Written almost 20 years ago, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s Christ and the New Covenant sets forward to show how Jesus Christ is the central and commanding figure in the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon is the sacred expression of Christ’s full and final covenant with mankind. It is a new covenant, a new testament from the New World to the entire world. More than any other book it has taught me to love the Lord Jesus Christ and to consider the full wonder and grandeur, the eternally resonating power of the atoning sacrifice that he made for us.
Elder Holland uses the Book of Mormon to talk about the heart of agency, even moral agency, through the eyes atonement of Jesus Christ and address the connection between agency and the Atonement in our lives
Clearly freedom cannot be fully exercised or made efficacious without sufficient instruction in consequences of such choices and a knowledge of the redeeming, forgiving atonement of Christ. The Atonement ransoms all who, in making such choices, err and fall short of the glory of God but repent of those errors and cry for the mercy of the Holy Messiah to come upon them. How great the importance to make these things known to the inhabitants of the earth, indeed.
As the pre-mortal plan allowed for opposition in all things, the fall, and the natural man, it also allowed for and required basic knowledge of the plan of salvation itself.
Crucial to a full and effective exercise of moral agency in such a complex world of good and evil is having basic knowledge of the plan of salvation and the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which are fundamental and essential to it. Such knowledge provides at least two things: a standard– eternal verities, if you will–for determining what is right and what is wrong, and an understanding of the consequences, including the eternal consequences, of our actions when such choices are made.
Our agency was preserved before ever coming to this life. This means that as we have bodies, we have already promised to protect our agency and use it for our futurity.
This agency, which was preserved for humankind in the premortal war in heaven provided “man…should act for himself… The children of men.. have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon… They are free to choose liberty and eternal life… or to choose captivity and death.”
Pick up a special illustrated edition copy of Elder Holland’s book, Christ and the New Covenant for your home library and study of liberty, agency, and Christ’s Atonement.