Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dallin H. Oaks on the personal strength of the Savior's Atonement

Elder Dallin H. Oaks (b. August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984.
"Who can be succored and strengthened through the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Alma taught that the Savior would 'take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people' and 'succor his people' (Alma 7:11, 12; emphasis added). Who are 'his people' in this promise? Is it all mortals—all who enjoy the reality of resurrection through the Atonement? Or is it only those select servants qualified through ordinances and covenants? ...
"Because of His atoning experience in mortality, our Savior is able to comfort, heal, and strengthen all men and women everywhere, but I believe He does so only for those who seek Him and ask for His help. The Apostle James taught, 'Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up' (James 4:10). We qualify for that blessing when we believe in Him and pray for His help....
"I know these things to be true. Our Savior’s Atonement does more than assure us of immortality by a universal resurrection and give us the opportunity to be cleansed from sin by repentance and baptism. His Atonement also provides the opportunity to call upon Him who has experienced all of our mortal infirmities to give us the strength to bear the burdens of mortality. He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. Like the good Samaritan, when He finds us wounded at the wayside, He will bind up our wounds and care for us (see Luke 10:34). The healing and strengthening power of Jesus Christ and His Atonement is for all of us who will ask. I testify of that as I also testify of our Savior, who makes it all possible."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ," General Conference, October 2015, Saturday afternoon session
Click here to read the full talk

The powerful and clear teachings about the Savior's Atonement in the Book of Mormon have been such a blessing to many as we learn just how to be lifted and blessed by it, not just in the forgiveness of sin and in the resurrection to come, but in the daily struggles of this life. Alma's teachings are among the most precious, and Elder Oaks uses and interprets them to help us understand those promised blessings.

The key insight he provides in this passage is that we bear responsibility in invoking or claiming the promised blessings; we become his people as we believe in Him, turn to Him, and ask for His help.

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