The gospel has a universal message. Breathtakingly universal.
Here is the opener from a First Presidency proclamation that Elder Benson read out in conference:
To all the Kings of the World;
To the President of the United States of America;
To the Governors of the several States;
And to the Rulers and People of all Nations:
The message goes on to say that the church and the priesthood are for all of them.
But this universal message is also very particular. In the same talk, President Benson refers to the church as Jesus Christ’s church. The priesthood is Jesus’ Christ’s priesthood. Our universal message of salvation is salvation through Jesus Christ.
He is not a placeholder in a salvation blueprint. He is not an abstraction that balances the books. He was a man. He lived. He had interests. There is a lot of meaning to be got from his saying, “suffer the little children to come unto me.” But the core meaning is probably just that he liked kids.
His atonement was “selfless,” but not literally selfless. Literally selflessness would be monstrous. He had a self. He had thymos.
So should we.
Other Posts from the Friday Afternoon session of the October 1975 General Conference.