Thursday, June 8, 2017

Elder D. Todd Christofferson on our debt to the Savior

Elder D. Todd Christofferson (b. January 24, 1945) was called to the Seventy in 1993, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2008.
"Since the Savior paid for our sins and satisfied justice for us, we become debtors to Him rather than to justice. We must therefore meet the stipulations He has established for forgiveness and cleansing. Otherwise, He withdraws His proffered mediation, and we are left to deal alone with the demands of justice, lacking the means to become pure. One must choose Christ to receive what Christ offers.
"How does one choose Christ? We noted earlier Lehi's declaration that it requires 'a broken heart and a contrite spirit' (2 Ne. 2:7). Nephi elaborates: 'Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost' (2 Ne. 31:17).
"I repeat the Savior's succinct declaration in 3 Nephi: 'Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day' (3 Ne. 27:20)."
- D. Todd Christofferson, "Justification and Sanctification," Ensign, Jun 2001, pp. 18-25
Click here to read or listen to the full article

We are in debt to the Savior instead of to justice—this is a key concept in understanding the Atonement of Christ and the interplay of justice, mercy, and grace. Elder Christofferson provides a summary of the key concepts, including the simple summary, "One must choose Christ to receive what Christ offers."

To be "in debt to the Savior" conveys some sense of the obligation we assume as we strive to take advantage of the atoning gift He offers to us. And so what is involved in "choosing Christ"? The scriptures teach the importance of obedience, repentance, and committed discipleship. As we choose to follow Him and emulate Him, we choose Him in our lives, and become eligible and worthy for His eternal love, blessings, and grace.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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