Friday, March 25, 2016

Gordon B. Hinckley on the Savior's atonement and death

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1961, served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1981-1995, then as Church President until his death in 2008 at age 97.
"The magnificent expression of His love came in His death when He gave His life as a sacrifice for all men. That Atonement, wrought in unspeakable pain, became the greatest event of history, an act of grace for which men gave nothing but which brought the assurance of the Resurrection to all who have or would walk the earth.
"No other act in all of human history compares with it. Nothing that has ever happened can match it. Totally unselfish and with unbounded love for all mankind, it became an unparalleled act of mercy for the whole human race.
"Then with the Resurrection that first Easter morn came the triumphal declaration of immortality. Well was Paul able to declare, 'For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive' (1 Cor. 15:22). He not only granted the blessing of the Resurrection to all, but opened the way to eternal life to those who observe His teachings and commandments.
"He was and is the great central figure of human history, the zenith of the times and seasons of all men....
"God be thanked for His generous bestowal upon us. We thank Him for this wondrous gospel, whose power and authority reach even beyond the veil of death.
"Given what we have and what we know, we ought to be a better people than we are. We ought to be more Christlike, more forgiving, more helpful and considerate to all around us."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "At the Summit of the Ages," Ensign, November 1999, pp. 72-74
Click here to read the full talk

Today is "Good Friday," the day we traditionally associate with the events of the crucifixion and death of the Savior. President Hinckley points to that "magnificent expression of His love" as "the greatest event of history" and then teaches us of its incomparable blessings.

And then comes the further blessing of the Resurrection, "the triumphal declaration of immortality" that not only helps overcome physical death but opens the way to eternal life. Those who truly begin to understand the magnitude of these events and their implication in our lives will feel a depth of gratitude as President Hinckley did, accompanied by a resolve that it must mean something in our lives:

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