The Resurrection and Recovering from Disillusionment

Jan J. Martin

Jan J. Martin, "The Resurrection and Recovering from Disillusionment," Religious Educator 24, no. 1 (2023): 88–101.

Jan J. Martin is an assistant professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University.

portrait of christOne of the most joyous messages of the Easter story is that we can successfully navigate the necessary, often painful and challenging process of closing gaps between our beliefs and the truth. Detail from Christ and the Young Child, by Carl Bloch.

An anonymous tract, printed in London in the 1800s begins,

Good Friday—How comes it that this one day in all the year should be called ‘good?’ We are not apt to mark the anniversaries of the deaths of our friends in this way—yet this day would not be observed at all, except it were in memory of the death of one Who was more than a friend to every one of us. . . . Without all doubt the death of Jesus Christ was the very best thing that ever happened for us. . . . The resurrection could not have happened had not the Lord Jesus first died.[1]

This author’s positive perspective of death aligns well with teachings of modern prophets who have asserted that without death there is no “beginning of a new and wondrous existence.”[2] President Russell M. Nelson explains that while living in premortality we “eagerly anticipated the possibility of coming to earth and obtaining a physical body.” As excited as we were to arrive in mortality, we regarded “returning home as the best part of [the] long-awaited trip,” even though that return required that we pass “through—and not around—the doors of death.” Like Jesus Christ, “we were born to die,” but, thanks to our Savior’s atoning sacrifice, we die in order to live.[3] Because death opens the door to new opportunities, there is ultimately no tragedy in it.[4]

Building upon this positive perspective of physical death, I will focus my remarks on a less obvious but equally important type of death inherent in the Easter story: the death of illusions, assumptions, unrealistic expectations, and of simplistic or false beliefs that necessarily precede a rebirth of our understanding of truth. Today, some social scientists identify this type of death as disillusionment,[5] and I believe that in the same way that the Easter story testifies that physical death and physical resurrection are both positive parts of humankind’s “universal heritage,”[6] it also affirms that disillusionment, or the process of “being freed from false beliefs or illusions,”[7] is both a merciful[8] and a necessary part of our mortal education. My message is that the Easter story is for all wounded souls who have discovered information about a loved one, or about the gospel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its leaders, or its history that contradicts what they thought they knew and who are feeling disoriented, deceived, betrayed, or even tempted to abandon their membership in the Church.[9] The Easter story not only testifies of disillusionment’s indispensable pervasiveness but also affirms that rather than being a tragic end, disillusionment is an important beginning for anyone who will patiently grieve and mourn over their losses, who will courageously choose for misconceptions to die and for truth to live, and who will seek to become engaged, intentional learners.[10] One of the most joyous messages of the Easter story is that we can successfully navigate the necessary, often painful and challenging process of closing gaps between our beliefs and the truth.[11]

Disillusionment about the Messiah

To appreciate how the Easter story addresses disillusionment, we must first carefully set the stage by applying counsel that President Brigham Young once gave. He said, “Do you read [the scriptures] as though you stood in the place of the men who wrote them? If you do not feel thus, it is your privilege to do so.”[12] Therefore, please imagine yourself living in Judea at the time of Jesus’s formal ministry. All around you, messianic expectations are high. People are actively looking for the “one special individual who would redeem Israel.” According to one dominant messianic expectation supported in Jewish texts, the Messiah would “have dominion over all earthly kingdoms,” he “would be worshipped by all people,” he “would judge the wicked,” “overthrow his enemies,” and he “would establish an everlasting kingdom.” More specifically, he would be a liberating Davidic king who would throw off the terrible yoke of Roman oppression and bondage.[13] Infused with these prevalent ideas, you have spent nearly three years diligently following a potential messianic candidate, a man named Jesus of Nazareth, and you are convinced that he is the one you’ve been looking for. In fact, Jesus has just triumphantly entered Jerusalem surrounded by multitudes crying, “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13) and “Hosanna to the Son of David” (Matthew 21:15). He has authoritatively cleansed the temple (see Matthew 21:12–13), confounded the scribes and Pharisees (see Matthew 21:23–46; 22–24), and pronounced judgments upon Jerusalem (see Matthew 23:37–39; Luke 23:28–31). From your perspective, these are undeniable signs that Jesus intends to be the new king of Israel.[14] All that he needs to do now is overthrow the hated Roman government and begin establishing his kingdom. Your enthusiasm and excitement are high as you impatiently but joyfully await the impending revolution.

However, these dreams and expectations are abruptly threatened. During the Passover feast in the upper room, Christ confusingly declares he is leaving, prophesying that his followers will “weep and lament” and be “sorrowful” for a time (John 16:16–20). After the meal, Judas, a friend, an Apostle, a man in Jesus’s inner circle, arrives at the Garden of Gethsemane with a great multitude holding swords and staves. Jesus, the man you believe is the Messiah, is arrested and taken away for trial (see Matthew 26:46–56). Much to your bewilderment and dismay, Jesus says very little in defense of himself (see Matthew 26:57–68). He appears entirely powerless and does nothing to escape his captors. He is dragged from the Sanhedrin to Pilate, to Herod, and back again to Pilate for worldly judgment without ending the proceedings (see Matthew 27:1–26; Luke 23:1–25). You watch in horror as he is stripped of his clothes and scourged by Roman soldiers (see Matthew 27:27–31) with no hint of that power you have seen him use so many times before.

What is going on? You begin to doubt your past experiences with Jesus and start to question how he fulfilled your messianic expectations. Was his power real? Dazed, you stumble into “a great company of people” bewailing and lamenting as Jesus staggers from Jerusalem to Golgotha (Luke 23:27). There he is nailed to a cross and crucified. Jesus, the man you believed was the long-awaited Messiah, dies right in front of your eyes (see Matthew 27:32–50). Instead of overthrowing Rome, Rome violently overthrows him. Suddenly, an earthquake rends the rocks around you (see Matthew 27:51), but it is hardly less devastating than the internal tremors that are ferociously shattering your hopes and dreams.[15] How can this be? Crucifixion and death were not part of messianic expectations.[16] Crucifixion was for rabble-rousing aspirants and impostors.

You can’t accept what you are seeing. Because you “trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel” (Luke 24:21), you are slowly consumed with an indescribable agony. You could have coped with the “death of a teacher, or even of a leader,” but how do you resolve the problem of a “failed but still revered Messiah?”[17] In your desperation to make sense of the situation, you are gripped by sudden fears: what if Jesus was a grand deceiver, a deceiver of the worst sort imaginable, and what if you had been gullible enough to believe him?

As we momentarily withdraw from the darkness of a disciple’s disillusionment, a darkness that includes both the pain and shock of losing the physical presence of Jesus, a man whom the disciples dearly loved and expected to continue associating with, and the loss of deeply cherished messianic expectations, expectations which largely made up the foundation of their belief in Christ, the crucial question is “How do you cope when you discover that something you believe is not true?” According to President Boyd K. Packer, the scriptures contain “principles of truth that will resolve every confusion and every problem and every dilemma that face the human family or any individual in it.”[18] If President Packer is right, and I believe he is, the scriptures must include principles of truth that will help us cope with disillusionment. Beginning with one of the rare and precious descriptions of a disciple’s emotional reaction to the events surrounding Jesus’s crucifixion, I hope to demonstrate that we can find scriptural principles for successfully surviving disillusionment.

Grieving and Mourning

In John chapter 20, John wrote that on the “first day of the week,” Mary Magdalene “stood without at the sepulchre weeping” (John 20:1, 11). Though Mary’s tears are easy to neglect, they can be interpreted as powerful representatives of two important processes associated with successful recovery from disillusionment: grief and mourning. Grief has been defined as “the sum total of what we think and feel inside when we experience a loss.”[19] Though we often associate grief with the physical deaths of those we love, there are many types of loss that “can plunge us into the deep well of grief,” including the loss of relationships or the loss of special objects, jobs, or treasured beliefs, expectations, or ideals.[20] Because the intensity of our grief reflects the degree to which our emotional lives were intertwined with the object of our loss, “the more profound the loss, the more profound the grief will be.”[21]

This is one reason why devoted Latter-day Saints who discover information that contradicts what they thought they knew are often emotionally and spiritually incapacitated by the discovery. Such was the situation of the devoted Mary Magdalene. Even though the Gospels present very little detail about Mary’s relationship with Christ, there are important indications that they had more than a superficial one. To begin with, Mary was one of several women who traveled with Jesus and supported him financially (see Luke 8:1–3). But her presence at the cross when Jesus died (see John 19:25), her presence at the tomb when Jesus’s body was initially laid to rest (see Matthew 27:61; Mark 15:47), and her presence at the tomb the morning after the Sabbath (see Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1–4; Luke 23:55) suggest that her relationship with Christ was profound and deeply personal.[22]

What specific messianic expectations she had for Christ are not clear, but her anticipation of finding Christ’s body in the tomb so that she could continue the respectful burial process suggests that she didn’t understand his teachings about his resurrection and may have misunderstood other things about his mortal mission. The incomprehensible and distressing disappearance of Christ’s body (see John 20:2, 13) may have been the final shock in the rapid series of emotional blows inflicted upon Mary and the other disciples over the course of Christ’s arrest, crucifixion, and death. Mary’s tears demonstrate that she felt her losses keenly. Crying, “a phenomenon that is unique to humans,” is a natural response to deep emotion, particularly to profound sadness and grief, but it is also one of the most common and obvious ways that people mourn.[23] Mourning “is the outward expression of our grief” and, “in a broad sense, includes whatever acts we engage in to help us express our grief.”[24] Thus, not only do Mary’s tears indicate that she was experiencing deep emotional pain; they were one of the ways she was mourning through her pain as she stood outside the tomb.

What is particularly instructive about Mary’s experience begins after she looked inside the sepulchre and saw two angels sitting there. The angels asked Mary, “Woman, why weepest thou?” (John 20:13). Rather than being an impatient or indifferent directive for her to stop weeping, as many readers may naturally assume, this insightful, empathetic question served important healing purposes. First, the question allowed Mary to identify and express the true pain and very real sorrow that she felt from her “shattering experiences,”[25] experiences that seem to have converged with her very real concern over Christ’s absent body. By asking “why,” the angels gently and wisely invited Mary to give her sorrow words.[26] Second, the angels’ question allowed her to continue mourning. Mourning, described as “one of the deepest expressions of pure love,”[27] involves embracing the pain of loss, a process that often requires the sufferer to create a liminal space, or a suspension, void, or absence of belief. Liminal space is “sacred space where grievers can hurt and eventually find meaning” through an unpressured reconstruction of their beliefs.[28]

Mary’s failure to immediately recognize Christ when he appeared (see John 20:14) suggests that she was in a liminal space where she could hurt but could not yet attach clear meaning to the events. When the resurrected Christ asked why Mary was weeping and wanted to know what she was looking for (see John 20:15), he continued the healing process the angels had started. Christ’s questions were also invitations to name and express her pain and to continue mourning so that she could eventually progress to a place where she could attach meaning through reconstruction.[29] As the master healer, Christ knew that bringing a fragmented world back together takes time, loving companions, and individual humility.[30]

This beautiful portion of the Easter story illustrates two important principles about recovering from disillusionment. First, those who are disillusioned may need to grieve and mourn over their lost dreams, ideals, beliefs, or expectations in the same way that they would grieve and mourn over a lost loved one. Second, friends, family, and associates should be both wise enough and patient enough to allow, and assist, disillusioned individuals to do both.[31] Because grieving and mourning are both individual and lengthy processes, disillusioned individuals may experience a wide range of emotions, such as denial, anger, a desire to bargain, or even depression, before they reach a stage where they can accept their losses and begin reconstructing their beliefs. As our exploration of the Easter story will show, successful reconstruction begins by humbly allowing misconceptions to die and truth to live.[32]

Choosing Which Beliefs Die and Which Beliefs Live

The Gospels candidly portray the disciples of Christ as imperfect people who, despite associating closely with the Son of God, held a mixture of true and false beliefs. For example, even though Christ, the master teacher, repeatedly taught his disciples that he would be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes, that they would condemn him, that they would deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked, scourged, and crucified, and that he would rise again the third day (see Matthew 16:21; 17:22–23; 20:17–19; 26:1–2; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:32–34), the disciples consistently resisted the news. Their responses range from outright rejection (see Matthew 16:22; Mark 8:32), to confused sorrow (see Matthew 17:23; John 12:16), to fearful silence (see Mark 9:32; Luke 9:43–45). It seems that a combination of cherished messianic expectations, cultural baggage, and previous experience[33] significantly influenced their opposition because “the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already.”[34] Thus, even though Jesus taught “that he was to be slain and then resurrected,”[35] his disciples “either could not or would not comprehend” what he was telling them.[36]

In stark contrast, the Savior’s Intercessory Prayer indicates that the disciples had accepted some important truths. Offered the night before he was crucified on behalf of his disciples and all those who would believe in him because of their words (see John 17:9, 20), the Savior began the prayer by outlining the ultimate quest for of all of God’s children:[37] to know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [God] hast sent” (John 17:3). Three times during the prayer, the Savior carefully described what his disciples knew. He said, “Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee” (John 17:7); they “have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me” (John 17:8); “and these have known that thou hast sent me” (John 17:25). In other words, Christ’s followers understood two important core doctrines,[38] they knew that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) and that his teachings, and the miraculous works he did, came from God (see John 7:16; John 14:10).

Because we are also people who understand some truths and not others, this portion of the Easter story offers important lessons. First, as President Packer taught, it shouldn’t be surprising that “at any given time, [we] may not understand one point of doctrine or another, [or] may have a misconception, or even believe something is true that in fact is false. There [should not be] much danger in that [because it] is an inevitable part of learning the gospel. No member of the Church should be embarrassed at the need to repent of a false notion he might have believed. Such ideas are corrected as one grows in light and knowledge.”[39] Because the process of learning inevitably involves some unlearning, we could all truthfully state, “‘It ain’t my ignorance that done me up but what I know’d that wasn’t so.’”[40] Pride, especially the pride that blames others for our misunderstandings,[41] can make it hard for us to admit that something we believe, expect, or assume is wrong.[42] But no matter why we are in error, and no matter how we discover that we are in error, we can only move forward successfully by humbly admitting the error and by meekly revising our understanding as we learn more.[43] As Jesus taught, it is the truth that makes us free (see John 8:32), but freedom comes only if we are willing to abandon misconceptions and embrace the truth.

Second, the Easter story demonstrates that the disciples “knew enough [truth] to continue on the path of discipleship,” even when some things they thought were true turned out to be wrong.[44] Once again, the resurrected Savior’s interaction with Mary Magdalene is informative. Christ’s unexpected and miraculous physical appearance before her confirmed her belief that he was the son of God, but he gave additional verbal corroboration when he said, “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (John 20:17). Though Mary may have misunderstood some parts of the Savior’s mortal mission, Christ knew that she understood who he was. His presence and words were encouragements for her to stay true to that belief even as she discarded other misunderstandings.

Similarly, when Christ appeared and spoke to the eleven Apostles, he confirmed their faith in him by showing his wounds and proving to them that he was not a spirit (see Luke 24:37–43), but he also told them, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). Like Mary, the Apostles may not have grasped much about the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, but Christ’s physical presence and verbal declaration of who his father was confirmed that it was not their hope in his identity that needed to die, but their hopeful illusions about what he came to do. Similarly, it was not their belief in Christ’s divine power that needed to perish, but what they thought Christ would do with that power—the image of Jesus wielding military might, of winning political battles, and of taking a revolutionary stand against their oppressors—that needed to expire.[45]

Even though the events of the Crucifixion were devastating and traumatic, they were also merciful in giving the disciples important opportunities to permanently discard misperceptions that had blocked them from receiving greater knowledge and to refocus their attention on confirmed truths that would help them work through the things that they didn’t understand.[46] However, one of Peter’s experiences with the resurrected Savior shows that if the disciples were going to completely heal and grow from disillusionment, they needed to be willing to become more engaged, intentional learners. Those empty spaces in their minds and hearts that were once filled with false beliefs needed to be actively filled with truth.

Becoming Engaged Learners

John is the only Gospel that records an important visit that the resurrected Christ made to Peter and six of his apostolic associates. According to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, these seven men might have mistakenly thought that because Christ had successfully brought about salvation for himself and everyone else through his death and resurrection, his work was done. In their minds, there was nothing more to do but cherish their memories of the previous three years and joyfully return to their former lives.[47] Because Peter’s mind was often liable to contraction,[48] rather than diligently seeking to figure out what the Savior meant when he told the Apostles a few days earlier that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached . . . among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47), Peter mistakenly led his associates back to contentedly fishing on the Sea of Galilee (see John 21:1–3).[49] If we adopt Elder Holland’s interpretation of this story, the Savior’s patient handling of the situation is insightful.

After meeting the seven Apostles on the lake’s shore and providing them with a simple meal of bread and fish, Christ asked Peter three times, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” Each time, Peter answered, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.” Jesus’s response was always, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:15–17). In true master-teacher fashion, this important interchange gave Peter the opportunity to become a learner because it gave him no easy answers, only more questions, such as: Why does my love for the Savior matter? Who or what are Jesus’s sheep? Where are Jesus’s sheep? How are the sheep related to my love for the Savior? How do I feed the Savior’s sheep?

Simply defined, a learner is someone who has unanswered questions and hopes to find the answers to them.[50] During Christ’s ministry, Peter had occasionally posed valuable questions to Christ which allowed the Savior to give Peter and his associates important direct instruction (see Matthew 18:21; 19:27; Mark 13:3–4). However, at the Sea of Galilee, the Savior gave very little direct instruction, only enough to spark the type of questions[51] that would help Peter discover for himself what he should have been doing instead of going fishing. The Savior knew what Elder David A. Bednar once said: “Answer[s] given by another person usually [are] not remembered for very long, if remembered at all. But an answer . . . discover[ed] or obtain[ed] through the exercise of faith, typically, is retained for a lifetime.”[52] Peter, the senior Apostle, needed to wrestle with the questions that came from his conversation with Christ so he could receive “additional light and knowledge by the power of the Holy Ghost,”[53] the principal way that he would continue his relationship with Christ after Christ’s ascension.

Similarly, many of those who have experienced disillusionment will find that increased engagement in the learning process is an essential part of their recovery. Sometimes Latter-day Saints fall into extremes—either in passively expecting the Church or someone in the Church to tell them everything or in believing that there should be a simple and immediate answer for every question. Both positions inevitably lead to disillusioning experiences, what many call “faith crises,” because they deny the spiritual, mental, and physical exertion that is required for the discovery of truth.[54] According to Elder Richard G. Scott, “Profound spiritual truth cannot simply be poured from one mind and heart to another. It takes faith and diligent effort. Precious truth comes a small piece at a time through faith, with great exertion, and at times wrenching struggles. The Lord intends it be that way so that we can mature and progress.”[55] Peter’s need to become a more fully engaged learner suggests that we are expected to become that type of learner, too. As we do, we can recover from disillusionment, but we can also reduce, or even prevent, some traumatic disillusionment experiences from happening in the future.


As we celebrate Easter, a time of “second chances, clean slates, and new beginnings,”[56] may we remember that this beautiful story affirms that we will all face moments of disillusionment. But may we also remember that the Easter story testifies that such moments can become precious new beginnings if we will patiently grieve and mourn over our lost beliefs, if we will bravely allow our misconceptions to die and the truth to live, and if we will seek to become engaged, intentional learners. Closing the gap between our beliefs and the truth, though painful and challenging, is part of our mortal experience, but it can be done successfully if we wisely look to our Savior’s life and follow his teachings.


[1] Anonymous, Is This Day ‘Good’ for Me? A Tract for Good Friday (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1800).

[2] Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Sunday Will Come,” Ensign, November 2006, 30.

[3] Russell M. Nelson, “Doors of Death,” Ensign, May 1992, 72.

[4] Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2006), 18–19.

[5] Paul J. Maher, Eric R. Igou, and Wijnand A. P. van Tilburg, “Disillusionment: A Prototype Analysis,” Cognition and Emotion 34, no. 5 (2020): 956–57.

[6] Thomas S. Monson, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” Ensign, May 2007, 24.

[7], s.v. “disillusionment”; Bill Jacobs, “Religious Disillusionment,”

[8] Jill Carattini, “Burying Our Illusions,”

[9] Michael A. Goodman, “Become a Seeker: The Way, the Truth, and the Life” (BYU devotional address, July 12, 2016),

[10] Three books that offer other helpful approaches to disillusionment and doubt are Patrick Mason, Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt (Provo, UT: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2015); Terryl Givens and Fiona Givens, The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2014); Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen, Faith Is not Blind (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2018).

[11] Lawrence E. Corbridge, “Stand Forever” (BYU devotional address, January 22, 2019),

[12] Brigham Young, “Progress in Knowledge,” in Journal of Discourses (London: Latter-day Saint’s Book Depot, 1881), 7:333.

[13] Trevan G. Hatch, “Messianism and Jewish Messiahs in the New Testament Period,” in New Testament: History, Culture, and Society, ed. Lincoln H. Blumell (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019), 74–77.

[14] Hatch, “Messianism,” 82.

[15] Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration (Highgate Center, VT: Norilana Books, 2010).

[16] Hatch, “Messianism,” 77–78.

[17] N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), 658.

[18] Boyd K. Packer, “Teach the Scriptures” (address to religious educators, October 14, 1977),

[19] Alan Wolfelt, Reframing PTSD as Traumatic Grief: How Caregivers Can Companion Traumatized Grievers Through Catch-Up Mourning (Fort Collins, CO: Companion Press: 2014).

[20] Karla Helbert, “Is It Harder to Mourn an Actual Loss or Loss of an Ideal You Never Had?,” Good Therapy Blog, July 26, 2011.

[21] Steven Eastmond, “The Healing Power of Grief,” Ensign, January 2014, 63.

[22] Margot Hovley, “Mary Magdalene—Tower of Strength,” Ensign, June 2019, 58.

[23] Leo Newhouse, “Is Crying Good for You?,” Harvard Health Blog, March 1, 2021.

[24] Helbert, “Is It Harder.”

[25] See Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Ministry of Reconciliation,” Ensign, November 2018, 79.

[26] See William Shakespeare, Macbeth, First Avenue Classics (Minneapolis: First Avenue Editions, 2014), act 4, scene 3.

[27] Nelson, “Doors of Death,” 72.

[28] Wolfhelt, Reframing PTSD.

[29] Reyna I. Aburto, “The Grave Has No Victory,” Liahona, May 2021, 85; Rob Gardner, “Portraying the Savior in Music,” in All In: An LDS Living Podcast, April 10, 2019, 41:00–46:00.

[30] Wolfhelt, Reframing PTSD; Elaine S. Marshall, “Learning the Healer’s Art” (BYU devotional address, October 8, 2002, BYU Speeches.

[31] Scott Savage, “Straight Talk on Overcoming Disillusionment,” November 22, 2018, Scott Savage Live.

[32] Kimberly Holland, “What You Should Know About the Stages of Grief,” Healthline, September 25, 2008.

[33] A. LeGrand Richards, “What I Now Believe about a BYU Education That I Wish I Had Believed When I First Came” (BYU devotional address, January 14, 1997),

[34] Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God Is Within You: Christianity Not as a Mystic Religion but as a New Theory of Life (Waiheke Island: Floating Press, 2009).

[35] J. Reuben Clark Jr., “Jesus: Our Risen Lord” (general conference address, April 1954),

[36] Jeffrey R. Holland, “The First Great Commandment,” Ensign, November 2012, 83.

[37] C. Scott Grow, “And This Is Life Eternal,” Ensign, May 2017, 83.

[38] Corbridge, “Stand Forever.”

[39] Boyd K. Packer, “From Such Turn Away,” Ensign, May 1985, 35.

[40] Hugh B. Brown, baccalaureate address, Utah State University, June 4, 1965.

[41] Lynn G. Robbins, “100 Percent Responsible” (BYU devotional address, August 22, 2017),

[42] Corbridge, “Stand Forever.”

[43] Richard L. Evans, “Should the Commandments Be Rewritten?,” Ensign, December 1971, 58; Keith A. Erekson, “Understanding Church History by Study and Faith,” Ensign, February 2017, 59.

[44] Neil L. Andersen, “Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice,” Ensign, November 2015, 66.

[45] Carattini, “Burying Our Illusions.”

[46] Richard C. Edgley, “Faith—the Choice Is Yours,” Ensign, November 2010, 31–33; Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen, Faith Is Not Blind, 100.

[47] Holland, “The First Great Commandment,” 83.

[48] Parley P. Pratt, “The First Principles of the Gospel,” in Journal of Discourses, 9:204.

[49] Robert D. Hales, “Being a More Christian Christian,” Ensign, November 2012, 90.

[50] Scott D. Whiting, “Deepening Discipleship” (BYU devotional address, December 8, 2020),

[51] David A. Bednar, “Seek Learning by Faith,” Ensign, September 2007, 63–64.

[52] Bednar, “Seek Learning by Faith,” 67.

[53] See David A. Bednar, “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn,” Ensign, November 2011, 27; Sheri L. Dew, “Will You Engage in the Wrestle?” (BYU–Idaho devotional address, May 17, 2016).

[54] See Bednar, “Seek Learning by Faith,” 64, 67.

[55] Richard G. Scott, “Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge,” Ensign, November 1993, 88.

[56] Russell M. Nelson, “This Easter, Find Peace in Jesus Christ,”, March 28, 2021.