Sunday, July 25, 2010

He Lives! All Glory to His Name!

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

He Lives! All Glory to His Name!, by Elder Richard G. Scott
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

While I was serving as a full-time missionary, I received a bracelet from my brother-in-law. It simply said, "WWJD."

You are likely familiar with this once popular trend. The bracelet was actually the first I had heard of the WWJD trend. Of course, the meaning was "What would Jesus do?"

At the time, I had difficulty with the phrase. When I was in difficult situations and I remembered the WWJD, I would honestly answer, "Well, I'm pretty sure Jesus would perform a miracle or cast out a demon." My probably-too-literal interpretation kept me from fully embracing the message; I always thought there was a better way to encourage myself (and other people) to be Christlike.

I remembered this WWJD dilemma as I reviewed Elder Scott's talk on the Atonement. The solution I came up with for the WWJD question disconnect was repeated verbatim by Elder Scott: "What would the Lord Jesus Christ have me do?" Instead of asking what Jesus would do, I decided that the way to success would be for me to personalize it with a rephrasing.

It may seem a small thing, but it worked well for me (see Alma 37:6). Instead of asking what Christ would do, I used His teachings as a model as I wondered what He would have me do. Elder Scott agrees:

The best way to make a permanent change for good is to make Jesus Christ your model and His teachings your guide for life.

As I thought of this, I wondered how the Atonement can help us to find success in other aspects of our lives. Sometimes when we encounter successful people, it seems that we can place them in one of two camps: those who place the credit on Christ; and those who think they are successful because there is no God. I want to be successful, but I want to only be so if I can stay in the first camp.

Your understanding of the Atonement and the insight it provides for your life will greatly enhance your productive use of all of the knowledge, experience, and skills you acquire in mortal life.

The desires we all have for success are very real—and by success I mean having a happy, covenant-keeping family. This definition of success may seem difficult to maintain in a world of questionable values. Nevertheless, Elder Scott provides comfort:

As the world becomes more devoid of foundational standards and as honor, virtue, and purity are increasingly cast aside in the pursuit of appetite, our understanding of and faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ will provide strength and capacity needed for a successful life. It will also bring confidence in times of trial and peace in moments of turmoil.

I'm grateful for the hope of success that is made possible through the Atonement of Christ. I'm grateful for the cleansing power of the Atonement, too, but as I reviewed this talk, I was impressed by something I don't hear discussed much: that of Atonement-driven success in life.

It makes sense, though. Strength and power are found in covenants, and Christ's Atonement makes covenants not just valid, but real, lasting, and forever true.

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