Thursday, September 26, 2013

Elder Christofferson: Ultimate Redemption vs. Social Justice

"As disciples of Jesus Christ, we ought to do all we can to redeem others from suffering and burdens.  Even so, our greatest redemptive service will be to lead them to Christ.  Without His Redemption from death and from sin, we have only a gospel of social justice.  That may provide some help and reconciliation in the present, but it has no power to draw down from heaven perfect justice and infinite mercy.  Ultimate redemption is in Jesus Christ and in Him alone." - Elder D. Todd Christofferson

This ending paragraph from Elder Christofferson's talk "Redemption" was one of my very favorite lines from the last General Conference, and really caused me to think.

It's stunning really, but it makes sense, that even our very best efforts to help and serve others (as a church or individually) might ease suffering momentarily, but will never be able to make everything "just" or perfectly fair.  This is something that only Christ's redeeming power can do.

There are churches formed now on the basis of not believing in God.  People want to form a "community" in which good deeds can be done in the absence of faith in something higher than self.  While I understand why this would appeal to those who want to do good, but not believe in God.  We have right here, words of a prophet, explaining to us why this is not enough for us.  "Without His Redemption from death and sin...we have only a gospel of social justice...[which] has no power to draw down from heaven perfect justice and infinite mercy. 

If our goal is perfect justice...we know that the only possible way to achieve that is it by looking to the Savior.

Elder Christofferson says:

"The greatest service we can provide to others in this life, beginning with those of our own family, is to bring them to Christ through faith and repentance so they may experience His Redemption--peace and joy now and immortality and eternal life in the world to come."

To help the children experience the complexities of trying to make things equal and just, we did a little "experiment."  Using a wooden plank I created a make-shift balance and asked them to make things equal using Scarlett's belongings on one side and Guy's on the other.

I envisioned us using each other's favorite toys, but because it was time to go to school, they tried using their backpacks, and when they couldn't get those to balance out, they tried their own bodies.

I think they definitely found the task to be challenging.  But what I want them to remember most is that, "Ultimate redemption is in Jesus Christ and in Him alone."

Find more General Conference Review Lessons here:
I'm not afraid to follow the Savior
 - Elder Oaks
Catch the Wave - Elder Nelson
Fan the Flame of Your Faith - Elder Holland
Stay in Condition - President Packer
A Christ-centered Home - Elder Scott
The Importance of a Body - Elder Bednar
Miracles in Missionary Work - Elder Andersen
Personal Peace - Elder Cook
Drawing Closer to Him - President Eyring

1 comment:

  1. I loved this talk too. Thanks for your insights and the great object lesson to use with kids!