Lessons from the Atonement
Elder Merrill J. Bateman, “Lessons from the Atonement,” in To Save the Lost, ed. Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Kent P. Jackson (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2009), 1–19.
Elder Merrill J. Bateman was an emeritus Seventy and president of the Provo Utah Temple when this was published..
The great sacrifice wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ for the sins of humankind is the most important event in time and eternity. The Atonement is the centerpiece of the Father’s plan of happiness for His children. It makes possible the operation of mercy that saves and exalts the Father’s children while satisfying the demands of justice (see Alma 42:15).
Carl Heinrich Bloch, Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda, Brigham Young University Museum of Art.
In planning our sojourn on earth, Heavenly Father understood the importance of agency for our progress and provided it as a gift. He also knew that Adam and Eve would transgress by using their agency to bring about the Fall in order that “men might be; and . . . that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). But the Fall would also bring death—both physical and spiritual. As mortals, the body would age and eventually die as the spirit separated from it. Spiritual death, a separation from God, would occur as a result of the Fall and as men and women succumbed to opposition and temptation. Given agency, all would sin and “come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
In order to be saved from the Fall and from our sins, it was necessary that someone with sufficient power come to the rescue. Amulek, Alma’s companion, stated that neither man nor any other earthly thing had sufficient power to redeem. Salvation was possible only through “an infinite and eternal sacrifice” of the Son of God (Alma 34:10; see also v. 14). Lucifer, a son of the morning, offered to be the son who would save us. But his plan was insufficient, his motives were contrary to the laws of heaven, and he lacked the power and glory to do so (see D&C 76:25–27; Moses 1:11–18; 4:1–4).
Jesus Christ, the Beloved Son, was chosen from the beginning because of His righteous nature, which led to His eventual anointing and receiving glory from His Father (see Isaiah 60:2; 1 Peter 1:19–20; Helaman 5:11; Moses 1:14). Ultimately, the Savior received all power from the Father, infinite and eternal, sufficient to pay the price of sin. In humility and suffering beyond the capacity of any human, He said to the Father, “Thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2; see also Matthew 28:18; John 17:2).
Peter, James, and John saw the Lord in the fullness of His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. For two and one-half years, they had traveled the byways of Israel with Him without fully appreciating His greatness, even though they believed in Him. A few months before His Crucifixion, the Savior took the three men to the top of a mountain and there revealed Himself in all His “glory as . . . the only begotten of the Father . . . full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). As the Only Begotten in the flesh, He had the power to lay down His life and take it up again. From His mortal mother, Mary, He received the seeds of mortality that allowed Him to die. From His immortal Father, He received the seeds of immortality and the capacity to overcome death and live forever. As He said to the Jews, “As the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26).
On another occasion, Christ stated: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:17–18).
Only Christ had the power to overcome physical death both for Himself and for us. Only Christ had the power to redeem us from our sins. He inherited the power from His Father to carry out the Atonement. In mortality, He lived a sinless, perfect life. He satisfied the demands of justice for Himself, and His infinite and eternal capacities allowed Him to pay the debts for those who exercise faith in Him, repent, obey the laws of the gospel, and receive the ordinances of salvation.
A reading of the nineteenth section of the Doctrine and Covenants reveals the incongruity of a sinless God confronting the physical and spiritual pains associated with the sins of others as He “was wounded for our transgressions, . . . [and] bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). The Lord said: “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; but if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men” (D&C 19:16–19).
Christ’s suffering began in the Garden of Gethsemane and was completed on the cross. He prayed fervently in the garden that the Father, if willing, might remove the cup, but then acknowledged, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). An angel appeared in the garden to strengthen Him. But the agony was relentless and caused Him to pray even “more earnestly” (Luke 22:44). As He moved from the garden to the trial and then to the cross, the time came when the burden was His alone. About six hours into the ordeal at Golgotha, the Savior cried with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). A short time later, the Redeemer of the world cried again with a loud voice, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost” (Luke 23:46). As the prophet Nephi saw in the vision of the tree of life, Christ was “lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world” (1 Nephi 11:33).
On the third day following His burial in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb, He rose from the dead. His death and Resurrection make it possible for all who have lived or will live on this earth to be resurrected and brought back into the presence of God to be judged. Thus, He overcame physical death, one of the consequences of Adam’s transgression, to provide resurrection unconditionally for all people. Still, each individual is accountable for his or her own sins. Fortunately, Christ has the power to forgive and sanctify because He mercifully paid the price for those who exercise faith in Him, repent of their sins, keep their covenants, and receive the ordinances of the gospel.
The story of the Atonement is one of miracles. We do not fully understand the resurrection process or how He stands as a proxy for us in assuming our sins. We do know, however, that there were many eyewitnesses of His Resurrection and that other spirits were reunited with their bodies following Christ’s Resurrection. The scriptures state that “the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose” (Matthew 27:52). We also know through the witness of the Holy Spirit that He is the Redeemer of the world and has the power to wash us clean, to satisfy broken laws, and to sanctify and prepare us to be lifted up by the Father (see 3 Nephi 27:14).
There are major lessons to be learned from the marvelous events associated with the Atonement. The lessons concern the importance of prayer, the role of faith and testimony in fulfilling one’s eternal purpose, the importance of love as a motivating force, the role of sacrifice and obedience in obtaining spiritual power, and the opportunity afforded by the Atonement to build a strong, righteous community.
The Importance of Prayer
The first lesson from the Lord’s sacrifice in Gethsemane and on the cross concerns prayer. Throughout His ministry, the Lord taught His disciples to pray. He taught them to “pray for them which despitefully use you,” to “pray to thy Father . . . in secret,” and to “use not vain repetitions” (Matthew 5:44; 6:6, 7). He provided the Lord’s Prayer as an example (see Matthew 6:9–13). He prayed both in private and in public (see Matthew 14:23; 19:13). Prayer was an indispensable part of His life. He intended the same for His disciples. The admonition was to “ask,” “seek,” and “knock” (Matthew 7:7).
Undoubtedly, the most intense prayers offered by the Savior occurred following the Last Supper. The first was the great Intercessory Prayer given before He and the disciples departed for Gethsemane. In the prayer, Christ noted that His hour had come and asked for strength that He would glorify the Father in giving eternal life to the faithful (see John 17:1–2). The remainder of His prayer was devoted to His followers. He prayed for their faithfulness that they might be inheritors of eternal life. He asked the Father to bless them with the glory and love that He had received. Uppermost in the Lord’s thoughts was the unity the disciples would display. Their unity would be a sign to others that the Father had sent the Son (see John 17:3–18).
The second prayer began in Gethsemane. Leaving eight of the disciples at the entrance and asking them to pray, Jesus took Peter, James, and John a little further into the garden. Instructing them also to pray, He went a stone’s throw further and fell on His face, being “sorrowful and very heavy” (Matthew 26:37). He prayed, saying, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). His understanding and recognition of the redemptive process led to even more earnest prayer with “great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
The final prayer occurred on the cross with the conclusion, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost” (Luke 23:46).
Why did the Creator of heaven and earth, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, need to pray? Did He not know all things? Was He not omnipotent? John the Beloved testified that Jesus did not receive a fullness when born into mortality but “received grace for grace” and grew from “grace to grace, until he received a fulness” (D&C 93:12–13). In submitting His will, He knew the importance of communicating with the Father. Even He needed comfort! Even He needed to pray for strength!
How important is prayer for us? Clearly, if prayer was a critical part of the Savior’s life, it is important in our lives. Prayer in the name of the Son is the door through which we access the Father. It is the means by which we express gratitude and receive guidance and direction. We receive the power to change our lives through prayer and obedience. Through prayer we ask the Father to help us forgive others and to bless them. Through prayer we express our earnest desires to endure to the end and return to the Father through the mercy and grace of His Son. The Lord set the example for us throughout His life and during His final hours. The Redeemer became our Advocate with the Father as a result of the Atonement. Prayer brings the Holy Spirit into our lives, and His guidance keeps us on the path into the celestial kingdom. Prayer is essential for one to stay on the strait and narrow path and the Lord was the great Exemplar.
Faith Is the Power
The second lesson learned from the Atonement concerns the importance of faith. All will be saved from one of the effects of the Fall, physical death, because of the Lord’s Resurrection. Both the just and the unjust will come forth from the grave (see John 5:28–29).
In contrast, overcoming spiritual death is conditional and occurs as a result of our faith in the Father and the Son, faith in Their plan, and faith in the restored gospel. Faith is referred to not as a blind allegiance but as a strong belief that leads to repentance and obedience to gospel principles. Belief and obedience are then rewarded with quiet assurances from the Holy Spirit that the Father and Son live, that They have a plan, and, as part of that plan, the gospel has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The assurance comes in the form of feelings in the soul and enlightenment to the mind as one fasts and prays, reads the scriptures, serves in the kingdom, and is diligent in living the gospel (see Alma 17:2–3; 32:27–43).
The development of faith and testimony has a pattern. The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith that “to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful” (D&C 46:13–14).
The common pattern is that the strong assist the weak. At the beginning of a new dispensation, angels are sent to teach prophets and provide them with spiritual truths so that they, in turn, may prepare others (see Moroni 7:30–31). For example, the experiences Joseph Smith had with Moroni; John the Baptist; Peter, James, and John; and others prepared him to teach and share gospel truths so those who listened might believe on his words. As members believed and acted on the principles taught, the Spirit confirmed their belief. In like manner, parents are expected to teach their children the fundamental principles of the gospel. At first, children believe on the words of their parents, but eventually they receive their own witness if they are obedient to the principles and ordinances.
One of the great stories in the Book of Mormon that illustrates how faith develops is the appearance of the resurrected Lord to the Nephites following His Crucifixion and Resurrection in Jerusalem. In reviewing the story from 3 Nephi, it is interesting to note that the Lord began His visit with an experience, not a sermon. The special experience not only prepared the Nephites for subsequent sermons but provided a spiritual foundation that would be passed down through the generations for two hundred years. The pattern was for those who received strong testimonies to help others believe on their words until the latter would receive their own assurances. A brief review of the story is useful.
Twenty-five hundred of the faithful were gathered at the temple in the land Bountiful. They were discussing the destruction and changes that had occurred earlier as well as the sign associated with the Redeemer’s death. While conversing with one another, they heard a voice out of the heavens. Although they did not understand the words, they felt the Spirit pierce them to the very center (see 3 Nephi 11:3). The voice came a second time, and again they did not understand. The third time the scriptures record they “did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof” (3 Nephi 11:5). The verses that follow indicate that they understood the words but did not fully appreciate the meaning. The words were, “Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him” (3 Nephi 11:7). As they looked into the heavens, they saw a “Man descending . . . clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, . . . for they thought it was an angel” (3 Nephi 11:8). Not fully appreciating who the visitor was, they stood in awe.
Christ then introduced Himself and told them He had partaken of the bitter cup and “glorified the Father in taking upon [him] the sins of the world” (3 Nephi 11:11). As the multitude listened, they realized the visitor was the resurrected Lord, and they fell to the earth. The experience that followed changed their lives forever as the Lord beckoned them to arise and come forward one by one to feel the prints of the nails in His hands and feet and to thrust their hands into His side. The scripture reads, “And this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come” (3 Nephi 11:15).
The opportunity to see, hear, and touch the Lord, supported by a witness from the Holy Ghost, gave impressions, thoughts, and feelings that were never forgotten. In turn, the faith and testimony of those present sunk deep into the hearts of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren as future generations were impacted by their parents’ testimonies. By believing on the words of their parents, the children could gain a testimony just as strong as their parents’ if they combined their belief with obedience to the commandments. Living the commandments opens the heart for the Holy Spirit to confirm the belief. One should remember the Lord’s words to Thomas: “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Why? Because faith based on the words of others combined with a spiritual assurance from the Holy Spirit may be as powerful or even more powerful than faith based on eyesight.
Faith in Christ is key to receiving access to a fullness of the Lord’s Atonement. Those who inherit the celestial kingdom are those “who [receive] the testimony of Jesus, and [believe] on his name,” enter into His covenants, and keep His commandments (D&C 76:51–52). In contrast, those assigned to the terrestrial kingdom, the honorable men and women of the earth, receive “not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh” and are “blinded by the craftiness of men” (D&C 76:74–75). These good people are offered a witness of the truth but do not have the faith to receive it. Just as the Savior exercised His faith in the Father and submitted His will to God in order to complete His mission, so we will accomplish our earthly purposes through our faith in Them.
Love as the Motivation
The third lesson from the Atonement is the importance of love as a motivating force. It is easier to understand one sacrificing one’s own life to save others than to sacrifice the life of one’s son. And yet “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). God’s love for His children was the motivating force that forged the Atonement. Part of the plan was to do everything possible to extend mercy and save His children without destroying the gift of agency.
Christ’s love for His brothers and sisters was as deep as the Father’s. As the Good Shepherd, He was willing to give His life for the sheep. The hireling would flee when the wolf comes, but not the Good Shepherd, who knows the sheep (see John 10:11–15). The Savior said to His disciples, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). The pure love of Christ for His brothers and sisters led Him into the garden and on to Golgotha even though He could call down legions of angels to protect Himself (see Matthew 26:53).
Jesus expects no less of His disciples. A restatement of the law on love was given by the Savior following the Last Supper. The old commandment received by Moses and repeated earlier to a group of nonbelievers by Jesus was to “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39). Following the Last Supper, Jesus raised the standard when He said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34–35).
As disciples, we are to love others as Christ loves us, not as we love ourselves. Deity’s love for us defines the way we must love. We are to become like Them (see Matthew 5:48; 3 Nephi 27:27). The expectation is that we will love not only those who love us but also our enemies, those who despitefully use us and those who persecute the Saints (see Matthew 5:44–47). Moreover, a sign of our love is that we keep the commandments. Jesus said, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you. . . . If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:9–10).
Near the end of His ministry, Christ told the Twelve that in the last days “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12). Paul describes the same condition in his second letter to Timothy: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, . . . without natural affection” (2 Timothy 3:1–3). In contrast, the Lord is building a Zion people who are striving to have a Christlike love for one another and for all men. And the Atonement, by changing people’s hearts, makes it possible. Christ exemplified love throughout His life, but the greatest acts of love occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross.
Obedience Is the Price
The fourth lesson to be learned from the Lord’s Atonement is the importance of obedience to the gospel plan. A few years ago, I became familiar with a mission motto that outlined gospel principles in relation to the Atonement. The motto is as follows:
Faith is the power,
Obedience is the price,
Love is the motive,
The Spirit is the key,
And Christ is the reason.
Thus far we have discussed faith as the power to access the conditional blessings of the Atonement and love as the motivator that should guide our actions as evidenced by the Father’s willingness to sacrifice His Son. In order to develop faith and receive the power that flows from it, the price is obedience.
From the beginning Adam was taught the associated principles of sacrifice and obedience. Upon leaving the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given a commandment to offer the “firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord” (Moses 5:5). After some time, an angel appeared unto Adam and asked why he was offering sacrifices. Adam responded that he did not know except the Lord had commanded him. The angel then taught him about the Atonement and that the sacrifice was in the “similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father” (Moses 5:6–7).
When Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to the mount, the Lord called the prophet to the top of the mountain and gave him counsel for Israel. The Lord said: “If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:5–6).
Israel was promised three blessings conditioned upon their obedience. They would become a special people, they would receive the fullness of the priesthood, and they would become a holy nation (see 1 Peter 2:9). Unfortunately, they were not prepared to pay the price, and a lesser law was substituted. It would be more than a thousand years before the fullness of the gospel and the higher priesthood would be given to the people of Israel.
If there is one lesson to be learned from the Savior’s life, it is the Son’s submissiveness to the Father, His desire to be obedient. On one occasion He said, “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me” (John 8:28). In the great Intercessory Prayer, Christ said, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). In Gethsemane, He said, “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). The Savior was wholly devoted to accomplishing the mission given Him by the Father in the premortal world.
We reap what we sow. If we want to be saved and exalted, the price is obedience. If we are halfhearted in living the commandments, the reward will not be a full measure. We will be judged according to our “works, according to the desire of [our] hearts” (D&C 137:9).
Elder Neal A. Maxwell has written: “The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we ‘give,’ . . . are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!”
A Zion People
The fifth and final lesson concerns the establishment of a Zion people—a righteous people with all things in common (see Moses 7:18). From the beginning, the Lord has worked to establish a community of Saints where righteousness would be a leavening agent for the world. It began with Adam and Eve. They were taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and were told to teach it to their children “that all men, everywhere, must repent” (Moses 6:57). In time, apostasy prevailed, and the Lord began again with Noah and his family. Abraham’s call and the formation of the house of Israel created the foundation for building a righteous kingdom, but Jacob’s descendants also fell into apostasy. From the midst of the burning bush, Moses learned that he was to return to Egypt and reclaim Israel in another effort to sow the seeds of righteousness.
The Lord’s parable of the wicked husbandmen in Mark 12 describes the many attempts by the Lord to establish Zion. Again and again, the Lord of the vineyard sends His servants to collect the fruit. Some servants were wounded, while others were killed. Finally, the owner of the vineyard sends His Son, His Well-Beloved, saying, “They will reverence my son” (Mark 12:6). But the husbandmen say, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours” (Mark 12:7). The husbandmen take the Son, kill Him, and once again thwart the effort to build Zion. The Lord concludes the parable by indicating that the owner of the vineyard will destroy the husbandmen and give the vineyard to others.
Just as periods of apostasy occurred following the stoning and death of earlier prophets, a great apostasy followed the death of the Son and of the Apostles. Eventually, other servants were called to reestablish the vineyard—the story of the restored gospel.
The establishment of the Church and the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days is the final effort. This time the kingdom will never be destroyed. The prophet Daniel saw the kingdoms that followed Nebuchadnezzar’s down to the last days. Near the end he sees the “God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).
Nephi also saw the kingdom of God in the last days. The Saints were scattered upon all the face of the earth, and even though their numbers were small, Nephi sees the “power of the Lamb of God” descend “upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, . . . and they were armed with righteousness and the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:14).
Since the early 1800s, the Church has operated under the mandate to take the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. For the first century, new converts were encouraged to gather to a Zion in order to build a center place of strength. By the 1960s that foundation was in place, and members were encouraged to remain in their own lands to build Zion there.
The Church population today is about thirteen million, which is still small in relation to the earth’s six-plus billion. Even if the Church grows to one hundred or two hundred million during the decades ahead, Church membership will still be relatively small. Nevertheless, the righteous influence of the Church, flowing from members who have faith in the Lord’s Atonement and are obedient to God’s commandments, is making and will make a mark in the world. It is beginning to happen in various communities as Saints live faithful, righteous lives and assume leadership roles. The effects of well-organized groups of Saints were seen when Hurricane Katrina hit the southern United States. It has been seen in Florida, Oklahoma, California, Brazil, Peru, and Indonesia.
In financial terms the Church is a modest player on the world’s humanitarian stage; however, it is becoming one of the largest private contributors. In terms of manpower, however, the Church is a major force. There are few private organizations that can muster thousands or even tens of thousands of well-organized members in times of crisis. The Church is one organization that can assemble large numbers because of the faith of its members. Whether the devastation is caused by a hurricane, an earthquake, a tsunami, or some other catastrophe, the Church is able to organize a tremendous force to assist in the recovery effort. The world is beginning to recognize us as a people armed with God’s power in righteousness. Again, the Atonement is at the center as we assist the Lord in building a Zion people. It is why we are concerned about the welfare of others.
The Lord’s Atonement is unique. Its reach is infinite and eternal. The Atonement required the life of the Son of God. The first key lesson to be learned from the Savior’s life is the importance of prayer. Even though Christ was the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Only Begotten in the flesh, His communication with the Father was critical in completing His mission. In a similar manner, prayer to the Father through the Son provides the guidance we need in order to complete our earthly missions.
Second, faith in the Father and the Son is required for us to access the full blessings of the Lord’s sacrifice. Faith opens the door for us to be cleansed and sanctified. Faith comes by exercising a belief in the Father and the Son that brings a witness from the Holy Spirit. The Savior’s faith in His Father is His example for us, shown by His willingness to submit and carry out the plan.
A third lesson gleaned from the Atonement is the importance of love. Our Father is a very personal God who loves His children and will communicate with them if they strive to be open to receiving communication from Him. His love for His children was the motivating force that caused Him to send His Son to be crucified for our sins. As we, His children, exercise faith in this kind, loving God, we too will be motivated by love in our relationships.
The fourth lesson focused on obedience. The Son submitted His will to the Father’s. Ultimately, we show our love for and loyalty to the Father through our submission and obedience to the Lord’s commandments. Fortunately, the Atonement allows our deviations from the path to be corrected through faith and repentance.
Finally, brothers and sisters, we have a responsibility to help the Lord build a Zion people in order to leaven the whole earth. May we contribute to this task with lives filled with faith, prayer, love, and obedience. In turn, we will receive a full measure of the blessings granted by the Lord’s sacrifice.
 At a recent stake conference in the Provo Utah Grandview East Stake, President Richard Williams shared this insight.
 Cyril Figurerres, Japan Fukuoka Mission motto.
 Neal A. Maxwell, in Conference Report, October 1995, 30.