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Son of God
Anointed One
Teacher and Exemplar
Suffering Savior
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The Second Coming
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Suffering Savior

Christ’s suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross reveals God’s love for us—a love that reaches out to us before we reach out for it (1 Jn. 4:8-10). Knowing that Christ suffered and died for every person teaches us how great is the worth of souls in God’s sight (D&C 18:10-11). To those who feel burdened by guilt, the message that Christ has suffered for sins is meant to bring joy and peace of conscience (Mosiah 4:1-3). Someone who relies wholly on the merits of him who is mighty to save (2 Ne. 31:19) does not live in fear of God’s judgment or with a debilitating sense of having failed to meet God’s standards.

The Book of Mormon teaches that in addition to our sins, Christ also took on our pains, sicknesses, and infirmities so that he would know how to succor us (Alma 7:11-12). Whatever we suffer, Christ is with us: our suffering is his suffering. Gethsemane and Calvary are the sign that Christ has descended below all things. There is no abyss so deep, no place so dark or lonely, that we cannot find him there (D&C 88:6; Rom. 8:38-39).

As our exemplar, the suffering Christ challenges us to follow him in the way of self-sacrifice. We too have crosses to take up on behalf of others (Matt. 16:24-25; Mark 10:21). Among the covenants we make in the temple is a commitment to follow Christ's example by sacrificing all that we possess, even our own lives if necessary, for the sake of God's work.

 Nearer, My God, to Thee  (Hymns 100)
 Where Can I Turn for Peace?  (Hymns 129)

B. H. Roberts: This sacrifice of the Christ is the manifestation of that love of God that binds in sympathetic relations all the intelligences of the universe together; by which they suffer not only with each other and because of each other, but at need for each other.
Defense of the Faith and the Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1907), 2:515

Obert C. Tanner: The ideal of vicarious sacrifice, that is, self-sacrifice motivated by love for others, has an influence over man's spirit that turns out, in the long run, to be more far-reaching and influential and powerful than armies and navies and empires. This is the explanation of Calvary as taught by the Church, namely, that Christ our elder brother loved us enough to die for us. . . .

Besides this profound influence of sacrifice upon the lives of those for whom the sacrifice was made, there is another fact about the crucifixion of Christ, namely, the case it makes for a faith that right makes right, that there is a guiding mind in the universe, a destiny that eventually overcomes man's evil, and redeems even tragedy itself. . . . [F]rom that tragic cross we understand better the right from wrong, that good will should prevail over ill will, that wisdom ought not to lose out in its struggle with ignorance and bigotry, that we now have a world to redeem . . .

Christ's Ideals for Living (Salt Lake City: Deseret Sunday School Union Board, 1955), 425, 427

Neal A. Maxwell: How could we expect to be joyous and to receive all that "the Father hath" if we do not strive to become like [Christ]? And, in fact, can we, on our scale, be like Him without sharing in the "fellowship of his sufferings"? He shares with us His work; does that not suggest the need for our sharing, too, some of the suffering as well as the genuine cheer that He has known?
Even As I Am (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1982), 108

Jeffrey R. Holland: Christ walked the path every mortal is called to walk so that he would know how to succor and strengthen us in our most difficult times. He knows the deepest and most personal burdens we carry. He knows the most public and poignant pains we bear. He descended below all such grief in order that he might lift us above it. There is no anguish or sorrow or sadness in life that he has not suffered in our behalf and borne away upon his own valiant and compassionate shoulders.
Christ and the New Covenant (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997), 223-24

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