Judeo-Christian Culture: Christian Art and Life of Jesus Christ

Dinner Topics for Thursday

keyThe best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ChristsermononmountCarl Heinrich Bloch (May 23, 1834 – February 22, 1890) was a Danish painter.

He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and studied with Wilhelm Marstrand at the Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi) there. Bloch’s parents wanted their son to enter a respectable profession – an officer in the Navy. This, however, was not what Carl wanted. His only interest was drawing and painting, and he was consumed by the idea of becoming an artist. He went to Italy to study art, passing through the Netherlands, where he became acquainted with the work of Rembrandt, which became a major influence on him.[1] Carl Bloch met his wife, Alma Trepka, in Rome, where he married her on May 31, 1868. They were happily married until her early death in 1886.

His early work featured rural scenes from everyday life. From 1859 to 1866, Bloch lived in Italy, and this period was important for the development of his historical style.

His first great success was the exhibition of his “Prometheus Unbound” in Copenhagen in 1865. After the death of Marstrand, he finished the decoration of the ceremonial hall at the University of Copenhagen. The sorrow over losing his wife weighed heavily on Bloch, and being left alone with their eight children after her death was very difficult for him.

In a New Year’s letter from 1866 to Bloch, H. C. Andersen wrote the following: “What God has arched on solid rock will not be swept away!” Another letter from Andersen declared “Through your art you add a new step to your Jacob-ladder into immortality.”

Temptation of Christ by Carl Bloch

Temptation of Christ by Carl Bloch

In a final ode, from a famous author to a famous artist, H.C. Andersen said “Write on the canvas; write your seal on immortality. Then you will become noble here on earth.”

He was then commissioned to produce 23 paintings for the Chapel at Frederiksborg Palace. These were all scenes from the life of Christ which have become very popular as illustrations. The originals, painted between 1865 and 1879, are still at Frederiksborg Palace. The altarpieces can be found at Holbaek, Odense, Ugerloese and Copenhagen in Denmark, as well as Loederup, Hoerup, and Landskrona in Sweden.

Through the assistance of Danish-born artist Soren Edsberg, the acquisition of “Christ healing at the pool of Bethesda,” [formerly owned by Indre Mission, Copenhagen, Denmark], was recently made possible for The Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.[1]

Carl Bloch died of cancer on February 22, 1890. His death came as “an abrupt blow for Nordic art” according to an article by Sophus Michaelis. Michaelis stated that “Denmark has lost the artist that indisputably was the greatest among the living.” Kyhn stated in his eulogy at Carl Bloch’s funeral that “Bloch stays and lives.”

A prominent Danish art critic, Karl Madsen, stated that Carl Bloch reached higher toward the great heaven of art than all other Danish art up to that date. Madsen also said “If there is an Elysium, where the giant, rich, warm and noble artist souls meet, there Carl Bloch will sit among the noblest of them all!” (From Carl Bloch Site).

Bloch’s influence

healingsickFor over 40 years The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made heavy use of Carl Bloch’s paintings, mostly from the Frederiksborg Palace collection, in its church buildings and printed media. The LDS church has produced films depicting scriptural accounts of Christ’s mortal ministry, using Bloch’s paintings as models for the colour, light and overall set design as well as the movement of the actors in many of the films’ scenes. The most notable example of this is the movie The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd.

 

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Equality Act explained: Left-Wing Totalitarianism Wrecking ball vs Religious Freedom

Equality Act explained:

Left-Wing Totalitarianism Wrecking ball vs Religious Freedom

This week we honor the many men and women who have given life and limb to preserve our liberty and way of life. Meanwhile, here at home, we have those who seek to destroy our liberty from within.

 

Why Young Adults need to know about Judeo-Christian Heritage and Religious Freedom

equality act destroys religious freedomThe Democrats have passed a law in the House, wrongly called the “Equality” Act. In truth it is a wrecking ball for religious liberty.  Their definition of equality is to tolerate everything except biblical values.

                “If we continue to teach about tolerance and intolerance instead of good and evil, we will end up with tolerance of evil.”~Dennis Prager

In a nutshell, this is what the law will mean.

The Equality Act would expand the definition of the word sex in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” as legally protected classes. The result will unleash radical liberals to attack those whose faith teaches that marriage is only between one man and one woman and that sexual identity of male and female is a fixed, biological fact.

By government edict, business owners, employees, and customers alike will be subject to a radical LGBT agenda:

  • Female business owners, customers, and employees would then be forced to share their privacy in restrooms and dressing rooms with men who claim to be women.
  • Health care providers and professionals would be forced to perform gender transition procedures (sex changes) and provide medical services (hormone therapy) that would violate their moral and religious convictions.
  • Amusement parks, recreation centers, skating rinks, and daycare centers, etc. will be forced to employ people whose values on sexuality deviates from those of the employer.
  • Adoption and foster care agencies will be forced to place children into same sex households and into homes of individuals suffering from gender confusion.
  • College and professional sports stadiums would be required to open its restrooms to either sex.

The Democratic Party has clearly laid out their intent to force Christians into subjugation to radical sexual deviancy. The Party’s platform states, “We support a progressive vision of religious freedom that respects pluralism and rejects the misuse of religion to discriminate.”

The “progressive vision” of religious liberty for Democrats was recently made visible by Chai Feldblum, the former commissioner of Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Feldblum clearly staked out the “progressive vision” of the Democratic Party when she said:

“I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win… Sexual liberty should win in most cases. There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win because that’s the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner.” (Emphasis added.)

It’s Not the Equality Act, It’s The Pedophile Protection Act

Don’t be fooled by the name of the proposed legislation.

 

Why Young Adults need to know about Judeo-Christian Heritage and Freedom of Religion

 

Pro-Life News: 7 reasons movie converts pro-choice students to pro-life; Baby Ultrasound in New York Times Square

Pro-Life News:

7 reasons movie converts pro-choice students to pro-life

They’re All Pro-Choice…Until They Hear This!

52,272 views

Christian evangelist Ray Comfort, whose Living Waters ministry projects include “God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists,” “Nothing Created Everything” and “Einstein, God and the Bible,” is releasing a new film in which pro-choice students find they’re not as pro-choice as they thought.

In fact, many become pro-life by the time he’s done explaining to them “7 Reasons,” as his new film is titled.

It’s available now for download for a charge and is scheduled to be released on the Living Waters YouTube Channel on Mother’s Day weekend.

Comfort asks students whether they are pro-choice, and most say yes.

But within a few minutes, they’re reversing course.

He asks one student: “Did you change your mind?”

“Actually, you know what? Yeah, I have,” the student says.

See a trailer:

Comfort and the others who created “7 Reasons” believe the movie will change viewers’ stance on abortion.

The 42-minute documentary shows that transformation taking place in man-in-the-street interviews.

“The movie really is a pro-choice politician’s nightmare,” Comfort told WND. “Like millions of others, I was horrified to hear liberals abandon their usual arguments about it not being a baby in the womb, etc., and freely admit that they just want to kill human beings out of convenience. I wanted to produce a film that would change people’s minds about this horrific practice, and ‘7 Reasons’ does just that.”

Abortion has been in the news in recent months.

The Trump administration this week expanded the Mexico City Policy that forbids U.S. tax dollars from being used by overseas abortion providers. Meanwhile, New York state in January adopted a law that effectively allows abortion until birth. A similar Virginia bill failed, but Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam drew attention with his de facto approval of infanticide in a radio interview.

Comfort said that as he speaks with young people about abortion, he is “amazed at both the hardness of heart of some, but of the ignorance of others and tenderness of others.”

“They have no idea what happens with an abortion,” he said. “I ask questions like, ‘If it was your job to kill a baby, what do you think would be the most efficient way to do the job?’”

The students, all confidently pro-abortion at the beginning, change their minds by the end.

“When minds and hearts change, laws change,” the production explains.

“So you’ve changed your mind about abortion?” Comfort asks one student.

“Of course,” the student says.

And then comes the warning for abortion-industry funded politicians.

But will you now vote pro-life?

“Yes.”

It’s not the first time Comfort has approached the subject.

In his film “180” just a few years ago, he shows how people can change their minds about abortion in seconds when faced with one question.

James Dobson, founder of FamilyTalk, described it as “powerful stuff.”

“I was deeply moved,” he said.

Comfort is the founder of Living Waters and the bestselling author of more than 80 books, including “God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life,” “How to Know God Exists” and “The Evidence Bible.” He co-hosts the award-winning television program “Way of the Master,” airing in almost 200 countries, and is the executive producer of “180,” “Evolution vs. God,” “Audacity” and other films.

See a few extra clips from “7 Reasons”:

7 Reasons Pro-Life Movie | Extra Footage

 

Baby Ultrasound in New York Times Square

‘Fearfully, wonderfully made’ proven in Times Square

Over the weekend, thousands of tourists and native New Yorkers saw a live 4-D ultrasound of a third-trimester baby on huge video screens in Times Square, despite efforts to censor the images.

 

‘Fearfully, wonderfully made’ proven in Times Square

 

 

 

Judeo-Christian worldview: Christian Word on Parents, Marriage, and the Nuclear Family

Judeo-Christian worldview:

Christian Word on Parents, Marriage, and the Nuclear Family

 

Defining Moment

keyoldToday there are many who are changing the definition of the traditional family. Here Christian leaders clearly define the real family, and warn of the consequences of abandoning Biblical values and moral absolutes.

The Family


A Proclamation to the World

The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

marriageWe, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal family-ties-grave-perryFather and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

family3-silhouetteThe family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Revisionist Lies about History, Palestine and Israel: Jesus was NOT a Palestinian

Revisionist history

Lies about History, Palestine and Israel:

Jesus was NOT a Palestinian

Dr. Michael Brown

Attempts to revise history do not change reality.. Let’s set the record straight. Jesus was a Galilean Jew, not a Palestinian Muslim.

Jesus was a Galilean Jew, not a Palestinian Muslim.

 

He celebrated Passover, not Ramadan, and he was called “Rabbi” not “Imam.” His followers were named Yaakov and Yochanan and Yehudah, not Muhammad and Abdullah and Khalid. And he himself had one of the most common Jewish names of the day: Yeshua.

Israel called Palestine by the Romans to Mock the Jewish People

As for the name “Palestine,” it was not used in any widespread way to describe the land of Israel until 135 AD – in other words, more than 100 years after Yeshua’s death and resurrection. And it was renamed Palestine by the Romans to mock the Jewish people, thereby calling their ancient (and sacred) homeland the land of the Philistines.

But it is not only anachronistic to label Jesus a Palestinian. It is also misleading.

That’s because the word “Palestinian” today speaks of non-Israelites, of non-Jews. It speaks of a people who claim that the land of Israel belongs to them, not to the Jewish people. And it speaks primarily of Muslims.

That’s what comes to mind when someone says, “Jesus was a Palestinian.” And that’s why Palestinian activists have tried to recast Jesus in their own image.

Leading up to Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem last year, Fatah officials called Jesus “the first Palestinian.”

Five years earlier, in 2013, the PLO declared, “Every Christmas, Palestine celebrates the birth of one of its own, Jesus Christ.”

Back in 2005, the PA stated that “We must not forget that Messiah [Jesus] is a Palestinian, the son of Mary the Palestinian.”

And Fatah even declared Jesus to be “the first Palestinian martyr (shahid)” in 2015.

Anything but declaring that Jesus, who is revered in Islam as a prophet (but not as the crucified Son of God), was a first-century Jewish rabbi.

Instead, Jesus is recast as a Palestinian freedom fighter, born of a Palestinian mother, at war with the evil Jews, and (through Islamic eyes) a prophet of Islam. God forbid that he is recognized as Rabbi Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel.

But it’s one thing when Palestinian activists and Muslim propagandists recreate Jesus in their own image, calling him a Palestinian.

It’s another thing when a member of the House of Representatives does this same thing. Yet it was none other than Rep. Ilhan Omar who retweeted a tweet from Omar Suleiman which included the statement that “Jesus was a Palestinian.” In fact, the tweet highlighted the suffering of Palestinian Christians at the hands of evil Israel, further separating Jesus from his Jewish ancestry.

It was for good reason that Rabbi Abraham Cooper took umbrage to Omar’s retweet, noting that “Palestine was a name made up by Romans after they crucified thousands, destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and exiled the People of Israel from their homeland.”

But Omar is not the only one to perpetuate this fraud.

In an op-ed in the New York Times, published one day before the misleading tweet, Eric V. Copage claimed that “Jesus, born in Bethlehem, was most likely a Palestinian man with dark skin.”

Jesus the Palestinian!

And note carefully that, in an op-ed of roughly 700 words, the word “Jew” does not occur a single time. The same with the word “Israel.” Not one single mention.

Ironically, Copage was explaining why he, as a black Christian, was mystified as a child at the “fair-skinned, blue-eyed depiction of Jesus.”

And for good reason. Jesus was not a European Caucasian.

But he was also not an African Black. Or a Palestinian.

He was a first-century, Middle Eastern Jew. And he would have been recognized for his Jewish religious garb, including the fringes at the corners of his garments (see Numbers 15:37-41; and compare Matthew 9:20; 14:36 in the RSV; NRSV; ESV; NASB; NLT; TLV).

That doesn’t mean that Jesus is indifferent to the challenges faced by the Palestinians. Or that he doesn’t identify with Palestinian Christians. Or that American Christians who support Israel should be anti-Palestinian.

Not at all.

True friends of Israel – especially true Christian friends of Israel – should want justice and fairness for both the Israelis and the Palestinians. As for Jesus, he is both the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world, giving his life for Jew and Gentile alike.

But let’s call out this hijacking of Jesus’ identity by Palestinian activists, Muslim leaders, a US congresswoman, and the New York Times.

Let’s stop the lie in its tracks.

Judeo-Christian Worldview: Nuclear Family Values and History

Judeo-Christian Worldview:

Nuclear Family Values and History

 

Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics!

                LIFE IS FRAGILE. HANDLE WITH PRAYER. Also fragile is the nuclear or traditional family. More than thirty years ago, Christian leaders warned us: Satan has declared war on the family. As I have endeavored to defend the traditional family over the years, I have found this to be true, first hand.

Popular among the many chants of today’s chorus of moral equivalence is: “all variations of the family are essentially equivalent, so why does Western society agonize over the collapse of the family? What’s the big deal? After all, we know this from decades of experimentation.”

Decades, hmm? Really?

                “The bottom line is that not all family structures are equal, and not all variations are compatible with basic social and human needs,” William J. Bennett, eminent author and champion of moral values reminds us. This he concludes after a profound study of the history of the nuclear family—not of mere decades or scarcely a generation—but of millennia, about three thousand years. Which study is more credible—the one based on whims of instant gratification, or the one with a foundation of time-tested human experience?

“Why? What is the big deal?”

                In their mad scramble for self-fulfillment, comfort, and convenience, adults overlook the greatest victims of their selfishness: children.

                Which family structure best meets the needs of children? “We desperately need to reestablish marriage as an exclusive arrangement between a man and a woman,” Bennett continues. “Marriage, monogamous and freely chosen, must be the institution through which children are conceived and born, loved and disciplined, nurtured and raised. And marital permanence must once again become the ideal to which individuals commit themselves and which they strive to maintain.”

Truths restored from ancient history remain unchanged.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.[1]

           Someone wisely said we study history to “know who we are.” As Paul told the Romans, “we are children of God.” Knowing that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He sent His Son to rescue us from the misery of sin, we can safely conclude that God approves of the family unit, and that “happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”[2]

The nuclear family is not the result of mere happenstance. “Shaped as we are by long human experience, we must be all the more careful not to lose what has required so much time and so much effort to accomplish. The modern nuclear family is a rare construct; we tamper with its essentials at our peril. As the long record of human experimentation attests, civilizations, even great civilizations, are more fragile and perishable than we think.” (Bennett, The Broken Hearth, 67, 70)

To forever families,

Christine Davidson

Teach your family the Key to Survival in a Difficult World

 

Judeo-Christian Worldview: Nuclear Family Values Theme Quotes

Judeo-Christian Worldview:

Nuclear Family Values Theme Quotes

It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday’s children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. ~The Family Proclamation

We need to boldly defend the Lord’s revealed doctrines describing marriage, families, the divine roles of men and women, and the importance of homes as sacred places—even when the world is shouting in our ears that these principles are outdated, limiting, or no longer relevant. ~Bonnie L. Oscarson

“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, and training them up in God’s fear, and minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

We are created in God’s image and need to mirror Him. My role as a wife must be of more importance than my role as a mother because we are training disciples, not making friends with our children. The payoff will be great in the years ahead because then we will enjoy friendships with our children in a new and special way. ~Esther Saunders
No success can compensate for failure in the home. ~David O. McKay

A man should never neglect his family for business. ~Walt Disney

‘The most important of the Lord’s work you will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home.’ ~Harold B. Lee

A father reads to his three young children from the Holy Bible.

Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

THE PRESIDENT: We know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of American life. And above all else, we know this: In America, we don’t worship government. We worship God.

How to help strengthen the faith of the rising generation

 

“First because thou lovest God; and, secondly, because that thou lovest me.” Margaret Winthrop stating reasons she loved her husband John.

Are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? ~Ronald Reagan

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. ~Gordon B. Hinckley, Family Proclamation to the World

 

Secret to Peace for your family

See how you can draw your family closer to God in these troubled times

The family is the most important organization in time or in eternity. The Lord instituted the family to endure eternally. ~Joseph Fielding Smith

 

Nuclear Family: As the forces of evil attack the individual by tearing away at his family roots, it becomes critical for …parents to maintain and strengthen the family. There are certain old truths which will be truths as long as the world endures, and which no amount of progress can change. 1) One of these is that the family (the organization consisting of father, mother, and children) is the foundation of all things in the Church; 2) another, that sins against pure and healthy family life are those which, of all others, are sure in the end to be visited most heavily upon the nations in which they take place. ~Joseph Fielding Smith

The thought of a nation without the family unit as its fundamental foundation, where all the citizens are comparatively strangers to each other and where natural affection is not found; where no family ties bind the groups together, is one of horror. Such a condition could lead to but one end—anarchy and dissolution. ~Joseph Fielding Smith

The gospel of Jesus Christ is family centered; it must be lived in the family. It is here we receive our greatest and most important training as we seek to create for ourselves eternal family units patterned after the family of God our Father. ~Joseph Fielding Smith

The family is both the fundamental unit of society as well as the root of culture. It … is a perpetual source of encouragement, advocacy, assurance, and emotional refueling that empowers a child to venture with confidence into the greater world and to become all that he can be. MARIANNE E. NEIFERT, Dr. Mom’s Parenting Guide

Plague of Permissiveness

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Alexander Pope

 

Music Videos: Majestic Mountain Pictures

Music Videos:

Majestic Mountain Pictures and “Music to My Eyes”

The best, most transcendent classic music was and is being composed under the influence of Christianity, specifically the Holy Spirit. Be sure to add good music to your playlist to include in your daily routine. It evokes the Spirit, inspires creativity, and enriches your overall cultural experience. Share this with your friends!

 

 

 

More of Jordan Uplifting New Age Music—Add to your playlist at Spotify!

 

More about Jordan New Age Music

 

Rebuilding Notre Dame: Notre Dame Cathedral History, Christian Worldview, and Western Civilization

Rebuilding Notre Dame:

Notre Dame Cathedral History, Christian Worldview, and Western Civilization

“We were the steward of this iconic representation of Western civilization, Catholicism, Christendom.  And of all the years, 2019, at the height of our sophistication, at the height of our technological ability, we are found wanting.

“It’s almost as if places that are less affluent without the technology of Western Europe or the United States, they’re more like what we used to be. They still believe in transcendence,” meaning they believe there’s a lot that is much larger than ourselves out there. ~Rush Limbaugh, quoting Victor Davis Hanson

Rush Limbaugh

Victor Davis Hanson, esteemed historian, made this observation on the tragic burning of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France on Monday, April 15.

christ-statue-brazil

Christ statue in Brazil

HANSON: After 800 years we were the steward of this iconic representation of western civilization, Catholicism, Christendom. And of all years, 2019 at the height of our sophistication and technology, we were found wanting. We didn’t protect this icon. And we don’t build them anymore. There’s great churches and cathedrals that go up all over the world, but they’re in Poland, they’re in Cairo, they’re in the Ivory Coast, they’re in Brazil, they’re in India.

It’s almost as if the places that are less affluent without the technology of Western Europe and the United States are like we used to be. They still believe in transcendence, they still believe in something other than this world. And so it’s gonna be very hard in our society to ever build a cathedral again, much less to repair them, because we don’t believe in what they represented.

RUSH: This parallels a note that I got from a guy yesterday said, “Rush, all this talk about rebuilding, they’re never going to be able to rebuild it, not really. Because that cathedral was built with a searing love, a searing love for Jesus Christ and his mother, a searing love of Christianity, a 100-year project of searing, devoted love.”

He said, “I don’t care what they do to rebuild this, they’re never gonna be able to put the heart back in it that built it. They’re never gonna be able to restore the heart, the beating devotion and searing love that has been destroyed by the fire, if it has been.”

Today’s left does not believe in that kind of transcendence. Today’s left does not believe there’s anything larger than themselves. And anybody who wants to believe or does believe in things larger than themselves that you can’t touch, like God, they’re dangerous.

They’re dangerous because people like that are going to put faith in things the left can’t control and can’t touch.

The left wants faith to be placed in their symbols, largely government and the people that they populate to lead the government. That’s who they want worshiped. And they’re scared to death of people who worship something that can’t be seen, something that is transcendent and explains all of this. Liberals want you to believe that everything that is could be explained by virtue of them and their existence.

Easter is about Jesus Christ: The Atonement of Jesus Christ meaning in Simple Words

Judeo-Christian Worldview

Easter is about Jesus Christ:

The Atonement of Jesus Christ meaning in Simple Words

If the parachute is the atonement, what is the ripcord?

The Atonement of Jesus Christ

By Tad R. Callister

The Savior’s Atonement is not only infinite in scope but also individual in reach.

At this season of the year we particularly rejoice and reflect upon the Savior’s Atonement. It is indeed the most supernal, mind-expanding, passionate doctrine this world or universe has ever known. It is what gives hope and purpose to our lives.

What then is the meaning of the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

In one sense, it is a series of divine events that commenced in the Garden of Gethsemane, continued on the cross, and culminated with the Savior’s Resurrection from the tomb. It was motivated by an incomprehensible love for each of us. It required a being who was sinless; who had infinite power over the elements—even death; who possessed a boundless capacity to suffer the consequences of all our sins and ailments; and who, in fact, descended beneath it all.1 This was the mission of Jesus Christ—this was His Atonement.

What then was its purpose?

It was to make it possible for us to return to God’s presence, become more like Him, and have a fulness of joy. This was done by overcoming four obstacles:

  1. Physical death
  2. Spiritual death caused by Adam and by our sins
  3. Our afflictions and infirmities
  4. Our weaknesses and imperfections

But how can the Savior accomplish this without violating the laws of justice?

Suppose for a moment a man contemplating an exhilarating free fall makes a rash decision and spontaneously jumps from a small plane. After doing so, he quickly realizes the foolishness of his actions. He wants to land safely, but there is an obstacle—the law of gravity. He moves his arms with astounding speed, hoping to fly, but to no avail. He positions his body to float or glide to slow the descent, but the law of gravity is unrelenting and unmerciful. He tries to reason with this basic law of nature: “It was a mistake. I will never do it again.” But his pleas fall on deaf ears. The law of gravity knows no compassion; it makes no exceptions.

Fortuitously, though, the man suddenly feels something on his back. His friend in the plane, sensing the moment of foolishness, had placed a parachute there just before the jump. He finds the rip cord and pulls it. Relieved, he floats safely to the ground. We might ask, “Was the law of gravity violated, or did that parachute work within that law to provide a safe landing?”

When we sin, we are like the foolish man who jumped from the plane. No matter what we do on our own, only a crash-landing awaits us. We are subject to the law of justice, which, like the law of gravity, is exacting and unforgiving. We can be saved only because the Savior, through His Atonement, mercifully provides us with a spiritual parachute of sorts. If we have faith in Jesus Christ and repent (meaning we do our part and pull the rip cord), then the protective powers of the Savior are unleashed on our behalf and we can land spiritually unharmed.

This is possible, however, only because the Savior overcame the four obstacles that can prevent our spiritual progress.

  1. Death. He overcame death through His glorious Resurrection. The Apostle Paul taught, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”2
  2. Sin. The Savior overcame sin and guilt for all those who repent. So deep and expansive is His cleansing power that Isaiah promised, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”3

On occasion, I have met with good Saints who have had trouble forgiving themselves, who have innocently but incorrectly placed limits on the Savior’s redemptive powers. Unwittingly, they have converted an infinite Atonement to a finite one that somehow falls short of their particular sin or weakness. But it is an infinite Atonement because it encompasses and circumscribes every sin and weakness, as well as every abuse or pain caused by others.

Truman G. Madsen made this comforting observation:

“If there are some of you who have been tricked into the conviction that you have gone too far, … that you have had the poison of sin which makes it impossible ever again to be what you could have been—then hear me.

“I bear testimony that you cannot sink farther than the light and sweeping intelligence of Jesus Christ can reach. I bear testimony that as long as there is one spark of the will to repent and to reach, he is there. He did not just descend to your condition; he descended below it, ‘that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth.’ [Doctrine and Covenants 88:6.]”4

One reason it is so essential to understand the Savior’s Atonement and its infinite implications is that with increased understanding comes an increased desire to forgive ourselves and others.

Even though we may believe in Christ’s cleansing powers, the question often arises: “How do I know if I have been forgiven of my sins?” If we feel the Spirit, then that is our witness that we have been forgiven, or that the cleansing process is taking place. President Henry B. Eyring taught, “If you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost … , you may take it as evidence that the Atonement is working in your life.”

Some have asked, “But if I am forgiven, why do I still feel guilt?” Perhaps in God’s mercy the memory of that guilt is a warning, a spiritual “stop sign” of sorts that, at least for a time, cries out when additional temptations confront us: “Don’t go down that road. You know the pain it can bring.” In this sense, it serves as a protection, not a punishment.

Is it possible, then, to remember our sins and still be free of guilt?

Alma remembered his sins, even years after he repented. But when he cried unto Jesus for mercy, he said, “I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.”6

How could he remember his sins but have no pain or guilt? Because when we repent, we are “born of God.”7 We become, as the scriptures say, “new creatures”8 in Christ. With perfect honesty we can now say, “I am not the man or woman who committed those past sins. I am a new and transformed being.”

  1. Afflictions and Infirmities. Alma prophesied that Christ “shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind.” Why? “That his bowels may be filled with mercy, … that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”9

How does He accomplish this? Sometimes He removes the affliction, sometimes He strengthens us to endure, and sometimes He gives us an eternal perspective to better understand their temporary nature. After Joseph Smith had languished in Liberty Jail for about two months, he finally cried out, “O God, where art thou?”10 Instead of providing instant relief, God responded, “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.”11

Joseph now understood that this bitter experience was but a dot on the eternal spectrum. With this enhanced vision, he wrote the Saints from that same prison cell, “Dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God.”12 Because of the Savior’s Atonement, we can have an eternal perspective that gives meaning to our trials and hope for our relief.

  1. Weaknesses and Imperfections. Because of His Atonement, the Savior has enabling powers, sometimes referred to as grace,13 that can help us overcome our weaknesses and imperfections and thus assist us in our pursuit to become more like Him.

George Q. Cannon taught: “No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to … give gifts that will eradicate [our weaknesses]. … If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect.”18

In summary, the Savior’s Atonement gives us life for death, “beauty for ashes,”19 healing for hurt, and perfection for weakness. It is heaven’s antidote to the obstacles and struggles of this world.

In the Savior’s final week of mortality, He said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.20 Because the Savior performed His Atonement, there is no external force or event or person—no sin or death or divorce—that can prevent us from achieving exaltation, provided we keep God’s commandments. With that knowledge, we can press forward with good cheer and absolute assurance that God is with us in this heavenly quest.

I bear my witness that the Savior’s Atonement is not only infinite in scope but also individual in reach—that it can not only return us to God’s presence but also enable us to become like Him—the crowning goal of Christ’s Atonement. Of that I bear my grateful and certain witness in the name of Jesus Christ.