“He Lives to Bless Me with His Love”
Spencer J. Condie, “He Lives to Bless Me with His Love,” in Our Savior’s Love: Hope & Healing in Christ, ed. Alonzo L. Gaskill and Stanley A. Johnson (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City, 2015), 1–27.
Elder Spencer J. Condie was an emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy when this was published.
There are dozens of inspiring sacred hymns which eloquently extol the divine attributes of the Son of God and testify of our Savior’s love. One of these favorite hymns is Samuel Medley’s “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” which enumerates many of the ways in which the Savior’s love is manifest in each of our personal lives.
“He Lives to Bless Me with His Love”
In testimony meetings, faithful Saints often testify of occasions when they have strongly felt the Savior’s love for them. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16–17).
It is true that the Savior of the world came to save us, not to condemn us. But saving us, sometimes from ourselves and our unwise actions, often requires chastening, as the Lord Himself explained: “Whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation, and I have loved you” (D&C 95:1).
Some Latter-day Saints do not fully understand the difference between condemnation and chastening, assuming the terms are equivalent. The adjective “chaste” is a synonym for “pure.” Thus the verb “chasten” refers to the process of purification, not harsh criticism or condemnation. The late Elder Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931) captured this process well:
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with thee.
Make me more worthy of thy love,
And fit me for the life above.
The Savior’s patient, persistent mentoring of the Apostle Peter exemplifies His love for Peter and is a metaphor for each of us. In preparing Peter eventually to lead the church after His Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension into heaven, the Savior frequently chastened Peter as recorded throughout the four Gospels (see Matthew 14:31; 16:22; 26:34–41; Mark 14:37–38; Luke 22:31–32; John 13:4–9; 18:10; 21:15–22). In this last dispensation, the Lord chastened the Prophet Joseph Smith on various occasions, and Joseph humbly recorded these in the Doctrine and Covenants (see D&C 3:4–9; 5:21; 35:19; 93:47–49). Through the Lord’s chastening, both Peter and Joseph did become more fit to lead the kingdom on earth. In both instances, a loving Savior showed forth greater love after the chastening (see Matthew 16:16–19; D&C 76:5; 110:5; 121:7).
The late Pierre Teilhard de Chardin asserted that “God must, in some way or other, make room for Himself, hollowing us out and emptying us.” A natural consequence of humbly accepting the Lord’s chastening process is the acquisition of charity, which Mormon defines as “the pure love of Christ.” Chastening provides the hollowing which precedes the hallowing described by Mormon as he explains how we can acquire charity in our lives. He admonishes us to “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that [we] may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ” (Moroni 7:48).
“I Feel My Savior’s Love” is a beautiful song and a source of inspiration reflecting how we can truly feel of that divine love. However, Mormon takes us one step further along the pathway to perfection. He admonishes us to “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that [we] may be filled with this love” (emphasis added). There can be a great difference between feeling His love and being filled with His love. Those who have committed a grievous sin and confess it to their bishop, through the actions of their kindly priesthood leader, may feel of the Savior’s love. But individuals who are filled with the Savior’s love will not have committed the sin in the first place. When one is filled with the pure love of Christ, there is no more room for anger, lust, hatred, discouragement, doubt or fear, pride, or envy because a heart full of love is full. We then become “settled” and “rooted and grounded in love” (Colossians 1:23; Ephesians 3:17).
In King Benjamin’s benedictory sermon, he taught that “the natural man is an enemy to God” and that we can overcome the natural man by yielding “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit,” becoming as a child, being “submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love” (Mosiah 3:19; emphasis added).
Alma counseled his missionary son Shiblon, “Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love” (Alma 38:12; emphasis added). When young missionaries’ hearts are filled with love, distracting aspirations for leadership positions, intolerance of a companion’s idiosyncrasies, and criticism of a new cultural environment evaporate as they focus all their efforts upon building the kingdom of God.
In Mormon’s second epistle, he discusses the importance of baptism, the first fruits of repentance: “And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love” (Moroni 8:26; emphasis added). Repentance is the hollowing process which precedes the hallowing of perfect love.
It was the Savior’s perfect love for His Father, His perfect love for the plan of salvation, and His perfect love for all humankind which fortified Him for the terrible task which lay before Him as He approached the Garden of Gethsemane. As He entered the garden, Mark records that He “began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy [or in anguish]” (Mark 14:33). It was one thing to volunteer to fulfill the Father’s plan as it was presented in the Council in Heaven, but now He had to face the painful reality that suffering for the sins of the world would cause even Him, the Son of God, “to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit” (D&C 19:18).
President Gordon B. Hinckley declared, “There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection.”
“He Lives to Plead for Me Above”
As the Savior appeared in the Kirtland Temple the week after its dedication, He introduced Himself to Joseph and Oliver with this declaration: “I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.” Then, speaking as an advocate, He gave the Prophet and Oliver divine reassurance: “Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice” (D&C 110:4–5; emphasis added; see also D&C 29:5).
An advocate is frequently seen as a lawyer who is retained to represent someone who has been injured by another person and seeks redress and compensation for his or her injuries. Advocates may also be hired to defend and plead the cause of someone guilty of wrongdoing or someone who, through no fault of their own, has fallen on hard times. For example, a married couple faced with unforeseen catastrophic medical expenses may have fallen in arrears in their mortgage payments, and the bank is preparing to take them to court prior to foreclosing their mortgage and evicting them from their home. A skillful advocate may be hired to convince the bank to allow the couple more time to arrange their financial affairs so as to honorably meet all their fiduciary obligations. But even if the bank does agree to delay the foreclosure and to lower the monthly payments, the couple will still receive a bill from their lawyer or advocate for services rendered.
The Savior’s role as our Advocate with the Father follows a much different pattern. If the married couple facing a foreclosure of their house has honestly tried to live within their means, the Savior, as their Advocate, will not only forgo sending a bill for services, but He may actually pay the remaining debt they are unable to pay.
Father Lehi taught his son Jacob that Christ “shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved” (2 Nephi 2:9). Jacob later expanded upon his father’s teaching as he declared, “The Lord and thy God pleadeth the cause of his people; behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again” (2 Nephi 8:22). We will never be able to repay Him for His atoning sacrifice as our Advocate with the Father, for “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). “For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens” (Moroni 7:28).
“He Lives My Hungry Soul to Feed”
There are many different objects of hunger in addition to food. Parents of missionaries may hunger for an e-mail assuring them their favorite missionary is doing well. Lonely widows hunger for an occasional visit from their children and grandchildren. Then there is the hunger for the word of God. In the sermon at the temple given to the Nephites, the Savior said, “And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost” (3 Nephi 12:6).
I was impressed by the Czechoslovakian Saints and their hunger and thirsting for the things of righteousness. Five years before the demise of communism, the Czechoslovakian Soviet Socialist Republic exercised tight restrictions on religious materials. The Czech Book of Mormon was printed the size of a pocket hymnbook so men could carry it unobtrusively in a suit pocket and women could fit their book into a small purse.
When we would go to Czechoslovakia to meet with the Saints, I would evenly distribute half a dozen copies of the Book of Mormon under my shirt and then button up my vest and suit coat. Dorothea would put some books in the bottom of her knitting bag and then cover them with a partially knit sweater with the sharp ends of the needles pointed upward.
Upon arrival at the district president’s home, we were greeted with the anxious question “What were you able to bring?” These Saints truly hungered and thirsted after the things of righteousness, and each printed page of scripture or the words of the living prophets were pure gold to them.
In the very first chapter of the Book of Mormon, Nephi recounts a vision Father Lehi had as he beheld “One descending out of the midst of heaven” with “twelve others following.”
“And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read. And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord” (1 Nephi 1: 9–12; emphasis added). Lehi did not just feel the Spirit as he read; rather, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.
In addition to searching the scriptures, another means of filling our spiritual hunger is through making covenants and participating in the ordinances of the priesthood, for the Lord revealed that it is through the ordinances of the priesthood that the power of godliness is manifest to men in the flesh (see D&C 84:19–21). Elder Melvin J. Ballard (1873–1939) posed the introspective question “How can we have spiritual hunger? Who is there among us that does not wound his spirit by word, thought, or deed, from Sabbath to Sabbath?” He continues: “I am a witness that there is a spirit attending the administration of the sacrament that warms the soul from head to foot; you feel the wounds of the spirit being healed, and the load being lifted. Comfort and happiness come to the soul that is worthy and truly desirous of partaking of this spiritual food.”
“He Lives to Bless in Time of Need”
Elder David A. Bednar’s parable of the pickup truck, told in the April 2014 general conference, is a classic example of receiving a blessing in time of need. You recall that Elder Bednar’s friend “decided he would cut and haul a supply of firewood for their home. It was in the autumn of the year, and snow already had fallen in the mountains where he intended to find wood. As he drove up the mountainside, the snow gradually became deeper and deeper,” and he eventually became hopelessly stuck in the deep snow.
Rather than just sitting and waiting for help to come, he started cutting wood and loading it into the truck until “he completely filled the back of the truck with the heavy load.” He then decided to try driving through the deep snow one more time. He was surprised to discover that as he started his truck and gave it some gas, it gradually began moving through the deep snow back onto the road, homeward bound.
Likening this experience to the circumstances in our life, Elder Bednar suggested that each of us ask the introspective question “Is the load I am carrying producing the spiritual traction that will enable me to press forward with faith in Christ on the strait and narrow path and avoid getting stuck?”
We often pray with an expectation that our supplication will be answered in a certain preconceived manner, but in many instances the Lord’s tender mercies are granted not in terms of what we want, but rather in terms of what we need at a given time. It is always important to ensure that our heavy loads provide us with increasing spiritual traction.
“He Lives to Silence All My Fears . . . [and] Wipe Away My Tears”
The greatest fear I have ever seen, greater than a long list of phobias I have observed in various people, is the fear that one’s eternal exaltation has been everlastingly lost. Several years ago I received the assignment to interview an elderly sister while visiting a stake conference in northern Europe. She had been excommunicated more than twenty years previously, and during the past year she had been rebaptized. She had now been recommended by her bishop and her stake president as one worthy to receive the restoration of her temple blessings pending a satisfactory interview with a General Authority.
I called to make an appointment to visit with her before or after the various stake conference meetings, which would be held in a couple of months. I was surprised at her response. She asked, “Do you realize that I am eighty-three years of age and I may not be here in several weeks? Are you going to be in your office in Frankfurt tomorrow?” I replied in the affirmative, and she responded, “I will take the morning train and be in Frankfurt tomorrow afternoon, and I will come directly to your office.”
True to her word, at 4:00 p.m. this frail little lady with flushed cheeks and her hair in a bun entered my office huffing and puffing. After catching her breath and regaining her composure, we began to discuss her past life and the circumstances leading to our interview together. Twenty-five years previously, her husband, who was a rather large man, became seriously ill and needed a great deal of care over a considerable length of time. She had a good neighbor about her age who generously offered to help her care for her husband, especially when he needed to be bathed or she needed to change the bedsheets.
This kind neighbor was the epitome of a good Samaritan. But one day, in an unguarded moment, as the woman began to express her heartfelt gratitude for his countless acts of kindness, the two of them let down their guard and expressed their mutual affection far beyond the bounds of propriety. Shortly thereafter she met with her bishop to confess her transgression, and a disciplinary council was held with a decision of excommunication.
Her understanding of excommunication was that once she had lost her membership in the Church she would be completely ostracized for the rest of her life. Her hope of exaltation in the celestial kingdom seemed to be no longer possible. For the next twenty-three years, she languished in loneliness with an unrelenting fear of dying unfit for the celestial kingdom.
She never visited a church meeting, and not once did she receive visits from visiting teachers, home teachers, or the bishopric. “Then,” she said, “two years ago two young men came to visit me and explained they were my home teachers and had been assigned to bring me back into the fold.” She became teary-eyed as she said, “I was so glad to see them I nearly fell upon their necks and kissed both of them.” Since that first visit she had regularly attended all of her meetings and had meticulously kept all the commandments.
After our interview, the Spirit confirmed that she should, indeed, receive a restoration of her long-awaited temple blessings. When I removed my hands from her head, I said, “Now the next time your stake has a temple trip to Frankfurt, you’ll want to be certain to participate with them.” She responded: “You seem to forget how old I am. I may not be here for the next temple trip. I anticipated going to the temple tomorrow.” I called the temple president and arranged for her to participate in several ordinances in the Frankfurt temple before returning home. The Savior’s redeeming love had, indeed, silenced all her fears and wiped away her tears.
“He Lives to Calm My Troubled Heart”
Several years ago my home teaching companion and I were in the middle of a visit to one of our ward families during the Christmas season. Suddenly we were startled to see one of their teenage sons burst through the door with his lower arm bound with a cloth to staunch the bleeding from a large cut on his wrist. This was their problem child who had become addicted to drugs. He was obviously high on drugs as he proceeded to knock over the decorated Christmas tree and began stomping on all the ornaments while profaning in the most blasphemous terms the name of Deity. He then castigated his father in vile language and then called his mother the most disparaging names imaginable.
We felt prompted to invoke the power of the priesthood to command Satan to depart from that home, and the young man suddenly left. The parents were devastated, embarrassed, and humiliated at their son’s actions, especially in the presence of home teachers. They contritely confessed their failure as parents and hoped the Lord would forgive them for their inadequacies.
We asked them, “When was the last time you attended the temple?’ They responded, “How can we go to the temple when we have this kind of a spirit in our home?” We ascertained that they both held current recommends and then, once again, urged them to go to the temple.
The next week we dropped by to see how things were going in their home. Their son had been arrested and was consigned to a strict rehabilitation program, and there was a ray of hope in their lives.
They then described the sweet, calming spirit they felt during their recent visit to the temple. The mother said, “They even invited us to be the witness couple.” Then, with tears coursing down her cheeks, she said, “Maybe that’s a sign that Heavenly Father hasn’t given up on us after all.” Being filled with the Spirit in the temple, feelings of self-doubt and shame were replaced by a love of their son as seen through the eyes of a Savior who loved him enough to die for him. They had learned that the holy temple is not just a place of sealing but also a place of healing.
The hollowing of our lives prepares us for the hallowing that comes from our Savior’s love as we begin to emulate Him. The empty tomb that first Easter morning is a poignant metaphor of the hollowing which precedes the hallowing: “the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father” (Mosiah 15:7).
“He Lives All Blessings to Impart”
The Savior testified, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). His entire gospel radiates abundance rather than scarcity, inclusion rather than exclusion. We truly live in the dispensation of the fulness of times.
In the inspiring discourse on faith, the author of Hebrews refers to the great faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah and concludes, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them” (Hebrews 11:13).
The Savior reminded those who had observed His many miracles and had heard His inspiring sermons that “many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them” (Matthew 13:17). We have lived to see the unfolding of this promise.
As the Savior prepared His disciples for His impending departure, He promised them that “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12; emphasis added). When the Savior prophesied that His disciples would do even greater works than He, this may have been true in terms of numbers of convert baptisms and the number of temple ordinances performed, but let us never forget that He created the earth under the direction of the Father and that He holds the keys of the Resurrection.
The infinite love and trust of the Father and the Son is manifest by sharing their priesthood power and authority of “the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God” with imperfect men on earth (D&C 107:3). Worthy men have been authorized to perform sacred ordinances with the promise to all who become pure and remain faithful that “all that my Father hath shall be given unto [them]” (D&C 84:38; emphasis added). It is through the ordinances of the holy priesthood that “the power of godliness is manifest . . . unto men in the flesh” (D&C 84:19–21). Through the performing and receiving of holy ordinances heaven draws nearer to earth, if you will, and by keeping the covenants inherent in these ordinances, we are edified and purified.
Many of these sacred ordinances are performed only in the house of the Lord, and His invitation is extended to all to repent and to become worthy to enter His holy house to receive life-saving ordinances for themselves and to perform these ordinances vicariously for those who have passed beyond. The author of Hebrews wrote that Christ “obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Hebrews 8:6; emphasis added). Those better covenants and better promises are made in a holy temple, a place of sealing and a place of healing.
The ordinances of the restored gospel, including the new and everlasting covenant, not only bind us together as families for eternity, but they also help to purify us as we renew our covenants in sacred precincts. Thus, when promises and covenants are kept, the ordinances of the gospel perform a kind of divine dialysis, removing the taint of worldliness from our lives by providing celestial cleansing and spiritual renewal.
Moroni concludes the record of his father, Mormon, with the promise that “whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these” (Mormon 8:12; emphasis added). Notwithstanding the fulness contained in the Book of Mormon, a loving Savior revealed to the Prophet Joseph additional inspiring revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, ever expanding our knowledge of the gospel and the plan of salvation.
The Lord’s blessing for paying our tithing is but another example of the abundant life in which He promised to open “the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). And to those who keep their temple covenants faithfully the promise is given that the glory they receive “shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever” (D&C 132:19).
“He Lives and Grants Me Daily Breath”
During an earlier reading of the Book of Mormon, I confess that I was slightly doubtful of King Benjamin’s promise that if we are obedient to all the Lord’s commandments, “he doth immediately bless you,” “preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath” (Mosiah 2:24, 21).
I was a healthy young lad when I first read that passage, and my eyes and my mind focused upon the phrase “he doth immediately bless you.” At the time I considered that promise to be a bit extravagant; however, over the years I have become acquainted with many faithful Saints who suffer severe respiratory problems or congestive heart failure that requires them to have the continuous support of an oxygen tank. With overwhelming gratitude, these faithful folks understand the promise that the Lord immediately blesses the righteous by “preserving [them] from day to day, by lending [them] breath” (Mosiah 2:21).
Those who daily suffer from various infirmities may take great comfort from Alma’s prophecy regarding the Savior’s infinite Atonement: “And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities” (Alma 7:12; emphasis added). Elder Bruce C. Hafen reminds us that “the Atonement is not just for sinners.”
“He Lives, and I Shall Conquer Death”
Karen is one of our good neighbors, and she is in her late seventies. Her first husband passed away about a dozen years ago after having served faithfully as a bishop. A couple of years later she married another neighbor, Gary, who had lost his wife, and these two newlyweds accepted a mission call to serve throughout the South Pacific as family history missionaries. Their positive impact will be felt throughout the eternities.
While on their mission, Karen experienced some disconcerting medical symptoms, and after they returned home she was diagnosed with a serious liver ailment. Last August her physician told her, “Karen, your liver is shrinking to the size of a baseball, and your blood tests indicate some serious problems.” His countenance then became very solemn as he continued, “I think you’ll be fortunate if you are still around by year’s end.”
Given this prognosis, the doctor was astounded when Karen reacted with cheerful enthusiasm: “That’s okay. I’ve paid for the burial plot, I’ve paid for the casket, and I’ve planned my funeral!” Her physician exclaimed, “Karen, did you hear what I said? You are probably going to pass away during the next four months!” “I’m at peace,” she quietly replied.
A few weeks after her doctor’s appointment, she related this conversation to us and testified that her unshakable testimony of the Resurrection and her undeniable witness of the temple sealing to her first husband had fully insulated her from all feelings of anxiety and fear. With peace that “passeth human understanding” she could proclaim with certitude: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55–56).
“He Lives My Mansion to Prepare . . . [and] to Bring Me Safely There”
In 1984 the Austria Vienna Mission included the countries of Greece, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Yugoslavia, where the district president was the Yugoslavian national basketball hero Kresimir Cosic. As a young man at six feet eleven inches tall, Kreso had bedazzled fans throughout Europe with his extraordinary basketball skills. Then in 1970, through a series of modern miracles, this twenty-two-year-old atheist arrived in Provo, Utah, to play basketball for the Brigham Young University Cougars.
A fellow Yugoslavian had come to BYU to play tennis and had befriended Christina Nibley. She, in turn, became acquainted with Kreso, and before long she had invited him to meet her famous father, Hugh. Though Kreso was still struggling with English, Hugh Nibley patiently began teaching him the gospel, and it became readily apparent that Kreso was no ordinary athlete. His perceptive questions reflected a sincere and unquenchable quest for gospel knowledge. In due time he was baptized by Hugh Nibley, and shortly thereafter Truman and Ann Madsen began to fellowship him and strengthen his testimony.
Sometime after Kreso’s baptism, Hugh Nibley did something he had never done before. Instead of meeting in the Nibley home or in Brother Nibley’s office, Brother Hugh knocked on the door of Kreso’s apartment. Brother Nibley’s countenance was solemn as he began to explain that, as a young missionary in Germany in 1930 while waiting on a train platform, he gained a glimpse of the premortal existence. In that vision he participated in a council meeting in a large room in which the participants surrounded a large table. At the end of the table was a certain individual, and Hugh was given to understand that he would have the responsibility of assuring that that particular person had an opportunity to hear the gospel on earth.
With some emotion, Hugh Nibley disclosed that Kresimir Cosic was that man for whom he was given responsibility. He conceded that he had not recognized him at first, but after they became well acquainted, Kreso said, “He told me it was no coincidence that we knew one another.”
The baptism of Kresimir Cosic was not just the baptism of one individual, but what President Monson called the key to opening the country of Yugoslavia to the preaching of the gospel. After an extraordinary college career at BYU, Kreso was given lucrative offers to play in the NBA, but he declined these offers outright because he felt a compelling need to return to his homeland and to use his basketball stardom as a means of introducing the gospel to his native countrymen.
We often sing these familiar phrases and apply them only to our personal lives: “He lives my mansion to prepare. He lives to bring me safely there.” In our Father’s house are many mansions, and He has provided sacred ordinances to help order our lives and prepare us to follow the pathway to perfection back into His presence. But each of us has an obligation to assure that those around us also receive the same opportunity we have received, and we are obligated to help prepare others and “bring them safely there.” Kreso understood this as he returned home.
In 2 Nephi the Lord declares two times in as many verses: “I am able to do mine own work” (2 Nephi 27:20–21). He is, indeed, able to do His work without any help from us, but because He and His Father desire to have us grow and develop and become like Them, each of us is invited to assist Them in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of all of our Heavenly Father’s children. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
I know that my Redeemer lives and loves each of us.
 Samuel Medley, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” Hymns (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1985), no. 136.
 Orson F. Whitney, “Savior, Redeemer of My Soul,” Hymns, no. 112.
 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu: An Essay on the Interior Life (New York: Harper and Bros., 1960), 35.
 Ralph Rodgers Jr., K. Newell Dayley, and Laurie Huffman, “I Feel My Savior’s Love,” Children’s Songbook (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), 74–75.
 Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Wondrous and True Story of Christmas,” Ensign, December 2000, 5.
 Melvin Joseph Ballard, Melvin J. Ballard: Crusader for Righteousness (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 132–33.
 David A. Bednar, “‘Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease,’” Ensign, May 2014, 88.
 Bruce C. Hafen, “Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, April 1990, 10.
 Beverly B. Campbell, Kresimir Cosic: One Man’s Spiritual Journey (Provo, UT: Y Mountain Press, 2014), 32–33.