Thursday, December 13, 2018

Elder Quentin L. Cook on power through the atonement of Jesus Christ

Elder Quentin L. Cook (b. September 8, 1940) was called as a Seventy in 1996, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2007.
"Live so that the atonement can be fully efficacious in your life.
"As indicated previously, rationalization for bad choices will not be effective, but repentance will. Those who repent will be particularly blessed by the atonement. Without the atonement the eternal principle of justice would require punishment (see Alma 42:14). Because of the atonement mercy can prevail for those who have repented and allow them to return to the presence of God (Alma 42:15).
"I first understood the full significance of the atonement when my grandfather was dying. I was studying for the California bar exam when my mother called and said if I wanted to see my grandfather before he died, I better come to Utah. My grandfather, who was 86 years old, was very ill. He was so pleased to see me and share his testimony.
"There were three concerns that he had:
"1. He loved his ten children very much. They were all good people. He wanted them all to be temple worthy.
"2. His father was one of the young men who had carried members of the Martin Handcart Company across the Sweetwater. His father had died when my grandfather was three years old and he looked forward to seeing him and hoped his father and other family members would approve of his life.
"3. Finally, and most importantly, he told me how he looked forward to meeting the Savior. He referred to the Savior as the 'Keeper of the Gate,' a reference to 2 Nephi 9:41. He told me that he hoped he had been sufficiently repentant to qualify for the Savior’s mercy.
"All of us have sinned and it is only through the atonement that we can obtain mercy and live with God. I can remember to this day the great love that grandfather had for the Savior and the appreciation he had for the atonement."
- Quentin L. Cook, "Strengthen Faith as You Seek Knowledge," BYU-Idaho devotional, March 14, 2006
Click here to read the full talkClick here to watch a video of the devotional

The opening line of this excerpt is so crucial: "Live so that the atonement can be fully efficacious in your life." Many of us perhaps have felt portions of the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But for it to be fully efficacious requires that we be fully humble, fully repentant, fully obedient, and fully devoted as disciples of Jesus Christ. The blessings of repentance come to those who open their hearts to Him:

Elder Cook's memories from his youth of a devoted grandfather's last wishes are instructive. What counsel would we give to those we love if we knew our time were short? What would we be able to identify as the highest concerns and priorities we felt? Clearly Elder Cook had a wonderful heritage of faith based on the words of his grandfather.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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