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“Come unto Christ”
|Title||“Come unto Christ”|
|Publication Type||Magazine Article|
|Year of Publication||1987|
|Authors||Benson, Ezra Taft|
|Date Published||November 1987|
|Keywords||Education; Prayer; Scripture Study; Testimony|
Honest seekers of truth can gain a testimony of Jesus Christ through the prayerful study of the Book of Mormon. Individuals are invited to “come unto Christ” by learning the precepts taught in the Book of Mormon.
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“Come unto Christ”
President Ezra Taft Benson
My beloved brethren and sisters, this has been another glorious conference, for which I thank the Lord and commend my brethren for their inspired counsel and the choirs for their uplifting music.
The major mission of the Book of Mormon, as recorded on its title page, is “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.”
The honest seeker after truth can gain the testimony that Jesus is the Christ as he prayerfully ponders the inspired words of the Book of Mormon.
Over one-half of all the verses in the Book of Mormon refer to our Lord. Some form of Christ’s name is mentioned more frequently per verse in the Book of Mormon than even in the New Testament.
He is given over one hundred different names in the Book of Mormon. Those names have a particular significance in describing His divine nature.
Let us consider some of the attributes of our Lord, as found in the Book of Mormon, that show that Jesus is the Christ. Then let us confirm each of those attributes about Him with a brief quote from the Book of Mormon.
He is Alive: “The life of the world … a life which is endless” (Mosiah 16:9).
He is Constant: “The same yesterday, today, and forever” (2 Ne. 27:23).
He is the Creator: “He created all things, both in heaven and in earth” (Mosiah 4:9).
He is the Exemplar: He “set the example. … He said unto the children of men: Follow thou me” (2 Ne. 31:9, 10).
He is Generous: “He commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation” (2 Ne. 26:24).
He is Godly: He is God (see 2 Ne. 27:23).
He is Good: “All things which are good cometh of God” (Moro. 7:12).
He is Gracious: “He is full of grace” (2 Ne. 2:6).
He is the Healer: The “sick, and … afflicted with all manner of diseases … devils and unclean spirits … were healed by the power of the Lamb of God” (1 Ne. 11:31).
He is Holy: “O how great the holiness of our God!” (2 Ne. 9:20).
He is Humble: “He humbleth himself before the Father” (2 Ne. 31:7).
He is Joyful: “The Father hath given” Him a “fulness of joy” (3 Ne. 28:10).
He is our Judge: We “shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of him” (Mosiah 16:10).
He is Just: “The judgments of God are always just” (Mosiah 29:12).
He is Kind: He has “loving kindness … towards the children of men” (1 Ne. 19:9).
He is the Lawgiver: He “gave the law” (3 Ne. 15:5).
He is the Liberator: “There is no other head whereby ye can be made free” (Mosiah 5:8).
He is the Light: “The light … of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened” (Mosiah 16:9).
He is Loving: “He loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life” (2 Ne. 26:24).
He is the Mediator: “The great Mediator of all men” (2 Ne. 2:27).
He is Merciful: There is a “multitude of his tender mercies” (1 Ne. 8:8).
He is Mighty: “Mightier than all the earth” (1 Ne. 4:1).
He is Miraculous: A “God of miracles” (2 Ne. 27:23).
He is Obedient: Obedient unto the Father “in keeping his commandments” (2 Ne. 31:7).
He is Omnipotent: He has “all power, both in heaven and in earth” (Mosiah 4:9).
He is Omniscient: “The Lord knoweth all things from the beginning” (1 Ne. 9:6).
He is our Redeemer: “All mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer” (1 Ne. 10:6).
He is the Resurrection: He brought to pass “the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise” (2 Ne. 2:8).
He is Righteous: “His ways are righteousness forever” (2 Ne. 1:19).
He is the Ruler: He rules “in the heavens above and in the earth beneath” (2 Ne. 29:7).
He is our Savior: “There is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ … whereby man can be saved” (2 Ne. 25:20).
He is Sinless: He “suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation” (Mosiah 15:5).
He is Truthful: “A God of truth, and canst not lie” (Ether 3:12).
He is Wise: “He has all wisdom” (Mosiah 4:9).
As I reflect on these and many other marks of our Lord’s divinity, as found in the Book of Mormon, my heart cries out with the hymnist:
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow’r thru-out the universe displayed;
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee,
How great thou art! How great thou art!
(“How Great Thou Art,” Hymns, 1985, no. 86).
Once one is convinced, through the Book of Mormon, that Jesus is the Christ, then he must take the next step; he must come unto Christ. Learning the precepts found in what the Prophet Joseph Smith called the most correct book on earth, the Book of Mormon, is but the first step. Abiding by those precepts found in the “keystone” of our religion gets a man nearer to God than through any other book (see History of the Church, 4:461). Can we not see why we should be reading this book daily and practicing its precepts at all times?
We have an increasing number who have been convinced, through the Book of Mormon, that Jesus is the Christ. Now we need an increasing number who will use the Book of Mormon to become committed to Christ. We need to be convinced and committed.
Let us turn again to the Book of Mormon, this time to learn some principles about coming unto Christ, being committed to Him, centered in Him, and consumed in Him. We will quote but a few of the numerous passages on the matter.
First we need to know that Christ invites us to come unto Him. “Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, … Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life” (Alma 5:33–34).
Come, for he stands “with open arms to receive you” (Morm. 6:17).
Come, for “he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause” (Jacob 3:1).
“Come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him” (Omni 1:26).
As Moroni closed the record of the Jaredite civilization, he wrote, “I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written” (Ether 12:41).
In Moroni’s closing words written toward the end of the Nephite civilization, he said, “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, … and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you” (Moro. 10:32).
Those who are committed to Christ “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” that they may be in “even until death” (Mosiah 18:9). They “retain the name” of Christ “written always” in their hearts (Mosiah 5:12). They take upon themselves “the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end” (Moro. 6:3).
When we live a Christ-centered life, “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ” (2 Ne. 25:26). We “receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love” (Jacob 3:2). Even when Nephi’s soul was grieved because of his iniquities, he said, “I know in whom I have trusted. My God hath been my support” (2 Ne. 4:19–20).
We remember Alma’s counsel: “Let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings” (Alma 37:36–37).
“Remember, remember,” said Helaman, “that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, … that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, … [they] shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery” (Hel. 5:12).
Nephi said, the Lord “hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh” (2 Ne. 4:21). Those who are consumed in Christ “are made alive in Christ” (2 Ne. 25:25). They “suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ” (Alma 31:38). They are “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Morm. 5:11). Nephi said, “I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul” (2 Ne. 33:6). Lehi said, “I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love” (2 Ne. 1:15).
Now, my beloved brethren and sisters, let us read the Book of Mormon and be convinced that Jesus is the Christ. Let us continually reread the Book of Mormon so that we might more fully come to Christ, be committed to Him, centered in Him, and consumed in Him.
We are meeting the adversary every day. The challenges of this era will rival any of the past, and these challenges will increase both spiritually and temporally. We must be close to Christ, we must daily take His name upon us, always remember Him, and keep His commandments.
In the final letter recorded in the Book of Mormon from Mormon to his son Moroni, he gave counsel that applies to our day. Both father and son were seeing a whole Christian civilization fall because its people would not serve the God of the land, even Jesus Christ. Mormon wrote, “And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God” (Moro. 9:6). You and I have a similar labor to perform now—to conquer the enemy and rest our souls in the kingdom.
Then that great soul Mormon closes his letter to his beloved son, Moroni, with these words.
“My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.
“And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever” (Moro. 9:25–26).
My prayer for each of us is that we too will follow that inspired counsel: “Be faithful in Christ.” Then He will lift us up and His grace will be and abide with us forever. That this may be so, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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