- For all who come unto Christ and take His name upon them through baptism, there is great responsibility to be worthy to participate weekly in the sacrament in order that they may renew their baptismal covenant, take His name upon them, renew their promise to keep all of His commandments, remember Him, know Him, and comprehend His greatness. To remember and know Jesus Christ is to know He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Jesus Christ of the New Testament. He was the firstborn spirit child of Heavenly Father and the Only Begotten in the flesh.
Christ has asked us to pray in His name and refers to us as His friend. I don't know any greater term to describe how our relationship should be with the Savior than friend.
- We pray to our Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the great Mediator. Though omnipotent and omniscient, all-powerful and all-knowing, He is our friend. After counseling early Brethren of the Church to “set in order your own house,” He said, “I will call you friends, for you are my friends.” With all of His greatness, He has said that He is our friend. We have been asked to be a friend to our neighbors and to teach them the gospel, and to be a friend to new converts, that the fruit of our labors may remain. Our prophet has asked us to be a friend. Can our prophet expect anything less?
When we are baptized in Christ's name, we receive additional light through the Gift of the Holy Ghost. This light allows us to know how we should live and how we can overcome the temptations of this world.
- When we are baptized in His name and always remember Him and keep His commandments, He gives us the greatest blessing He can give us: that is to always have His Spirit to be with us. That Spirit of the Lord is light. Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Where the light of Christ is found, the darkness of Lucifer, even Satan, must depart, defeated. May we follow the light and choose the right.
Christ took part in the atonement to allow us to be able to return to God's presence again. This impossible barrier was overcome through Christ's glorious actions. When we think of the atonement, we should be filled with gratitude for this precious gift that was willingly given to each of us.
- What we must remember about the Savior is that He and He alone had the power to lay down His life and take it up again. He had the ability to die from His mortal mother, Mary, and the ability to overcome death from His immortal Father. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, went willingly and deliberately to His death, having told His followers that this would happen. Why? one might ask. The answer: to give immortality to all mankind and the promise of eternal life to those who believed in Him, to give His own life for a ransom for others, to overcome Satan’s power, and to make it possible for sins to be forgiven. Without Jesus’ Atonement, there would be an impassable barrier between God and mortal men and women. When we comprehend the Atonement, we remember Him with awe and gratitude.
- As we remember the Savior, we remember an empty tomb, a symbol that the Lord has risen and a promise to all of the Resurrection and life after death. Because of our Savior’s Atonement, in death’s darkness there is no sting, in death’s depression there is no victory. His resurrected light dispels the darkness, defeating the prince of darkness, with a brightness of eternal hope.
We need to remember that we are not alone in this journey of life. Christ has sent us the Holy Ghost to lead us and guide us back to our Heavenly Father.
- We have not been left alone. We have the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost to lead and guide us in an otherwise very dark and dreary world. The keys of the priesthood have been restored to make available all of the ordinances that are necessary, that we may return to His presence.
Finally, Elder Hales encourages us to come unto Christ and the strengthen each other in our journey to God's presence.
- May all who profess to be Christians, all who know and testify of Jesus, come unto Him and follow His teachings and example, being one as Heavenly Father and Jesus are one in purpose, to unite ourselves, to lift and strengthen each other, and take upon us one another’s burdens as our Savior has taken our burdens upon Him.
Elder Hales provides a simple summary of the great things that Christ has done for us that allow us to return to God's presence. This message is the essence of the atonement and how we can participate in the amazing gift that we have been given. In my life, I need to focus a little more on the meaning of the atonement and how that strengthens my testimony of eternal things. The atonement makes all things right, heals all wounds, gives hope to those that have no hope in their lives, and gives light to those in darkness. It isn't always about repentance. I need to find deeper meaning in the things that the atonement can do for us so that I can share that deeper meaning with others and bring light and hope into their lives.