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20 Jan 2021

I had returned from my mission to southern Germany just three weeks earlier, and the message he presented that day was entitled “Be Loyal to the Royal Within You.” I hope I shall never forget what I felt and heard and learned that day. He spoke about modern-day miracles and the connection between faith-filled temple work in 1846 and 2020. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, “No one understands. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. Happily Ever After: Lessons from Joseph Smith, Lehi, and the Recent Accounting Scandals, BYU Speeches And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men. . I express my appreciation for the infinite and eternal sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am so old that I remember attending devotionals as a freshman in the Smith Fieldhouse before the Marriott Center was constructed. These are not words on a page in a book. Elder David A. Bednar We invite all to participate in devotional each week. Only a few Latter-day Saints attended my high school, and my ward had a very small group of youth. “The purpose of the gospel is . Elder Bednar noted the “eternal importance of temple covenants and ordinances” anchoring both ends of … Because of Heavenly Father’s plan and the Savior’s Atonement, challenges and afflictions invite us to lift up our eyes35 to Jesus Christ, the true source of joy. I know apostles and prophets authoritatively act for and in behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ. We ate all the poor meat; one would get hungry eating it. I will now quote from Daniel Jones’ personal journal and his description of the events that followed: “Game soon became so scarce that we could kill nothing. I have been in this arena many, many times. My beloved brothers and sisters, there is an understandably subdued spirit on the campus of Brigham Young University today. What an extraordinary spiritual curriculum has been presented in 2018 by these four servants of the Lord. I personally relish every chance I have to hear my Brethren teach the doctrine of Christ and feel the power of their apostolic testimonies of our living Savior. . All that I have read thus far is a preparation for the next line from Daniel W. Jones’ journal. May I suggest that the Book of Mormon is our handbook of instructions as we travel the pathway from bad to good to better and to have our hearts changed. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever.34. (For those of you who may be wondering, the young woman with whom I attended that fireside then is not Sister Bednar now.) Please consider carefully the response of King Benjamin’s people to his teachings about the Savior’s Atonement: And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them. Susan and I are grateful to be here with you. to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature” (from the film Every Member a Missionary, as acknowledged by Franklin D. Richards, CR, October 1965, 136–37; see also Brigham Young, JD8:130 [22 July 1860]). . David A. Bednar devotional Author Bednar, David A. Bibliographic Information MARC Record Personal Author: Bednar, David A. And may I suggest that he prayed in this manner precisely because he knew and understood and had experienced the enabling power of the Atonement of the Savior. Brothers and sisters, do you know what I likely would have prayed for if I had been tied up by my brothers? The Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco and Telegraph Avenue near the campus of the University of California at Berkeley were two major epicenters of dramatic drug, music, sexual, and cultural revolutions. 14. In October of 1997, Sister Bednar and I hosted Elder and Sister Maxwell at Brigham Young University–Idaho. By Elder David A. Bednar. But Alma and his companions were strengthened and blessed through the enabling power of the Atonement to “suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ.” What a marvelous blessing. . See “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1995). Where, when my aching grows, On an almost daily basis, I am blessed to pray with them, study with them, counsel with them, and learn from them. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts” (emphasis added). If I were to emphasize one overarching point this morning, it would be this: I suspect that you and I are much more familiar with the nature of the redeeming power of the Atonement than we are with the enabling power of the Atonement. Now if I had been one of Alma’s people and received that particular assurance, my response likely would have been, “I thank thee, and please hurry!” But notice in verse 15 the process the Lord used to lighten the burden: “And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (emphasis added). Elder Neil L. Andersen in April described and discussed “a holier approach to ministering.” He highlighted: There is a unique and supernal gift of ministering that can come from someone who loves God with all his or her heart; who is settled, grounded, steadfast, and immovable in his or her faith in Jesus Christ and in the restored gospel; and who keeps the commandments with exactness.7. The light that shone in her eyes, the spiritually dignified tone of her voice, her bright and peaceful countenance—everything about her affirmed the truthfulness of what she was saying. An unanticipated problem was encountered, check back soon and try again We will become agents who “act” rather than objects that are “acted upon” (2 Nephi 2:14). 211. I sat right up there in 2000 when that same son graduated from BYU with his baccalaureate degree. “joy,” en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/joy; emphasis added. BYU Speeches has a vast, free, searchable 1000+ database of devotional, forum, and commencement addresses with transcript, video, and audio archives. Indeed, she was becoming more like the Savior and receiving His image in her countenance,13 a part of which was becoming joyful. Brothers and sisters, please notice the use of the word grace in the verse from 2 Nephi to which we just referred. Just as Nephi, Amulek, and Alma and his people were strengthened, Daniel W. Jones had the spiritual insight to know what to ask for in that prayer. In today’s world a righteous woman and mother in Zion will need both priesthood support and the enabling power of the Atonement. Russell M. Nelson, “Let Us All Press On,” Ensign, May 2018; emphasis added. I remember sitting right over there in 1973 when President Spencer W. Kimball, as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, delivered a powerful and extremely direct message about the importance of eternal marriage (“Marriage Is Honorable,” 30 September 1973). And it is eternally important for all of us to recognize that both of these essential elements of the journey of life—both putting off the natural man and becoming a saint, both overcoming bad and becoming good—are accomplished through the power of the Atonement. And the Atonement provides help for us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good. The time to decide your epitaph is not at the end of your career but at the beginning. He knew he was an agent of the Lord, and he prayed for the power to act and affect his situation. 21. . This was considerable trouble, but we had little else to do and it was better than starving” (Daniel W. Jones,Forty Years Among the Indians [Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1890], 81). 32. I declare my sure witness of the living reality and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this verse King Benjamin teaches about the journey of mortality and about the role of the Atonement in successfully navigating that journey: “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord” (emphasis added). The Savior declared to His disciples: 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. I was with them ninety minutes ago in a meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve. We were three days without eating before this second attempt was made. Let us now consider together answers to these two important questions. “fun” [noun], merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fun. Her expression of faith caused me to remember the lyrics of several familiar hymns: With faith, we hold the iron rod It illustrates how those pioneer Saints may have known something about the enabling power of the Atonement that we, in our prosperity and ease, are not as quick to understand: “We asked the Lord to bless our stomachs and adapt them to this food” (Jones, Forty Years, 81; emphasis added). And as His servant and in His name, I promise you will receive the counseling you need from the Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace. Repeat the sounding joy, Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. A lot was cooked and eaten without any seasoning and it made the whole company sick. Joy primarily is whole and complete; fun primarily is partial. Nephi is an example of one who knew and understood and relied upon the enabling power of the Savior. And we can increase our capacity to overcome the desires of the flesh and temptations, as described in this verse, “through the atonement of Christ.” When we make mistakes—as we transgress and sin—we are able to overcome such weakness through the redeeming and cleansing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. “I know that my Redeemer lives!”16. Thus the enabling power of the Atonement strengthens us to do and be good and serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity. Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice? He summarized the overarching purpose of the gospel of the Savior in these terms: “The purpose of the gospel is . He knew about the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 6. When other sources cease to make me whole? Be a ray of light. As recorded in verse 14, the voice of the Lord came to these good people in their affliction and indicated: “And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs.”. We love you, and we love Brigham Young University. I recently was in a spiritually powerful testimony meeting and listened intently as a devoted sister declared, “I have great joy because of the Father’s plan of salvation.” Immediately obvious to me was the fact that this woman was not simply speaking familiar words. In March, Elder Ronald A. Rasband emphasized the importance of personal integrity. David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered this devotional address on December 4, 2018. Enduring joy is not a blessing reserved for a select few. I invite you to identify, study, and prayerfully ponder additional principles that enable us to receive this important spiritual gift of joy. The Redeemer is the ultimate and only source of enduring and eternal joy. Cherish the gospel of Jesus Christ and live it. He said, “I have come to believe that one measure of our eternal progress is how much joy we derive from service.”32, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.33. Daniel W. Jones was born in 1830 in Missouri, and he joined the Church in California in 1851. 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