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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Merrill J. Bateman

"The greatest miracle of the Atonement is the power Jesus Christ has to change our character if we come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit." — Merrill J. Bateman, "Living a Christ-Centered Life," Ensign, Jan. 1999, p. 12-13

"Priesthood and priesthood keys open the door to the blessings of the Atonement. Through the power of the priesthood, people are baptized for the remission of sins, made possible by the Savior's great act of mercy. A holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood may confer the Holy Ghost. Through the bestowal of the Holy Ghost, members are cleansed with fire, guided into truth, comforted, sanctified, and blessed in many ways as partakers of the fruits of the Atonement. The sealing authority may bind a man, a woman, and their children together forever, making possible exaltations in the world to come-again, a blessing from the Savior." — Merrill J. Bateman, "Priesthood, Keys, and the Power to Bless," General Conference, 4 October 2003

"An understanding of the plan of salvation, of premortality, earth life, and life after death provides perspective that helps one endure. As stated in the scriptures, the earth was created by God as a testing ground (see Abr. 3:24-26). Mortal life on earth is a probationary period (see Alma 12:24; Alma 34:32). Opposition, disappointments, pain, suffering, and death are necessary to protect agency and provide for spiritual development (see 2 Ne. 11). On the other hand, if life were limited to our mortal experience, adversity could not be understood and life would be unfair. Without an understanding of God's plan, it is natural to define moral standards in terms of the natural man. Without an eternal perspective, there are no meaningful explanations for man's inhumanity to man or for earthquakes, floods, or children with disabilities." - Merrill J. Bateman, "Living a Christ-Centered Life," Ensign, Jan. 1999, p. 13

"Following baptism, a commandment-keeping member seeks to 'bear one another's burdens,... mourn with those that mourn,... and comfort those that stand in need of comfort' (Mosiah 18:8-9). As we keep the commandments and render that kind of service, the Lord can 'pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon [us]' (Mosiah 18:10; see D&C 20:77). The reward for obedience and service is not only the gift of the Holy Ghost but also special gifts of the Spirit. Paul defines the fruits of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, and meekness (see Gal. 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit blesses us with Christlike attributes as we serve each other." - Merrill J. Bateman, "Living a Christ-Centered Life," Ensign, January 1999, p. 10

"Thanks be to God, for He has a plan. Although the polishing process may be difficult at times, we should be grateful that adversity may bring us closer to Him and that His plan provided for a Savior and Redeemer who understands our trials and tribulations. The book of Alma states that Christ would suffer our 'pains and afflictions and temptations' and would 'take upon him... the sicknesses of his people' (Alma 7:11). Further, the Lord took death upon Himself so that the bands of death would be broken; and He also took upon Himself our infirmities, 'that his bowels may be filled with mercy,... that he may know... how to succor' us in our weaknesses (Alma 7:12)." - Merrill J. Bateman, "Living a Christ-Centered Life," Ensign, January 1999, p. 13

"The prophet Alma states that the seed planted in our hearts matures into the tree of life (see Alma 32:41-42). The angel taught Nephi that the tree of life is a symbol for Christ (see 1 Ne. 11:7, 20-22). If we follow Alma's counsel of planting and nourishing the seed until it becomes the tree of life within our hearts and souls, the image of Christ will be in our countenance and we will have built a Christ-centered life." - Merrill J. Bateman, "Living a Christ-Centered Life," Ensign, January 1999, p. 13

"On numerous occasions the Lord has commanded his disciples to search the scriptures in order to learn and live the doctrines of salvation. During his mortal ministry, the Savior stated, 'Search the scriptures;... they are they which testify of me.' (John 5:39.) During his appearance on the Western Hemisphere following his resurrection, Christ quoted from the scriptures and then said to the Nephites: 'Ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently.' (3 Ne. 23:1.) In our day, the Lord enjoins his followers to 'search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and... shall all be fulfilled.' (D&C 1:37.)" - Merrill J. Bateman, "Coming unto Christ by Searching the Scriptures," Ensign (CR), November 1992, p.27

"As I listened, the Spirit bore witness of the great miracles of the Atonement and the Savior's power to mend broken hearts, to heal from within. The Savior's parable of the ten lepers took on new meaning. Luke describes Jesus meeting ten lepers. Upon seeing the Savior, they cried, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.' Jesus responded: 'Go shew yourselves unto the priests.' As they went their way, they were cleansed. One returned, fell on his face at the Master's feet, and gave thanks. Jesus said, 'Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? And then the Lord said to the one who returned, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole' (see Luke 17:12-19). In becoming a whole person, the grateful leper was healed inside as well as on the outside. That day nine lepers were healed skin deep, but only one had the faith to be made whole. The tenth leper ... [was] changed eternally by [his] faith in the Savior and the healing power of his atonement." - Merrill J. Bateman, "The Power to Heal from Within," Ensign (CR), May 1995, p.13

And yet each person today also has an invitation to “come unto Christ” (Moro. 10:32), to become His sons and daughters through a spiritual rebirth. In a different way, we may feel the print of the nails in His hands and feet and thrust our hand into His side by experiencing the cleansing and refining power of the Atonement. The Savior knows each of us intimately through His experience in the garden and on the cross. Alma states that He took upon Himself our pains, afflictions, temptations, sicknesses, and infirmities, that He might know how to succor us (see Alma 7:11–12). Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has pointed out that the word succor in old French means literally “to run to.” He suggested that “even as [Christ] calls us to come to him … , he is unfailingly running to help us.” - Merrill J. Bateman, "Becoming a Disciple of Christ," Ensign, April 2006

Death teaches that we do not experience a fulness of joy in mortality and that everlasting joy can be achieved only with the assistance of the Master (see D&C 93:33–34). Just as the lame man at the pool of Bethesda needed someone stronger than himself to be healed (see John 5:1–9), so we are dependent on the miracles of Christ’s atonement if our souls are to be made whole from grief, sorrow, and sin. - Merrill J. Bateman, "The Power to Heal from Within," Ensign (CR) May 1995

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