"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
February 5, 2008

How Key Is the Atonement?

Now let us suppose a modern-day case. Suppose we have the scriptures, the gospel, the priesthood, the Church, the ordinances, the organization, even the keys of the kingdom — everything that now is down to the last jot and tittle — and yet there is no atonement of Christ. What then? Can we be saved? Will all our good works save us? Will we be rewarded for all our righteousness?

Most assuredly we will not. We are not saved by works alone, no matter how good; we are saved because God sent his Son to shed his blood in Gethsemane and on Calvary that all through him might ransomed be. We are saved by the blood of Christ.

To paraphrase Abinadi: “Salvation doth not come by the Church alone: and were it not for the atonement, given by the grace of God as a free gift, all men must unavoidably perish, and this notwithstanding the Church and all that pertains to it.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Promised Messiah, p. 416)

March 19, 2006

Only the Repentant Truly Understand the Scriptures

“There are several things that are helpful to understand to help reading … scripture. First, in order to understand and enjoy scripture is REPENTANCE. I don’t fully understand how the body and spirit are put together, nor do I understand the ecology of the universe which the Lord has created. I don’t know clearly the relationship between NOT keeping the commandments, and NOT enjoying spiritual things, but they are absolutely contrary to each other (See Alma 41:11 - man in the world, without God, is living contrary to the nature of happiness).”

When Ammon was coming back from his mission with his brethren, he made this statement found in Alma 26:21-22:

21 Now behold my brethren, what natural man is there that knoweth these things. Behold, I say unto you, that there is none that knoweth these thing, save it be the penitent.

“In other words, there is something about spiritual things where the spirit bears record, and if you are not repentant, you cannot know it. Even if you once knew it, you cannot know it now.”

22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringing forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed,; yea, and unto such it shall be give to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

“So, the only thing that can happen to an unrepentant person, in this context, is that they can know a lot about the Lord, and a lot about scripture; they can even be a scriptural scholar, but THEY CANNOT KNOW IT. YOU MUST BE REPENTANT. THERE IS NO ONE THAT TRULY UNDERSTANDS THE SCRIPTURES, SAVE IT BE THE PENITENT.” — Robert J. Norman