Cover image via Gospel Media Library.

As humans, we think first and foremost of ourselves. We tune in to our aches and pains. We focus on our wants and needs. We react to any slights with defensiveness. We compare ourselves and our good fortune with that of others—resenting any excess of goodness that goes to anyone besides ourselves. We are, as humans, very self-serving and self-focused.

Jesus is different from us. Nephi makes this remarkable and often-underappreciated observation about Jesus:

He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world;
for he loveth the world,
even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him.
Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me?
Behold, I say unto you, Nay;
but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth,
buy milk and honey, without money and without price.
(2 Nephi 26:24-5, emphasis added)

What an amazing insight! It seems that Jesus gave up all His hobbies, all His travel, all His fine dining so that He could focus on one thing: us.

Further, He gave up His own comfort, His own well-being, His own life that He might redeem us. He paid the infinite and eternal price to rescue our souls.

What a sacrifice! What a commitment! What graciousness!

All of God’s faculties, all of his inclinations are poised and bent on blessing at the slightest provocation. Oh, how God loves to be merciful and bless his children! Perhaps that is his greatest joy. It is the inherent quality that drives him with tireless vigilance to save his children. p. 313, Tad R. Callister (2000). Infinite Atonement. Deseret Book

“How God loves to be merciful and bless His children!” Consider George Q. Cannon’s beautiful observation:

There is not one of us but what God’s love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. There is not one of us that He has not desired to save, and that He has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that He has not given His angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are the children of God, and that He has actually given His angels—invisible beings of power and might—charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping. (George Q. Cannon, “Our Pre-existence and Present Probation,” Contributor, Oct. 1890, 476)

So, the greatest being in heaven and earth set aside all His hopes and dreams to do the will of His Father. “Here am I, send me.” Without a Redeemer, there was no hope for us. We who are so divided and half-hearted are rescued by the One who gave up everything to fulfill Father’s growth-filled and redemptive plan.

As Lehi said to his beloved Jacob, God says to each of us, “I know that thou are redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer” (2 Nephi 2:3).

A few years ago, I undertook to extract the doctrine of redemption from the Book of Mormon, placing the greatest quotes into a Word file along with my own brief commentary. I ended up with 39,769 words of praise and counsel covering 88 pages. There are sermons. There are case studies. And there is abundant rejoicing!

The Book of Mormon is an extraordinary testament of Christ not simply because it speaks of Him so often, but because it gives us insight into His heart, His purposes, and His relentless redemptiveness.

What does all this mean for you? It means that the most powerful and gracious Being in the universe is totally committed to lift you out of the mortal mire and into heavenly glory. He loves you and He has laid down His life for you! Because of His great commitment to you, you can run to Him and feast on His love and embrace His redemption without money and without price. He has already paid to win your soul! As you trust His remarkable promise, you will live in peace and gratitude.

May you rejoice to know of the resolute redemptiveness of our beloved Brother.

Thanks to Barbara Keil for her insightful addition to this article.