Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of Twelve, taught how all can be strengthened through a deeper understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Elder Oaks spoke during the Saturday afternoon session of the October 2015 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He began by describing the Atonement and used Alma 7:11, 2 Nephi 9:21 and Hebrews 2:18 as an explanation of Christ’s suffering.
“Our Savior experienced and suffered the fullness of all mortal challenges according to the flesh so he could know according to the flesh how to succor — which means to give relief or aid to — his people according to their infirmities.”
Elder Oaks quoted several scriptures (including Luke 4:18, Luke 5:15, Luke 7:21, 3 Nephi 17:9, Matthew 8:17 and Isaiah 41:10) to describe the suffering of Jesus Christ and how that was vital to be able to understand the suffering of mankind and to aid people in their suffering.
Elder Oaks continued to define the suffering of mankind to mean more than disease, sickness or sin.
“Mortality is filled with frequent struggles, heartaches and sufferings.”
Elder Oaks described those additional sufferings to include things like feelings of rejection, depression, loneliness and addiction. As he cited each one, Elder Oaks explained how each can be overcome through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Elder Oaks then related how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can therefore be used as a tool of comfort and companionship in all types of sufferings and difficulties. He quoted Emma Lou Thayne’s hymn, “Where Can I Turn For Peace?” as a poetic example of the source of peace in people’s lives.
Elder Oaks lastly described who can be succored and strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He quoted from Alma 7:11-12 to emphasize that Jesus Christ took upon the “pains and sickness of his people.” Elder Oaks then used “his people” as a definition of who can use the Atonement, defining “his people” as all people.
“Because of his atoning experience in mortality, our Savior is able to comfort, heal and strengthen all men and women everywhere, but I believe he will only do so for those who seek him and ask for his help,” Elder Oaks said. “We qualify for that blessing when we believe in him and pray for his help.”
Elder Oaks concluded his talk by encouraging people to qualify for the blessing of the Atonement and to trust in God so that he will lift their burdens.
“One day all of these mortal burdens will pass away and there will be no more pain,” Elder Oaks said. “I pray that we will all understand the hope and strength of our Savior’s Atonement: the assurance of immortality, the opportunity for eternal life and the sustaining strength we can receive if only we will ask.”
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