Excerpts from BYU Devotional on Dec. 12, 2017 titled “A Message at Christmas”
–For the official summary of the lecture by BYU (supposedly going to be updated in the near future to the full text of the speech), and the full audio and video recordings, use this URL: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/d-todd-christofferson_a-message-at-christmas/
This is a brilliant lecture including points such as God being the representative of justice, Lucifer’s desire to be a law unto himself (and what that means), mercy defined as justice fulfilled by a third party, the absolute requirement of repentance for salvation.
here are my notes:
-Why can’t God just save us, he loves us can’t he do anything he wants? Why do we need a Savior? This is an ancient philosophy, Nehor taught that in the end all will be saved, don’t worry about it, God loves everyone so much that everyone will be saved.
However, God is God because he is just.
-If there were no laws with punishments and rewards, our choices would be useless.
We need to know that if we do 1 thing, we get 1 outcome, if another, another.
-Well what of the good person? Obstacle death, and even the best don’t meet all just expectations, and no unclean thing can dwell with God.
-Lucifer didn’t just want slight alteration to the plan, he didn’t want to be the Savior, he wanted to delete the Savior roll from the plan; he wanted to be a law unto himself rather than helping justice and mercy occur. He would change the rules at his will, and nothing would be predictable, things would be changing based on his whims, our choices would become vain without repercussions. He wanted the power and glory without putting in the work.
-From the BYU summary (not the full text), here is the part about the need of a Savior:
“Then Elder Christofferson shared an experience he had when a long-time member of the church asked him why she needed a Savior if she was a good person. Elder Christofferson admitted he was shocked at her lack of understanding, but he explained that we all need resurrection and redemption. He acknowledged that, asked another way, the woman could have been asking something like, “If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why can’t He just save us all Himself. Why did God need a Savior for us?” Elder Christofferson identified this way of thinking as similar to Nehor the antichrist’s teachings, and the proposition of the devil in the premortal life. If everyone was saved regardless of actions, then there would be no personal growth and no choices. “[The Father’s plan] requires accountability for choices made—otherwise they aren’t really choices. Choice, in turn, requires law, or predictable outcomes,” Elder Christofferson said. “We must be able by a particular action or choice to cause a particular outcome or result and by the opposite choice create the opposite outcome. If actions don’t have fixed consequences, then one has no control over outcomes and choice is meaningless.” Elder Christofferson taught that eternal laws are what make choices and consequences possible. God is a just God and governs according to law. We, His children, are not capable of keeping all the laws and enduring the consequences for incorrect choices. So God created mercy and a Savior, Jesus Christ, to fulfill the requirement of law and to extend mercy to all of us. “So the answer to our question is no, God cannot act any way He pleases to save a person. He must do it in a way that upholds immutable law, and thanks be to God, he has done so by providing a Savior,” Elder Christofferson said.”