have a mission statement. 

This applies to individuals, families, companies, and organizations. 

The scriptures have mission statements too. 
  • Nephi said his full intent is to persuade men to come unto Christ and be saved. (1 Nephi 6:4) 
  • Nephi taught scriptures to his brothers to persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer. (1 Nephhi 19:23)
  • Lehi's main object or purpose was the everlasting welfare of his family's souls. (2 Nephi 2:30) 
  • Jacob told his people he was desirous for the welfare of their souls. (2 Nephi 6:3)
  • The Lord told John and Peter Whitmer the thing of most worth is to declare repentance that he may bring souls unto Christ. (D&C 15:6, 16:6)
  • The Lord told Moses that the Lord's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)

Our Church also has mission statements.

The 2014 theme for LDS youth is "Come unto Christ."

The 1981 the LDS Church's three-fold mission statement encompasses this theme perfectly:

  • Preach the gospel (missionary work)
  • Perfect the Saints (helping people learn and become like Christ, becoming worthy of exaltation) 
  • Redeem the dead (family history and temple work)
In our Church's new handbook we learn that the 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized by God to assist in His work to bring to pass the salvation and exaltation of His children' (see Moses 1:39).

All of these point to one overarching mission statement...

Bring Souls To Christ. 

Is this your mission statement too?  

Here you can watch the beautiful theme song to the 2014 theme "Come Unto Christ." 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Angels and the Priesthood

I get it now. 

I love the thought that Heavenly Father lets angels be involved in our lives. I have collected quotes about angels for years.  Yet one thing I never understood was how the Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys to ministering of angels (D&C 13:1).  

Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained it so simply. When the young men who hold the Aaronic priesthood give us the opportunity every week to partake of Christ’s sacrament and become clean and worthy, this opens the opportunity for us to be worthy of both the Spirit and the ministering of angels. 

Simple as that. 

And the ministering of angels happens in many more ways than just a visit from one, although that would be really cool. Elder Oaks said, “Angelic messages can be delivered by a voice or merely by thoughts or feelings communicated to the mind. ... Most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen." 

So which promptings come from the Holy Ghost and which come from holy angels?  

I have no idea. But it doesn’t matter if I know. They are both from God. 

Because "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:3)

So my three sons, who now all hold the Aaronic Priesthood, who dress in their white shirts and ties and show up early on Sundays to prepare and bless and pass the sacrament to me, they have a very special role, don't they? They help each one in the congregation renew covenants, and become worthy and clean to have the companionship of the Spirit and of holy angels. 

Very cool. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

3 Ways to Keep a Journal in No Time

Keeping a journal is a good thing, right?

But it's tricky to find the time.  Here are three ways I keep a journal without spending much time on it. Just to clarify, I also keep a real journal where I do spend time writing. But these ideas add many entries that I wouldn't have time to write otherwise.

1. Keep your old calendar. 

Whether you use a paper planner, a pretty calendar on the wall, or a digital calendar on your phone that you can print after the month is over, this is an EASY way to keep a journal. 

My paper planner calendar is the "what my daily life consists of" part of my journal. So after the day is done I like to jot extra details, like a long phone call with my mom or an old friend. Or that we missed Gabe's soccer game to stay a few extra hours at Temple Square after doing baptisms in the SLC temple. Or that I was gone from 9 am to 9 pm and was tired but happy to watch Pride and Prejudice with Grace when the males of the house were at a camp out. 

This is good stuff. I want to remember it. I want to hang onto it. But my memory is insufficient. So I use my calendar to hang on for me.  Just for fun, I use a four-color pen to differentiate activities relating with church, education, spending money, and others.

2.  Print special emails. 

Years ago I had one of those days that you hate when you're going through it, but it makes a fabulous story later. Our five young children included newborn twins. An old college friend had come to visit with her three young children. These were the antics our kids did all in one afternoon: 

  • combined honey and sesame seeds in the watercolor water and then splashed it around the kitchen
  • made it rain a bucket of rolled oats 
  • the icing on the cake was a kitchen fire and spending the evening outside to air out the stinky house
My friend accidentally turned on a burner where my large Tupperware bowl sat. It caught on fire. I sat helpless in a chair holding my two newborns. She frantically searched cupboards for something to put out the fire. My husband, a prosecuting attorney who was on the phone with a policeman, calmly said, "Hold on a second, we have a fire here." He calmly grabbed the fire extinguisher and put out the fire, and went back to his phone conversation. 

We laugh about that day now. And have many times. 

I wrote that story in an email to two of my siblings who were serving LDS missions at the time. It dawned on me that I just typed up a great journal entry. So I printed it to save as a journal page. I've done that oodles of times since. 

These emails would all make good journal entries: 
  • an update on our children, that's a perfect journal entry
  • the pros and cons of a decision
  • a thank you message or compliment to me about a talk I gave in church or another speaking event 
What kinds of emails do you have that would be great journal entries? Along the same lines, if you post life events to Facebook or a blog, consider periodically printing those to add to your journal. Print, file check. 

3. Recording on your smart phone. 

A recent magical moment day was my twins' twelth birthday at the Salt Lake LDS temple and at a buffet restaurant. On the drive home, I pulled out my smart phone, clicked "record" and introduced the date and event. Then we handed the phone from person to person so everyone got a chance to tell their thoughts and feelings about their first special experience in the temple, and other fun memories of their big day. I never lifted a pen to paper. But we logged some great memories. 

What other ways do you keep a journal in no time? 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Put God First.

My three favorite quotes from President Ezra Taft Benson

Woman at the Well, by Liz Lemon Swindle

When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities. We should put God ahead of everyone else in our lives. (The Great Commandment--Love the Lord, Ensign, May, 1988). 

Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life to God will find he has eternal life. (Jesus Christ--Gifts and Expectations, BYU Devotional, Dec. 10, 1974). 

When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be changed...
The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. 
The world would take people out of the slums. 
Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. 
The world would mold men by changing their environment. 
Christ changes men, who then change their environment. 
The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature...
Yes, Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world.
(Born of GodEnsign, Nov. 1985).

Seeking the One, by Liz Lemon Swindle

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

An LDS bishop and lawyer answers: "How can parents protect their children from pornography?"

My husband, Mike, is an LDS bishop and attorney who deals with broken families and crime.  

Mike is also one of the best people on the planet. But I digress...

If you asked him, "How can I help protect my children against today's epidemic of pornography addiction?" This would be Mike's answer. 

1. Avoid violent video games. 

Violent video games make a person lose the Spirit. They are addicting and escalating, which means a person needs more of them, and harder core content, to get the same thrill. Some teens play these until the wee hours even on school nights and their parents have no idea. These video games also use immodest female characters, combining pornography and violence, which can too easily lead to pornography addiction. 90% of pornography is violence toward women or children. 

Avoid addiction in general, especially to electronics, but anything addictive, like energy drinks. One addiction seems to make a person more susceptible to other addictions. 

What to do if your kids are already addicted to gaming? Pray. Hold a family home evening where you read together God's standards of media in For the Strength of Youth. Invite your family to fast and pray together about how to obey God's standards of media, and create a plan for change. Study resources that give your family strength to do the right thing. 

2. Avoid giving youngsters internet handheld devices. 

It seems that just yesterday LDS prophets were telling parents to keep internet computers in a centralized room of the house, not in a private bedroom. And an anti-pornography expert said never to place an internet computer in a teen's bedroom, because that would set him up for pornography addiction. 

Fast forward to today. It's amazing to see so many well-meaning parents giving even young children internet phones or devices. Because so many teens and children already own these devices, if you choose not to go back to the safest path, the next best thing to avoidance is to create a plan of boundaries to help them stay safe. 

  • Filters. Here is a great presentation on filters and blocks for all your family's devices.
  • Limit times and places. As parents, what times are okay for young people to use their phones/devices and what times are not okay -- at church, during school classes, the dinner table, after bedtime?  Some parents have youth check in their phones at night so the kids aren't sneaking, losing sleep, and risking seeing bad content. Others have them check in devices before dinner so the evening is reserved for family. Some families have a limit of an hour a day on electronics so the kids don't become addicted. Our family doesn't allow teens to have internet phones or handhelds, but each child owns a laptop for online school. Our rule is that kids must use laptops in rooms where they're not alone. If they need an exception to the rule a parent must give permission. Our kids also must ask permission to use the internet for things other than school, and stay within a time limit each day. 
  • Limit content. Do your youth know which sites you don't trust? In our family we have certain sites that our kids must ask permission to use every time, like Youtube. There is so much good on Youtube, and also so much bad. I find that if I'm aware they're on certain sites and give supervision, the kids stay safer. 
  • Parents check young people's history. In Mike's opinion, the right to privacy never applies to parents and youth with electronic devices. Supervision is vital, so let kids know ahead of time that you'll be checking. Are they using appropriate websites? Are their social media posts appropriate? Do you know all the social media sites they're on -- not just Facebook? Are their texts and pictures appropriate? Are they erasing their history? If so that's a red flag and is a sign there may be pornography involvement. Pray about how to bring this up, and the sooner the better. 
Giving children violent video games and internet devices seem to be a couple blind spots that many caring, well-meaning parents have. Good parents know that pornography is bad, but they don't realize they're encouraging or allowing certain things that can easily lead their children to it. 

3. Have open conversations with your kids.

Many parents feel awkward about these conversations or don't know what to say, so they don't say it. That's a problem. Today, the average age of kids being exposed is between 7 and 12. When a child sees a bad picture, it creates a flood of conflicting emotions -- shame, repulsion, and enticement all at the same time. If they haven't been taught an action plan ahead of time, kids often won't tell parents, and they go back for more. Then they become addicted. This does not need to happen. 

Important parts of this conversation are listening and staying calm no matter what your kids tell you. If you freak out, get angry or reject your kids, they won't feel safe opening up to you again. Thank them for confiding in you and promise you love them and will give the help they need to overcome this. Because porn addiction is so hard to break alone, often addicts need professional counseling or a support group. Maurice Harker is an LDS porn addiction counselor who runs successful support groups in Northern Utah. He is recommended by my friend who is a stake president in a young adult stake. Overcoming Pornography is the LDS Church's site for guidance if you find out a loved one has been using pornography. 

Another important part is to give the facts of how pornography harms.
  • Porn damages and atrophies the brain. 
  • Porn damages relationships. 
  • Porn damages a person's ability to find joy and pleasure in real life. People start to prefer fake rather than real people and real life. Things that were enjoyable before like nature, books, friends, family, church, and learning, don't give enjoyment any more. 
  • Porn damages agency and self-control. 
  • Porn can take over a life, consuming nearly all of an addict's time, thoughts, and energy. Which makes a person lose employment.
  • Porn removes the Spirit. 
  • Porn distorts feelings and perceptions. It can make violence seem okay, and make women have little value. 
  • Porn can make the user want to abuse innocent victims.
  • Porn can make a person push others out of his or her life. 

Here is a great book for parents to read to their children to open this conversation. We own two copies so we can loan them out to other families. 
Here is a great presentation about how to talk with your teens about pornography.

4. Invite lots of light into your home. 

When a young person consistently does holy habits to invite the Spirit, he or she is filled with light, and naturally has less desire for evil. These holy habits help us put on the armor of God, and help Christ change our heart and desires. How is your family doing with holy habits? 

  • Daily personal and family prayers
  • Daily personal and family scripture study 
  • Weekly family home evening
  • Attending church meetings and the temple, serving in your callings
  • Using media to invite the Spirit into your home, like Mormonchannel,, uplifting and wholesome movies, using social media to share the gospel, and so on. 
  • Reading "the best books" 
  • Wholesome family recreational activities that aren't electronics
  • Linda Reeves gave a recent talk about protecting families from pornography, where she emphasized consistent connection to the Savior's power: "The only things that really need to be accomplished in the home are daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening.”

And of course push out the dark. 

It doesn't make sense to invite in the light and then push it away by actions that invite darkness. For the Strength of Youth says: 

"Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable. Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit."

5. Teach your kids it's okay to stand alone. 

Even with other religious young people, your child may feel like the only one that has high standards of media. It's okay. Our son, who is now getting ready for his mission, used to think he was the only 11 year-old on the planet whose parents wouldn't buy a video game console. I think they're fine if they are used for non-violent, wholesome games and not allowed to become addictions. But I had studied the issue of media addiction too much to risk it with our family. 

So for a while, our son felt a bit alone. Then he saw what these increasingly violent video games were doing to boys he knew. Boys were spending endless hours playing into the night, losing interest in other things, and letting school and grades fall. And worse, sometimes video game addiction led to porn addiction. Our son has thanked us multiple times for being strong back then, because he is very grateful that his life never got sucked away by those kinds of addictions. 

President Thomas S. Monson said"Dare to be a Mormon; Dare to stand alone. Dare to have a purpose firm; Dare to make it known."

6. Get your family involved in family history and temple work. 

Elder David A. Bednar has promised that when young people research their family history ancestors and do temple work for them, "I promise you will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary." 

Here are some resources to help teach your family appropriate use of media. 

Here is Bishop Edwards' challenge that he issued to our ward, which contains many of the same themes. 

5 Steps for Getting More from a Conference or Devotional Talk, Part 2

Go here for Part 1.

Here's how the five steps worked for me today.

I just studied a recent conference talk "Protection from Pornography -- A Christ-Focused Home" by Linda S. Reeves.  Here's how I used the five steps. 

1. I printed the talk on paper to read and mark. 

Since this is a topic I feel passionate about, and since I loved the talk, I knew this talk would be one I would keep in my file and refer to later, so it's worth printing it. 

2. I marked my favorite parts. 

3. I boxed in three favorite quotes.
  • "I must testify of the blessings of daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening. These are the very practices that help take away stress, give direction to our lives, and add protection to our homes." (I even wrote in the margin by this quote, "I felt the Spirit :)" 
  • "Filters are useful tools, but the greatest filter in the world, the only one that will ultimately work, is the personal internal filter that comes from a deep and abiding testimony of our Heavenly Father's love and our Savior's atoning sacrifice for each one of us." 
  • "It is OK if the house is a mess and the children are still in their pajamas and some responsibilities are left undone. The only things that really need to be accomplished in the home are daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening." 

4. I wrote this summary phrase at the top. 

5. Here are the action items I wrote at the end of the talk.

It was a good reminder of goals I've set before. I'm recommitting to doing better with them. 

 Here is what action I took immediately. 

I called my kiddos together to have a mid-afternoon family devotional. We had slept in, and missed our normal 6:30 AM family scripture study. So after writing down these action items, I took action right away. We sang a hymn, said a family prayer, and for the scripture part, I shared things about this talk -- my favorite quotes, summary, and action list.

Just like happens sometimes with family scripture study, there was grumbling and resistance at the beginning. But by the end, the Spirit was there and everyone was peaceful and participating. Aahhhh. I love that transformation. Touches my heart every time. 

The icing on the cake happened at the end of family devotional. My 12 year-old son said: 

"Mom, thank you for being strong with your rules... I'm glad you are." 

The reward.

Now this conference talk is imprinted in my heart. I know it. I remember it. I can tell you the main principles, the summary, and how I am applying it. I know it is truth because as I studied it the Spirit witnessed its truthfulness to me.  Was it worth investing some extra time to study this talk more deeply? 


5 Steps to Getting More from a Conference or Devotional Talk, Part 1

1. Read the talk instead of just watching or listening.

If listening is all you can fit in, it's better than nothing! I often listen to a conference talk while I get ready for the day, which is great. But there are definite advantages of reading -- you can highlight, slow down, read again, and ponder. It's nice that you can choose to do these things on paper or on an electronic device. Some people think the best is to watch and read at the same time. 

2. Mark your favorite parts as you read. 

Highlight. Write notes in the margins. 

3. Choose a favorite quote and draw a box around it. 

Here's how I do this. I skim through the article a second time, reading the yellow highlighted parts. This time I use a pencil to mark my favorite things. I also add notes in the margins. 

Decide if it's worth memorizing. If it is, and it's short enough to memorize quickly, say it aloud several times. Then see if you got it right. Write the quote down in your journal, perhaps in the back where you can collect a list of your favorite quotes worth memorizing. Of course going back to review it later will help you retain it. Family scripture time or family home evening is a great time to memorize meaningful quotes and scriptures. 

4. Write a summary of the talk at the top. 

You could ask yourself, what are the main principles in the talk?  Or if I wanted to persuade someone else that this is worth reading, what would I tell him or her? 

5. What did the Spirit inspire you DO? 

Write down at least one action item at the end of the talk. Or you could write these in your journal or task list -- whatever works for you. 

DO something right away to get started on that action item. If the talk inspired you to say more connecting personal prayers, kneel down and say one right now. If you feel inspired to be kinder to your daughter, write her a note or go tell her several things you love about her right now. If the action is something you can't do until later in the week, write it down on your task list right now. 

If you want to write a journal entry about the talk, that's great too. You may want to write how the talk applies to you, how it reminds you of a certain scripture or story or personal experience, or why these principles matter. 

See how theses steps worked for me today in Part 2.

Many are Called but are Un-Choosing Themselves

These two references about being called but not chosen remind me of modern day media addiction

  • D&C 95:5-6 But behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many who have been ordained among you, whom I have called but few of them are chosen. They who are not chosen have sinned a very grievous sin, in that they are walking in darkness at noon-day. 
  • D&C 121:34-37 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.  That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

Two ways our generation is called but many are un-choosing themselves with media addictions

First, God has called our generation to be the last leg of the race, the strongest runners as Sheri Dew said, with “the courage and determination to face the world at its worst, to do combat with the evil one during his heyday, and in spite of it all, to be fearless in building the kingdom of God” ("You Were Born to Lead, You Were Born for Glory," BYU Devot, Dec. 9, 2003). 

So many are called to do great things in the last days. Yet so many are un-choosing themselves by their addictions to things that push away the Spirit, remove their agency, distract them from their life purpose, and waste their time and potential. 

As the two later scriptures said, the called become un-chosen because they sin and walk in darkness, or their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world. Some also seek to cover their sins, gratify pride and vanity, and control others.  Doesn’t that describe the variety of media addictions?  This includes addiction to pornography, violent video games, social media, texting, movies, etc.  

Second, the younger generation is also called to serve God on missions, yet for the same reason they’re un-calling themselves, missing missions, or going home early because of these addictions. Parents need to help their called youth stay chosen

Here are some resources to help you stay called and chosen, by helping you avoid media addictions.

Life and Parenting Lessons from Section 3 of Doctrine and Covenants

Life lessons from Doctrine and Covenants 3

  • Man can’t stop God’s work. (verses 1-3) 
  • Never think you’re smarter than God. (4, 13)
  • Never fear man more than God. (7) 
  • Keep your eyes on the tree of life not on the spacious building. (7)
  • If you resist peer pressure and obey God, He’ll support you (8) 
  • God forgives. (10)
  • If you repent, you’re still chosen and again called. (10) 
  • Parents should teach children with natural consequences. Life is often the best teacher of life lessons, like when Angel Moroni removed the plates and Urim and Thummim for a while after Joseph had sinned. He lost his privileges for a season. (14) 
  • This is also how the Spirit works with us. If we listen to the Spirit and obey God, we’ll receive more promptings and light. If we don’t listen or obey, we’ll lose the privilege for a time until we become worthy again and ask. (14-15)
  • Jesus starts this section like He does many in the D&C, by testifying of His power and strength, reminding us of the reasons we can fully trust Him and rely on Him. In this case He reminds us of His characteristics that are important to give hope to Joseph: God’s plan and purpose is more powerful than man’s mistakes and can’t be stopped by man, God is unchanging and we can count on Him.
  • This was a pivotal turning point for Joseph Smith – he never again feared man more than God. God used this experience to help Joseph turn a weakness (people pleasing) into a vital strength that a prophet needs (God pleasing).  In my opinion, this was the lowest point in Joseph’s life other than Liberty Jail. He had just had his first baby who died, Emma almost died after the birth and was on the brink of death for several weeks, I think he was getting criticized from his father-in-law whom he lived next to, and now Martin lost the 116 pages of manuscript. Then Angel Moroni took away the plates and the Urim and Thummim. Joseph seemed to have thought he lost his soul. So to hear the words “Thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work,” must have breathed new life into a low, broken heart. 
  • Gives us hope that God has a plan to help us turn our weaknesses into strengths too. Joseph was probably cringing a bit in heaven, “Sorry Nephi down there, but thanks for giving me a backup plan for the weakness I’ll have when I’m on earth.” Nephi was on earth likely thinking, “I don’t know why God is telling me to write an abridgement of my dad’s record, because he already wrote all these stories, but God knows. He’s way smarter than me so I’ll obey.” God has contingency plans to make up for our weakness. 

A Parenting Pattern in D&C 3

  • I trusted you with ___. I explained the rules and consequences if you obeyed. You repeatedly disobeyed me and cared more about peer pressure. What you should have done was ___. You would have been blessed in this way ___. It would have protected you from harm. (verses 5-8)
  • You are a great soul. God chose you for a great work. Satan knows your greatness too, and wants you to fall. Be careful that you obey so you won’t fall. (9)
  • I am merciful and forgiving. You can repent. You are still chosen. You’re again called to the work. Here is a fresh start to try again. If you don’t take the fresh start to try again you’ll lose your chance, privilege, gift. (10-11)
  • Here’s what’s wrong about what you did___. You lost your privileges for a while because you disobeyed. (12, 14-15)

Summary pattern for parenting: 

Let’s review the rules and consequences. Here’s how you disobeyed___. Here’s the consequence – you lose ___ privilege for a while. What you should have done is___. You are still good, God and I still love you, you are still chosen to do great things. Satan knows you’re great too, so be careful and obey so you don’t fall. Here’s a fresh start to repent and start again so you can have your privilege back. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Atonement Quotes, Scriptures, Articles, and Object lessons

We should spend our lives striving to understand and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

When I started gathering these quotes to give as an LDS institute handout years ago it was such a sweet, sacred experience. Then my husband gave the quotes to ward members at tithing settlement. Now I'm giving it to my early morning seminary students. We never can focus too much on our Savior.

This Easter week you can use these quotes for your personal or family scripture study, or family home evening. If you have any more you like, please add them in the comments below.  

Here is a printable full-page version of most of what's on this post.
Here is a smaller version you can print on both sides, cut and fold into an insert to glue in your scriptures (this one has just the quotes). I used a stick glue to glue mine into Matthew 26.

I love opening my New Testament to this page of quotes sometimes after saying my silent prayer during the sacrament, and pondering one or more of these beautiful quotes. The Savior is real. His Atonement works. Let's invest some time in understanding Him and it a little better.  

 Jeffrey R. Holland- "None Were With Him." Mormon Message video

Becky Edwards’ Favorite Quotes about Christ’s Atonement

Elder Boyd K. Packer: “[The Atonement of Christ] is the very root of Christian doctrine. You may know much about the gospel as it branches out from there, but if you only know the branches and those branches do not touch that root, if they have been cut free from that truth, there will be no life nor substance nor redemption in them” (“The Mediator,” Ensign, May 1977, 56).

Joseph Smith: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it” (Teachings, 121). 

President Gordon B. Hinckley: “No member of this Church must ever forget the terrible price paid by our Redeemer, who gave His life that all men might live—the agony of Gethsemane, the bitter mockery of His trial, the vicious crown of thorns tearing at His flesh, the blood cry of the mob before Pilate, the lonely burden of His heavy walk along the way to Calvary, the terrifying pain as great nails pierced His hands and feet. . . . We cannot forget that. We must never forget it, for here our Savior, our Redeemer, the Son of God, gave Himself, a vicarious sacrifice for each of us” (Ensign, April 2005, 4).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell: “Have you thought that there was no way that Jesus could know the suffering which we undergo as a result of our stupidity and sin, (because he was sinless) except He bear those sins of ours in what I call the awful arithmetic of the atonement?” (CES Symposium, 1979).

President Gordon B. Hinckley: “I sense in a measure the meaning of his atonement.  I cannot comprehend it all. It is so vast in its reach and yet so intimate in its effect that it defies comprehension” (Ensign, Feb. 95).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:  To ‘succor’ means to “run to.” I testify that in my fears and in my infirmities the Savior has surely run to me. I will never be able to thank Him enough for such personal kindness and such loving care (Ensign, Nov 1997, 64).

President Gordon B. Hinckley: “I know that Jesus is my Redeemer, my Lord, my Savior. I know that. I can’t comprehend the full meaning of the Atonement, but I know that through His sacrifice He has made it possible for you and for me to live eternal lives” (Ensign, Aug. 1996, 61).

Elder Bruce C. Hafen: “Some Church members feel weighed down with discouragement about the circumstances of their personal lives, even when they are making sustained and admirable efforts.  Frequently, these feelings of self-disappointment come not from wrongdoing, but from stresses for which they may not be fully to blame. The atonement of Jesus Christ applies to these experiences because it applies to all of life.  The Savior’s atonement is thus portrayed as the healing power not only for sin, but also for carelessness, inadequacy, and all mortal bitterness. The Atonement is not just for sinners” (“Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Christ,” Ensign, April 97, 39).

Merrill J. Bateman: “For many years I thought of the Savior’s experience in the garden and on the cross as places where a large mass of sin was heaped upon Him... however, my view has changed. Instead of an impersonal mass of sin, there was a long line of people, as Jesus felt “our infirmities” (Heb. 4:15), “[bore] our griefs, … carried our sorrows … [and] was bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:4–5).  The Atonement was an intimate, personal experience in which Jesus came to know how to help each of us...He learned about your weaknesses and mine. He experienced your pains and sufferings. He experienced mine. I testify that He knows us. He understands the way in which we deal with temptations. He knows our weaknesses. But more than that, more than just knowing us, He knows how to help us if we come to Him in faith” (“A Pattern for All,” Ensign, Nov 2005, 74).

President Joseph Fielding Smith: “Here we have the Son of God carrying the burden of my transgressions and your transgressions and the transgressions of every soul that receives the gospel of Jesus Christ. ... He carried the burden—our burden. I added something to it; so did you. So did everybody else. He took it upon himself to pay the price that I might escape—that you might escape—the punishment on the conditions that we will receive his gospel and be true and faithful in it” (“Fall—Atonement— Resurrection— Sacrament,” SLC Institute, Jan. 14, 1961, 8).

Boyd K. Packer: “...Save for the exception of the very few who defect to perdition, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the atonement of Christ” (Ensign, Nov 1995, 18).

Neal A. Maxwell: The cumulative weight of all mortal sins—past, present, and future— pressed upon that perfect, sinless, and sensitive Soul! All our infirmities and sicknesses were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement” (“Willing to Submit,” Ensign, May 1985, 70).

Elder Marion G. Romney “...No man, nor set of men, nor all men put together, ever suffered what the Redeemer suffered in the Garden” (In Conf. Report, Oct. 1953, p. 35).
Elder Quentin L. Cook: “ “...Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, [we] can be reunited with the loved ones [we] have lost” (Ensign, May 2010, 83–86).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:  “With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone” (Ensign, May 2009, 86–88).

Joseph Fielding Smith: “As excruciating, as severe as was that punishment, coming from the driving of nails through His hands and through His feet, and being suspended, until relieved by death, yet still greater was the suffering which He endured in carrying the burden of the sins of the world-my sins, and your sins, and the sins of every living creature. This suffering came before He ever got to the cross, and it caused the blood to come forth from the pores of his body, so great was that anguish of His soul, the torment of His spirit that He was called upon to undergo. Are we not indebted? Yes. Are we ungrateful? Yes, unless we are willing to abide by every word that comes from the mouth of God, unless we are obedient, unless our hearts are broken, in the scriptural sense, unless our spirits are contrite, unless within our soul is the spirit of humility and faith and obedience” (Conference Report, April 1944, 49-50).

Elder Shayne M. Bowen: "Is it possible to reclaim a life that through reckless abandon has become so strewn with garbage that it appears that the person is unforgivable? Or what about the one who is making an honest effort but has fallen back into sin so many times that he feels that there is no possible way to break the seemingly endless pattern? Or what about the person who has changed his life but just can't forgive himself? . . .The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means--total, complete, all, forever" (Ensign, Nov. 2006, 33).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "The more we know of Jesus' Atonement, the more we will humbly and gladly glorify Him, His Atonement, and His character. We will never tire of paying tribute to His goodness and loving-kindness. How long will we so speak of our gratitude for His Atonement? The scriptures advise "forever and ever!" (“Enduring Well,” Ensign, 1997).

Elder Joseph B. Worthlin: "The more you understand the Atonement and what it means, the less likely you will be to fall prey to temptations of the adversary. No other doctrine will bring greater results in improving behavior and strengthening character than the doctrine of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is central to God's plan and is preeminent in the restored gospel" (Ensign, Nov. 1999).

President James E. Faust: "Any increase in our understanding of His atoning sacrifice draws us closer to Him" (Ensign, Nov. 2001).

Elder Tad Callister: “...No mortal can cry out, ‘He does not understand my plights for my trials are unique.’ There is nothing outside the scope of the Savior’s experience. As Elder Maxwell observed, “None of us can tell Christ anything about depression.”  As a result of his mortal experience, culminating in the Atonement, the Savior knows, understands, and feels every human condition, every human woe, and every human loss.  He can comfort as no other. He can lift burdens as not other. He can listen as no other” (Infinite Atonement, 207-209). 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “It is the wounded Christ who is the captain of our soul—he who yet bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love and humility and forgiveness. Those wounds are what he invites young and old, then and now, to step forward and see and feel. . . . Then we remember with Isaiah that it was for each of us that our Master was “despised and rejected . . . ; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). All this we could remember when we are invited by a kneeling young priest to remember Christ always” (“This Do in Remembrance of Me,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 69). 

Donald W. Parry (BYU Professor of Hebrew): “The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the hinge point of all eternity.  Its gifts are numerous. It is limitless in its magnitude, power, and scope, and covers our sins as well as our pains, griefs, infirmities, afflictions, disease, physical bodies, and more.  The Atonement provides us with clarity as we move through mortality.  It gives us purpose and understanding in our daily walk, in family relationships, and educational and occupational pursuits. It makes us better disciples of Jesus Christ, better sons and daughters, better parents, and better spouses.  It increases our love, judgement, and wisdom, and provides us with power and desire to repent of our sins, and to become new creatures in Jesus Christ.  

“On the one hand, the Atonement’s capacity reaches out throughout eternity and covers infinite worlds and their inhabitants.  On the other hand, it reaches into our very hearts, and impacts our daily lives before God.  Without the Atonement, we come to earth, we sin, we die, and we suffer endless woe, becoming angels to the devil, and devils ourselves.  With the Atonement, if we come unto Christ and partake of the great blessings he offers us...repent of our sins and be purified and renewed, and when we rise in the resurrection, we will rise to glory. 

“Just how limitless, how infinite, is the Atonement? ... Its gifts and blessings are numerous, going well beyond the coverage of our personal sins and the universal resurrection.  Coverage of our sins and the resurrection – these alone would make the Atonement the most magnificent gift, but the Atonement goes well beyond these.  The Atonement impacts our pains, sicknesses, rebellions, crimes, addictions, mental, physical, and emotional weaknesses, griefs, and infirmities.  It also covers little children, physical and spiritual death, and much, much more (“The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Can We Really Understand?” BYU Education Week, Aug. 17, 2009).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "The more we know of Jesus, the more we will love Him. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will trust Him. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will want to be like Him and to be with Him by becoming the manner of men and women that He wishes us to be (see 3 Ne. 27:27), while living now "after the manner of happiness”  (2 Ne. 5:27). (Ensign, May 2001). 

President David O. McKay: "To the church and to the world I repeat this question as being the most vital, the most far reaching query in this unsettled, distracted world (Matt 22:42). What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are, will largely determine what your acts will be. No person can study this divine personality, can accept his teachings without becoming conscious of an uplifting and refining influence within himself" (New Era, Oct. 2002, 26).

Brigham Young:  “There is no spirit but what was pure and holy when it came here from the Celestial World…. He is the Father of our spirits; and if we could know, understand, and do His will, every soul would be prepared to return back into His presence. And when they get there, they would see that they had formerly lived there for ages, that they had previously been acquainted with every nook and corner, with the palaces, walks, and gardens; and they would embrace their Father, and He would embrace them and say, ‘My son, my daughter, I have you again;’ and the child would say, ‘Oh my Father, My Father, I am here again’” (Journal of Discourses, 4:268, quoted by Bishop Keith McMullin, Ensign, May 1999).

Elder Russell M. Nelson: “The ordeal of the Atonement centered about the city of Jerusalem. There the greatest single act of love of all recorded history took place. Leaving the upper room, Jesus and His friends crossed the deep ravine east of the city and came to a garden of olive trees on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives. There in the garden bearing the Hebrew name of Gethsemane —meaning ‘oilpress’—olives had been beaten and pressed to provide oil and food. There at Gethsemane, the Lord ‘suffered the pain of all men, that all ... might repent and come unto him.’ He took upon Himself the weight of the sins of all mankind, bearing its massive load that caused Him to bleed from every pore” (Ensign, Nov. 1996, 35). 

Elder James E. Talmage: “Death by crucifixion was at once the most lingering and most painful of all forms of execution. The victim lived in ever increasing torture, generally for many hours, sometimes for days. ... The welcome relief of death came through the exhaustion caused by intense and unremitting pain” (Jesus the Christ, 655). 
Elder Tad Callister: (paraphrasing) We’ll never fully understand the Atonement, but we should spend our lives trying to (The Infinite Atonement).

Elder Bruce R. McKonkie: “The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion” (Christ and the Creation). 
President Gordon B. Hinckley: "[Jesus Christ’s] Atonement is the greatest event in human history. There is nothing to compare with it. It is the most fundamental part of our Father’s plan for the happiness of His children. Without it, mortal life would be a dead-end existence with neither hope nor future. The gift of our divine Redeemer brings an entirely new dimension to our lives. Because of our Savior’s sacrifice, instead of dismal oblivion, death becomes only a passage to a more glorious realm. The Resurrection becomes a reality for all. Eternal life becomes available to those who walk in obedience to His commandments” (“Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, Sep. 2007).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "...The greatest and most important single thing there is in all eternity—the thing that transcends all others since the time of the creation of man and of the worlds—is the fact of the atoning sacrifice of Christ the Lord... The Atonement is the central thing in the whole gospel system. The Prophet said that all other things pertaining to our religion are only appendages to it" (“Behold the Condescension of God,” New Era, Dec. 1984).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:  "When He says to the poor in spirit, “Come unto me,” He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way" (“Broken Things to Mend,” Ensign, May 2006).
David P. Vandagriff: “The Atonement of Jesus Christ is not only for your last breath and the last day of your life, but it is also for every day of your life, every breath of your life” (I Need Thee Every Hour, Applying the Atonement in Everyday Life).

Elder David A. Bednar: “President David O. McKay...summarized the overarching purpose of the gospel of the Savior in these terms: ‘. . . the purpose of the gospel is . . . to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature’ (from the film Every Member a Missionary, as acknowledged by Franklin D. Richards, CR, October 1965, pp. 136-137).

“Now I do not believe the word 'bad' in this statement by President McKay connotes only wicked, awful, horrible, or inherently evil. Rather, I think he was suggesting that the journey from bad to good is the process of putting off the natural man or the natural woman in each of us. 

“Now, please notice the next line in Mosiah 3:19: ‘and becometh a saint.’ May I suggest this phrase describes the continuation and second phase of life's journey as outlined by President McKay. ‘The purpose of the gospel is to make bad men good’--or, in other words, put off the natural man–‘and good men better’--or, in other words, become more like a saint. Now, brothers and sisters, I believe this second part of the journey, this process of going from good to better, is a topic about which we do not study or teach frequently enough nor understand adequately.

“If I were to emphasize one overarching point this afternoon, it would be this. I suspect that you and I are much more familiar with the nature of the redeeming power of the atonement than we are with the enabling power of the atonement...The Lord desires, through His atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us--not only to direct us but also to empower us...Most of us clearly understand that the atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the atonement is also for saints--for good men and women who are obedient and worthy and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully. 

"I frankly do not think many of us "get it" concerning this enabling and strengthening aspect of the atonement, and I wonder if we mistakenly believe we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves, through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities...The atonement provides help for us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good. There is help from the Savior for the entire journey of life--from bad to good to better and to change our very nature. Indeed, this doctrine tastes good” (BYU-I Devotional, Jan. 8, 2002).

“...Both of these essential elements of the journey of life--both putting off the natural man and becoming a saint, both overcoming bad and becoming good--are accomplished through the power of the atonement. Individual willpower, personal determination and motivation, and effective planning and goal setting are necessary but ultimately insufficient to triumphantly complete this mortal journey. Truly, we must come to rely upon ‘the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah’ (2 Nephi 2:8).

“[On page 697 of the] Bible Dictionary...under the word "grace," we read: “...divine means of help or strength... It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts’ (emphasis added).

“That is, grace represents that divine assistance or heavenly help each of us will desperately need to qualify for the celestial kingdom. Thus, the enabling power of the atonement strengthens us to do and be good and serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity.  In my personal scripture study, I often insert the term "enabling power" whenever I encounter the word grace. Consider, for example, this verse with which we are all familiar in 2 Nephi, chapter 25, verse 23: ‘. . . for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.’  ...As we come to better understand this sacred power, our gospel perspective will be greatly enlarged and enriched. Such a perspective will change us in remarkable ways.

“[Referring to Alma 7] the Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distress that so frequently beset us... There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, ‘No one understands. No one knows.’ No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, and succor--literally run to us--and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying only upon our own power. 

“Perhaps now we can more fully understand and appreciate the lesson of Matthew 11:28-30: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

“I can think of no person or knowledge or influence or event that has had a greater impact upon me during my half century of mortality than the doctrines I have attempted to discuss this afternoon. I pray that you will learn and understand and appreciate and apply this essential doctrine early in your lives” (“In the Strength of the Lord,” BYU-I Devot. Jan. 8, 2002).

President Joseph Fielding Smith: “The great love, with its accompanying blessings, extended to us through the crucifixion, suffering, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is beyond our mortal comprehension. We never could repay. We have been bought with a price beyond computation—not with gold or silver or precious stones, ‘but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot.’ (1 Pet. 1:19)” (Conf Report, Apr. 1966). 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “Christ suffered for the sins and sorrows and pains of all the rest of the human family, providing remission for all of our sins as well, upon conditions of obedience to the principles and ordin-ances of the gospel He taught (see 2 Nephi 9:21–23)” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 67). 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “The atonement of Jesus Christ is the foreordained but voluntary act of the Only Begotten Son of God. He offered his life, including his innocent body, blood, and spiritual anguish as a redeeming ransom (1) for the effect of the Fall of Adam upon all mankind and (2) for the personal sins of all who repent, from Adam to the end of the world. Latter-day Saints believe this is the central fact, the crucial foundation, the chief doctrine, and the greatest expression of divine love in the plan of salvation. The Prophet Joseph Smith declared that all ‘things which pertain to our religion are only appendages’ to the atonement of Christ ([Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith], p. 121)” (“Atonement of Jesus Christ,” in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 5 vols. [1992], 1:82–83). 

Richard G. Scott: “...No matter what the source of difficulty and no matter how you begin to obtain relief — through a qualified professional therapist, doctor, priesthood leader, friend, concerned parent, or loved one — no matter how you begin, those solutions will never provide a complete answer. The final healing comes through faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and obedience to His commandments. ... Do what you can do a step at a time. Seek to understand the principles of healing from the scriptures and through prayer. ... Above all, exercise faith in Jesus Christ. ...I testify that the surest, most effective, and shortest path to healing comes through application of the teachings of Jesus Christ in your life”  (“To be Healed,” Ensign, May 1994, p. 9).

Some of my favorite scriptures about the Atonement

Alma 7:11-14, 1 Nephi 19:9, Mosiah 3:7, Matt 26:36-46, 2 Nephi 2:7, 2 Nephi 25:23, 3 Nephi 11:11, Alma 34:10, DC 19:16-19, Moroni 10:32-33, Philip 4:13. 

I like marking Atonement scriptures with a brown pencil, brown reminding me of the Garden of Gethsemane.

My favorite talks or books about the Atonement
  • Elder David A. Bednar: “In the Strength of the Lord,” BYU-I Devot Jan 8 2002  
  • Elder Holland: "This Do In Remembrance of Me," Ensign, Nov. 1995 
  • Elder Holland: "None Were With Him," Ensign, Nov. 2009 (See video above)
  • Brad Wilcox: "His Grace Is Sufficient," BYU Devotional, July 12, 2011 (also “The Atonement: After All We Can Do,” BYU Ed Week, Aug. 18, 2009)
  • Brad Wilcox: The Continuous Atonement  
  • Thomas B. Griffeth: "The Root of Christian Doctrine," BYU Devotional, March 14, 2006
  • Tad Callister: The Infinite Atonement 
  • Donald Parry: “The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Can We Really Understand?” BYU Education Week, Aug. 17, 2009 
  • “Messiah: Behold the Lamb of God - ‘I have Trodden the Wine Press Alone’ - Atonement” documentary on 
  • David Vandergriff: I Need Thee Every Hour, Applying the Atonement in Everyday Life
  • Robert Millet: "After All We Can Do: The Meaning of Grace in Our Lives," BYU Women's Conference 1998. Watch it here.  
  • Carolyn J. Rasmus: "The Enabling Power of the Atonement: Bask in His Life-Giving Light," BYU Women's Conference 2006.
  • James Ferrell: The Peacegiver 
  • John Bytheway: "The Best Three Hours of the Week" 

Some ways to use the Atonement 

Repent, forgive, turn our burdens over to Christ (upsets, pains, decisions or people or health issues I’m concerned about), ask him to change my nature or desires, taking the sacrament, ask him to change our weaknesses into strengths, ask him to magnify our meager efforts into something meaningful and contributing to others, ...

My favorite pictures or object lessons about the Atonement

A tree with the atonement as the root of Christian doctrine; wheel with atonement as center hub and the rest of the gospel as spokes coming from it; umbrella that covers everything including sins, heartache and pain; blanket that covers us; merger of a failing business and a successful business; yoking ourselves with God’s infinite power; C. S. Lewis' story of Christ remodeling us from a cottage into a palace; a huge electrical cord plugged into Christ’s power; sacrament - eating Christ’s flesh and blood, him becoming a part of us; a ladder; eating the doughnut.

My favorite songs about the Atonement

“Gethsemane” by Kenneth Cope
“I Stand all Amazed”
Any of the sacrament hymns in the LDS Hymn Book, numbers 169-197

My favorite stories or analogies about the Atonement

The bike (story from Believing Christ book by Stephen Robinson)
The Train 
The Bridge 
The Blood 
The Licking
The Birdcage 

For more about the Atonement on my blog go here and here and here.

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts or feelings about our Savior's Atonement.