From a devotional address given august 18, 1998, at Brigham Young University. Because that the complete text in English, go to

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Elder Russell M. Nelson

as one among the “special witnesses the the name of Christ in every the world” (D&C 107:23), I believe I serve ideal if ns teach and testify the Him. First, I could ask the same concerns He as soon as posed come the Pharisees: “What think ye the Christ? whose son is he?” (Matthew 22:42).

These concerns often involved mind as I fulfill with leader of governments and various spiritual denominations. Some identify that “Jesus was a good teacher.” others say, “He was a prophet.” Others merely do not understand Him in ~ all. We need to not be entirely surprised. After all, relatively few people have the revitalized gospel truths we have. Members that The Church that Jesus Christ that Latter-day Saints are but a small minority amongst those who case to it is in Christians.

Our circumstance today was foreseen centuries back by Nephi:

“And it involved pass that i beheld the church that the Lamb the God, and also its numbers were few … ; nevertheless, i beheld that the church the the Lamb, that were the saints that God, were additionally upon every the confront of the earth; and also their dominions top top the challenge of the planet were small. …

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb the God, that it lower upon the saints the the church that the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the challenge of the earth; and also they were equipped with righteousness and also with the strength of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:12, 14).

That righteousness, that power, and also that glory—indeed, all of our many blessings—stem native our expertise of, obedience to, and gratitude and also love because that the mr Jesus Christ.

during His fairly brief sojourn in mortality, the Savior accomplished two overarching objectives. One was His “work and glory—to bring to happen the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). The various other He stated simply: “I have provided you one example, that ye must do as I have actually done” (John 13:15).

His an initial objective we understand as the Atonement. This to be His magnificent mission in mortality. Come the human being of old America, the resurrected Lord gave His mission statement:

“I came right into the human being to do the will of mine Father, since my Father sent out me.

“And mine Father sent out me the I might be lifted increase upon the cross; and after the I had been lifted increase upon the cross, that I could draw all guys unto me” (3 Nephi 27:13–14).

In proceeding His sermon, he revealed His second objective—to be our exemplar: “Ye know the points that ye need to do … ; because that the functions which ye have seen me do that shall ye likewise do” (3 Nephi 27:21).

His first objective ns have defined as His mission. His second objective ns would prefer to identify as His ministry. let us review these two materials of His life—His mission and His ministry.

The Mission the Jesus Christ—the Atonement

His mission to be the Atonement. The mission to be uniquely His. Born the a mortal mother and also an immortal Father, He to be the only one who might voluntarily lay down His life and also take it increase again (see man 10:14–18). The glorious aftermath of His Atonement were infinite and eternal. He take it the sting out of death and made short-lived the grief of the tomb (see 1 Corinthians 15:54–55). His duty for the Atonement was well-known even before the Creation and also the Fall. Not just was the to provide for the resurrection and immortality of all humankind, yet it was likewise to allow us to be forgiven of our sins—upon problems established through Him. Hence His Atonement opened the method by which we might be united v Him and with our households eternally. This prospect we esteem as eternal life—the greatest gift that God to guy (see D&C 14:7).

No one else might effect the Atonement. No various other person, also with the best wealth and also power, can ever save one soul—not also his own (see Matthew 19:24–26). And also no other individual will certainly be forced or permitted to burned blood for the eternal salvation of an additional human being. Jesus did the “once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).

Though the Atonement was consummated throughout the time the the brand-new Testament, events of Old testimony times typically foretold that importance. Adam and Eve to be commanded to sell sacrifices together “a similitude of the sacrifice that the just Begotten the the Father” (Moses 5:7). How? through the shedding the blood. Native their very own experience they evidenced the scripture the “the life of the meat is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11).

Physicians know that whenever blood ceases to flow to an organ, problem begins. If blood circulation to a leg is interrupted, gangrene may follow. If circulation to the mind is stopped, a stroke might result. If blood fails to flow normally v a coronary artery, a heart assault may develop. And also if hemorrhage is uncontrolled, death ensues.

Adam, Eve, and also generations to monitor learned the whenever they melted blood native an animal, that is life was terminated. For their sacrificial rite, not simply any pet would do. It to be to it is in a firstling that the flock and one without blemish (see, for example, Exodus 12:5). These requisites were also symbolic that the ultimate sacrifice of the spotless Lamb that God.

Adam and also Eve were offered a commandment: “Wherefore, thou shalt execute all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and also thou shalt repent and also call ~ above God in the surname of the child forevermore” (Moses 5:8). From the day to the meridian the time, pet sacrifice ongoing to it is in a form and zero of the eventual Atonement of the son of God.

When the Atonement to be accomplished, that an excellent and last sacrifice fulfilled the legislation of Moses (see Alma 34:13–14) and terminated the practice of pet sacrifice, which had actually taught the “the life the the meat in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). Jesus described how the elements of ancient sacrifice to be subsumed by the Atonement and commemorated symbolically by the sacrament. Keep in mind again recommendations to the life, the flesh, and also the blood:

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, ns say depend you, except ye eat the flesh of the boy of man, and also drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

“Whoso eateth my flesh, and also drinketh my blood, on foot eternal life; and also I will raise him up in ~ the last day” (John 6:53–54).

Because the the Atonement of Jesus Christ, every mankind—even as many as will—will it is in redeemed. The Savior began shedding His blood for every mankind no on the cross but in the Garden of Gethsemane. There He take it upon himself the load of the sins of all that would ever live. Under that hefty load, that bled at every sharp (see D&C 19:18). The agony that the Atonement was completed top top the cross at Calvary.

The importance of the Atonement was summarized by the Prophet Joseph Smith. The said, “The basic principles that our faith are the testimony that the Apostles and Prophets, worrying Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the 3rd day, and also ascended right into heaven; and also all other things which pertain to our religious beliefs are only appendages to it.”1

With that authority and with extensive gratitude, i so teach and also testify that Him.

The ministry of Jesus Christ—the Exemplar

The Lord’s second far-ranging objective in mortality to be to serve as an example for us. His exemplary life comprised His mortal ministry. It contained His teachings, parables, and also sermons. It incorporated His miracles, loving-kindness, and also long-suffering toward the youngsters of males (see 1 Nephi 19:9). It taken on His compassionate usage of priesthood authority. It included His righteous indignation as soon as He condemned sin (see Romans 8:3) and when He overthrew the tables that the money changers (see Matthew 21:12). It also included His heartaches. He to be mocked, scourged, and disowned by His own human being (see Mosiah 15:5)—even betrayed through one disciple and denied by an additional (see man 18:2–3, 25–27).

Wonderful as His ministerial action were, they to be not and also are still not distinctive to Him. Over there is no border to the number of people who may follow the example of Jesus. Similar acts have been done by His prophets and also apostles and others amongst His authorized servants. Many have endured persecution for His benefits (see Matthew 5:10; 3 Nephi 12:10). In our very own time, you recognize brothers and also sisters who have actually earnestly striven—even at a disastrous price—to emulate the Lord’s example.

That is together it should be. That is His hope because that us. The mr asked us to follow His example. His appeals are crystal clear:

These and also other comparable scriptures to be not composed as suggestions. Castle are magnificent imperatives! We room to monitor His example!

To facilitate our desire to monitor Him, probably we could take into consideration five elements of His life that we have the right to emulate.


If ns were to ask i beg your pardon characteristic that His life girlfriend would determine first, i think you could name His attribute that love. That would incorporate His compassion, kindness, charity, devotion, forgiveness, mercy, justice, and also more. Jesus love His Father and also His mommy (see john 19:25–27). He love His family and the Saints (see man 13:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:16). He love the sinner without excusing the sin (see Matthew 9:2; D&C 24:2). And also He teach us how we can display our love for Him. He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Then, to underscore that His love was no unconditional, the added, “If ye save my commandments, ye chandelier abide in mine love; even as I have kept mine Father’s commandments, and also abide in his love” (John 15:10; see also D&C 95:12; 124:87).

Another expression of our Savior’s love to be His service. He served His Father, and He offered the world with whom He lived and labored. In both ways we room to follow His example. We space to offer God, “to walk in all his ways, and to love him” (Deuteronomy 10:12; see additionally 11:13; Joshua 22:5; D&C 20:31; 59:5). And also we are to love our neighbors by offer them (see Galatians 5:13; Mosiah 4:15–16). We start with our families. The deep love that binding parents to their kids is forged by company to them v their period of full dependence. Later in life dutiful youngsters may have actually the possibility to reciprocate the love as soon as they offer their aging parents.


A 2nd aspect of the Savior’s exemplary life was His emphasis on sacred ordinances. Throughout His mortal to adjust He demonstrated the importance of the ordinances the salvation. The was baptized by john in the Jordan River. Also John asked, “Why?”

Jesus explained, “For hence it becometh us come fulfil all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15; focus added). Not just was the ordinance essential, yet the example set by Jesus and John was additionally essential.

Later the lord instituted the ordinance that the sacrament. He explained the symbolism of the sacrament and administered its sacred emblems to His hands-on worker (see Matthew 26:26–28; mark 14:22–24; Luke 24:30).

Our Heavenly Father additionally gave instruction about ordinances. He said: “Ye should be born again into the kingdom of heaven, that water, and also of the Spirit, and also be cleansed through blood, even the blood the mine just Begotten; that ye could be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the indigenous of eternal life in this world, and also eternal life in the civilization to come, also immortal glory” (Moses 6:59).

During the Lord’s postmortal ministry, the higher ordinances that exaltation to be revealed (D&C 124:40–42). The has listed for this ordinances in His divine temples. In our day, washings, anointings, and also endowments are granted to people who are appropriately prepared (see D&C 105:12, 18, 33; 110:9; 124:39). In the temple, one individual might be sealed come husband or wife, to progenitors, and also to posterity (see D&C 132:19). Our master is a God of law and also order (see D&C 132:18). His emphasis on ordinances is a powerful part of His instance to us.


A third aspect that the Lord’s exemplary ministry is prayer. Jesus prayed to His dad in sky and additionally taught us exactly how to pray. We space to pray to God the Eternal father in the surname of His Son, Jesus Christ, through the strength of the divine Ghost (see Matthew 6:9–13; 3 Nephi 13:9–13; Joseph smith Translation, Matthew 6:9–15). Ns love the great Intercessory Prayer offered by the Lord recorded in John, chapter 17. In the the child communicates openly with His father on behalf of His disciples, whom He loves. The is a design of effective and compassionate prayer.


A fourth element of the Lord’s instance is the usage of His divine knowledge. As pointed out earlier, numerous non-Christians recognize that Jesus to be a an excellent teacher. Indeed, the was. But what truly distinguished His teaching? was He a experienced instructor that engineering, mathematics, or science? together Creator the this and also other human beings (see Moses 1:33), that surely might have been. Or, as the writer of scripture, He could have teach literary composition very well.

The feature that distinguished His teaching above that that all other teachers was the He taught truths of eternal significance. Only He can have revealed our function in life. Only through Him might we discover of our premortal existence and of ours postmortal potential.

On one occasion the master Teacher said His doubtful listeners that they had three witnesses the Him:

John the Baptist.

The deeds that Jesus had accomplished.

He climate proffered a fourth witness: “Search the scriptures; because that in castle ye think ye have eternal life: and they space they i beg your pardon testify that me” (John 5:39).

The indigenous think in the phrase might at an initial seem come be the end of place. Yet it is vital to the meaning Jesus was trying to convey. That knew that plenty of of His listener did in reality think that eternal life was in the scriptures. But they were wrong. The bibles alone cannot bestow eternal life. Of course over there is strength in scripture, but that power comes from Jesus Himself. That is the Word: Logos. The strength of eternal life is in Him, that “in the beginning was the Word, and the native was v God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1; see likewise 2 Nephi 31:20; 32:3). Then, because of the stubborn stance of His skeptics, Jesus go on come rebuke them: “Ye will certainly not come to me, the ye can have life” (John 5:40).

The Master could overwhelm us v His supernal knowledge, however He walk not. The honors ours agency. He allows us the delight of discovery. He urges us come repent of our very own mistakes. That permits united state to experience the flexibility that comes from our willing obedience come His magnificent law. Yes, the method He uses His knowledge gives a an excellent example for us.


A fifth facet of the Lord’s ministry is His commitment to endure to the end. Never did He retract from His assignment. Despite He skilled suffering beyond our comprehension, he was not a quitter. V deepening trials He sustained to the finish of His assignment: come atone for the sins of every humankind. His final words together He hung native the cross were, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

Application to Our Lives

These five aspects of His ministry deserve to be applied in our very own lives. For sure the best evidence of our adoration that Jesus is ours emulation that Him.

When we start to realize that Jesus is and what He has actually done for us, we have the right to understand, to part degree, the logic of the an initial and good commandment: “Thou shalt love the mr thy God v all her heart, and with every thy soul, and with every thy mind, and also with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30). In various other words, all that us think and also do and also say have to be steeped in ours love for Him and also His Father.

Ask yourself, “Is there anyone whom ns love an ext than the Lord?” climate compare your answer to this standards set by the Lord:

“He the loveth dad or mother much more than me is not worthy the me.”

Love because that family and friends, great as it may be, is much an ext profound as soon as anchored in the love of Jesus Christ. Parental love for kids has more definition here and hereafter because of Him. Every loving relationships are elevated in Him. Love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ gives the illumination, inspiration, and an inspiration to love rather in a loftier way.

Ordinances carry out a focus for organization of eternal worth. Parents should think about which ordinance is necessary next by every child. Residence teachers have to think that an appropriate ordinance necessary next in each family members they serve.

The Savior’s instance of prayer reminds us that personal prayer, family prayer, and also prayerful pursuit of ours assignments in the Church have to become component of ours lives. Come know and also to do the will of the dad provides good spiritual strength and also confidence (see D&C 121:45). ~ above the Lord’s next is whereby we desire to be.

Knowledge “of points as they yes, really are, and of things as castle really will be” (Jacob 4:13) permits us to act top top true principles and also doctrine. That knowledge will lift our level that behavior. Acts the otherwise could be propelled by appetite and emotion will certainly be superseded by deeds shame by reason and right.

A commitment to endure come the end method that we will certainly not ask for a release from a speak to to serve. It way that we will persevere in quest of a worthy goal. It means that we will never provide up top top a love one who has strayed. And also it method that us will constantly cherish ours eternal family members relationships, also through difficult days that disease, disability, or death.

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With every my heart i pray the the transforming affect of the Lord might make a profound distinction in your life. His mission and His ministry deserve to bless every of united state now and forevermore.