Thursday, March 24, 2011

In the Name of Jesus Christ

Today was lovely. I believe it started last night, when I was finally humble enough to open my heart to answers I need, and humble enough to act. One thought led to another, and I committed myself to reading all the way through a book I borrowed months ago so that I could finally return it. That book is called The Infinite Atonement, and it was just what I needed to get myself going in the right direction (I only got through two chapters last night). Before going to bed, I decided that I would go to the temple tomorrow (today).

When I woke up this morning, I had a text asking if I could come in and work the lunch shift. Going to the temple was my highest priority, but I realized I could have time for both, and this could be an answer to my prayers (I've been needing to get extra hours in at work). Work ended up going really well, and the temple afterwards was even better.

One of the things that struck me in the temple was how often the words "in the name of Jesus Christ" are used in Mormon worship, and how meaningful it is. All of our prayers close in the phrase. The proxy baptismal and confirming ordinances start with "in the name of Jesus Christ" or "having been commissioned of Jesus Christ." Same thing in the sacrament prayers: "O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ..." Priesthood blessings are also given in the same manner. And some people insist that Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) aren't Christians... :P

What I recognized again today and in my reading last night, is that everything comes back to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, that "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it." (quote from Joseph Smith, the first latter-day prophet). Without Jesus Christ and His Atonement, life would be meaningless, and death would be a final, bitter end. 2 Nephi 9 explains it more completely and beautifully than I can, why we need an Atonement and what it does for us. It's kind of a longer chapter, but I promise you that if you read it with an open heart, it will change your life. 

The rest of today has gone pretty well too. I had time to run home after the temple and get something to eat before going to my evening class, and the class itself was very fun and educational. My roommate and I then made dinner for a sick friend, and I've had some time since to relax and figure out travel plans. The temple, though, was definitely the highlight of my day. I was able to gain some much-needed peace and perspective, and I feel more renewed for the week ahead. I really need to make temple attendance a higher priority in my schedule, because I always feel better afterwards, but I have a hard time remembering and putting forth the effort to plan for it, walk out the door, and go. It's definitely worth it. It's so comforting and motivating to know that God is on my side.
The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength. 
I know in his might I'll conquer at length. 
My weakness in mercy he covers with pow'r, 
And, walking by faith, I am blessed ev'ry hour.
(LDS hymn, "The Lord Is My Light")

My challenge after this would be to examine your life and see what values you reflect. When people become acquainted with you, what do they remember? What do you want them to remember? As a Mormon, and as KH, I want my life to point others to Jesus Christ. He is the one who offers salvation, peace, freedom and happiness to every soul, living and dead. He is the Bread of Life and the Living Water; He is Jehovah, the promised Messiah to set His people free. He is my personal Savior, Redeemer, Guide and Friend. With the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi, I add my testimony:
And [the angel] said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?
And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.
Like the young Nephi, I don't know the meaning of all things. I know that God loves me and that Christ will always be there for me as I come to Him, even if I don't know all the how's or why's. I know that Christ is "the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men" (Moses 6:52), and so I do the things that I've learned, because those simple things are the things that work. Things like having faith and trusting God, reading from the scriptures every day, praying always, attending the temple and church meetings, turning the other cheek, being humble and teachable - these and others are the things that bring us to Christ and lead us to salvation and happiness. I add this simple testimony to the thousands that have been shared over the millennia that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that He lives today for us, pleading our cause. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


  1. My great-uncle wrote The Infinite Atonement. I feel somehow like I should read it.

  2. It's a fantastic book. I'm about halfway through the chapters, but I wish I could absorb more of it. I feel like I'm just scratching the surface of different dimensions of the Atonement :) I would highly recommend it.