Much of the work done in this world is meant to save and enrich. First responders enter fiery buildings, administer first aid, and search for and rescue those who are lost. Doctors help us regain and maintain physical health. Psychologists teach us to understand and heal the ways we see and think about the world. Educators make the world more lively and interesting and give us skills to join the world of work.
But, all these are nothing!
There is only one who really saves and enriches—Jesus Christ. Beside him there is “no saviour” (Isa. 43:11). His is the only “name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “There shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:17). Under His head we “are made free” (Mosiah 5:8). There is simply “none other name given whereby man can be saved” (D&C 18:23).
Carl Block, “Christ in Gethsemane”
Without Christ, without the wonderful plan of happiness—which He makes operative—without his great and atoning sacrifice, nothing—nothing—else would be possible. All the many ways we find help in this world are made possible only through Christ. Technology, psychology, education, medicine, art, literature, music, service—all these and many others—could not enrich and bless us if it were not for Christ. He makes these blessings efficacious and purposeful in our lives. His is the only name! His is the operative name.
In the temple last week I was struck again by the depiction of the creation of the world. I thought of things I enjoy creating—pieces of writing, blankets for my grandchildren, good food (seldom), curriculum for people I love—and compared them to the creation of the world. They don’t come close. God and Christ created the world with complete dedication to us. They created it to fulfill our natural needs and to delight us. They spent much time doing so. They made it better than we needed it to be—simply because they love us. My creations are not that beautiful—nor that selfless. But they remind me of Him—who created a plan for my salvation, my happiness, and my redemption. (See Alma 42:5, 8, 11.)
Given all that He has made possible for me, how can I not give Him all I do, all I think, all I say, all I am, all I become through Him? “Carole M. Stephens, former First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, said: ‘Elder Robert D. Hales taught, “When we make and keep covenants, we are coming out of the world and into the kingdom of God.’
“We are changed. We look different, and we act different. The things we listen to and read and say are different, and what we wear is different because we become daughters [and sons] of God bound to Him by covenant” (Visiting Teaching Message, “Living a Consecrated Life,” Ensign, August 2017).
Making and keeping covenants allows Christ to create us anew. We are not then only made in His image but in His character. We are not defined by money, fitness, housing, achievements, popularity, clothing, intelligence, competition, or status but by the love we know Christ has for us. We feel secure in that love, and we want to do anything—anything—that He asks of us. Our grateful hearts eagerly give up activities, clothing, ideas, media, fear, and negativity that are not compatible with being near Him and with Him. Our hearts naturally turn to others as He makes us a fit instrument in His hands to heal, lift, save, and preserve others with whatever gifts He has given us. Those gifts will become instruments of His grace. And once again, His name will save!
How I love Him! How He loves me! I “love him, because he first loved” me (1 John 4:19).