Central to the holistic and eternal message of liberty is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is through His Atonement that we have the gifts of liberty and freedom. In his new book, Power to Become, Elder David A. Bednar talks about the innate need within us to learn about the gospel of Christ and of our Savior.
As we increase in learning about the Savior and His gospel, as we strive with ever greater consistency to act in His doctrine, ordinances, and covenants, then we are blessed with power through His Atonement to increasingly become like Him.
Through learning about Jesus Christ, our desire to learn more grows, and in this growth of knowledge and desire we are endowed with power to become as He is — and this power is directly related to our agency and liberty. It is through our agency that we choose, every day, to become more or less like Christ. As Christ is the archetype of our humanity and identity as children of God, we actualize the full potentiality of our individuality through realizing the power of His Atonement in our lives.
Righteous learning and acting can lead to “becoming” only by and through and because of the Savior’s Atonement. The word become denotes growing, developing, changing, transforming, and converting. as we “come unto Christ” and seek perfection in and through Him (see Moroni 10:32-33), we incrementally and increasingly obtain His mind (see Philippians 2:5) and character. We put off the natural man and are fundamentally changed, transformed, and “converted unto the Lord” (Alma 23:6). The gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ fundamentally are about change — about helping us as sons and daughters of God to progress in becoming more like Him. Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness establishes the framework for eternal progression, and the Savior’s gospel provides the doctrines, covenants, and ordinances necessary to become what children of God are intended to become.
Through becoming like Christ we truly realize the true power and potentiality of our liberty and freedom as children of God. Perfection, as a state of being where our desires are full with the will to follow, obey, and emulate the Lord at all times, is a command that brings the greatest amount of joy, prosperity, and freedom. We may say that God is the most free of all entities, and for us to be truly free we must seek to be as He is.
If we are to become what Heavenly Father yearns for us to become, then what is the ultimate objective of our becoming?
In the holy scriptures the Lord provides the answer to this eternally important question.
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
“Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as i, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect” (3 Nephi 12:48).
“Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27).
Latter-day prophets and apostles frequently have taught about our responsibility to press forward on the pathway of perfection. Please note the common themes in the messages of these inspired leaders.
Consider adding Power to Become to your liberty library, and also check out Elder Bednar’s two preceding books in this series Increase in Learning and Act in Doctrine — both of which are equally as excellent.