- The Savior’s Resurrection assures all of us that someday we, too, will follow Him and experience our own resurrection. What peace, what comfort this great gift is which comes through the loving grace of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind.
He shares that the ultimate expression of love is what the Savior did for each one of us individually.
- There is no greater expression of love than the heroic Atonement performed by the Son of God. Were it not for the plan of our Heavenly Father, established before the world began, in a very real sense, all mankind—past, present, and future—would have been left without the hope of eternal progression. As a result of Adam’s transgression, mortals were separated from God and would be forever unless a way was found to break the bands of death. This would not be easy, for it required the vicarious sacrifice of one who was sinless and who could therefore take upon Himself the sins of all mankind.
- The Atonement of Jesus Christ was an indispensable part of our Heavenly Father’s plan for His Son’s earthly mission and for our salvation. How grateful we should be that our Heavenly Father did not intercede but rather withheld His fatherly instinct to rescue His Beloved Son. Because of His eternal love for you and for me, He allowed Jesus to complete His foreordained mission to become our Redeemer. The gift of resurrection and immortality is given freely through the loving grace of Jesus Christ to all people of all ages, regardless of their good or evil acts. And to those who choose to love the Lord and who show their love and faith in Him by keeping His commandments and qualifying for the full blessings of the Atonement, He offers the additional promise of exaltation and eternal life, which is the blessing of living in the presence of God and His Beloved Son forever.
Elder Ballard expresses his testimony that the Savior lives today and that he guides the church.
- Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, is not dead. He lives—the resurrected Son of God lives—that is my testimony, and He guides the affairs of His Church today.
Elder Ballard speaks about the Prophet Joseph Smith and the things that he learned in the grove of trees. We are each children of God and our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us.
- In the spring of 1820, a pillar of light illuminated a grove of trees in upstate New York. Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith. This experience began the restoration of powerful doctrinal truths that had been lost for centuries. Among those truths that had been dimmed by the darkness of apostasy was the stirring reality that we are all the spirit sons and daughters of a loving God who is our Father. We are part of His family. He is not a father in some allegorical or poetic sense. He is literally the Father of our spirits. He cares for each one of us. Though this world has a way of diminishing and demeaning men and women, the reality is we are all of royal, divine lineage. In that unprecedented appearance of the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove, the very first word spoken by the Father of us all was the personal name of Joseph. Such is our Father’s personal relationship with each of us. He knows our names and yearns for us to become worthy to return to live with Him.
He concludes with sharing with us a promise that if we will accept the atonement, we will find peace, joy, and happiness.
- As we accept the Atonement in our lives and strive to live the gospel can we meet the challenges of life and find peace, joy, and happiness. Coming to understand this great gift is an individual pursuit for each child of God.
I have learned some things about the atonement in the past year. I have learned that the atonement is not only about our sins, it is about our relationship with the Savior. The Savior is about making things whole. He is about making things in our lives right and healing the hurts and pains of mortality. He is about helping us to find peace in spite of bad things happening to us. The atonement assures that He will understand our trials and troubles perfectly. It assures us that we will have an honest judgement where all understanding of our circumstances in life will be known and understood. It assures us that He will understand the differences between our weaknesses and our rebellion to His teachings. The atonement assures pure love will be expressed to us by the Savior and that He will do all within His power to assure us eternal life. We have to do our part but He will do all He can to make to possible for us to return to God.