Special Witness: The Atonement

Neal A. Maxwell
From an October 1997 general conference address.

The Atonement

Did you know that Elder Neal A. Maxwell raised pigs and entered them in contests? He won many ribbons in those contests. He likes to read, write, and play tennis. He teaches us about the importance of following Jesus Christ.

In bringing to pass the … Atonement, certain things were utterly unique to Jesus. These cannot be replicated [copied exactly] by us. … Obviously, unlike our precious Savior, we surely cannot atone for the sins of mankind! Moreover, we certainly cannot bear all mortal sicknesses, infirmities, and griefs (see Alma 7:11–12).

However, on our smaller scale, just as Jesus has invited, we can indeed strive to become “even as [He is]” (3 Ne. 27:27). …

Mortality presents us with numerous opportunities to become more Christlike: first, by coping successfully with those of life’s challenges which are “common to man[kind]” (1 Cor. 10:13).

Though stretched by our challenges, by living righteously and enduring well we can eventually become [enough] like Jesus … , that one day we can dwell in the Father’s presence forever and ever. By so living now, our confidence will “wax strong in the presence of God” then (D&C 121:45). … The Prophet Joseph declared, “If you wish to go where God is, you must be like God” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 216). …

Being valiant in our testimony of Jesus, therefore, includes being valiant in our efforts to live more as He lived (see D&C 76:79).

[illustration] Storytime in Galilee by Del Parson