I have heard many wonderful talks in my life. Almost all of the best ones have been in just the last few years, when life has been very difficult, but also very exciting. It has been exciting because of the things the Lord has been teaching me and helping me to understand. I am so grateful to Him.
The talk I have loved the most is one I attended personally a couple of years ago. It is called Christ: The Prototype of the Saved Man. It is by far the most beautiful exposition on the Savior I have ever heard. It is long, about 3 hours to listen to, but so worth taking the time.
I am going to put a few excerpts, but these are just a tiny glimpse of all that is in this talk. I hope you will want to take the time to listen to the whole thing, or at least read it. At the end I will give links to the audio and written versions.
When I heard this talk the Holy Ghost bore witness to me that what was being spoken was truth. That the message was from the Lord through someone He asked to give it.
Here are the excerpts with page numbers, so you can find them in the transcript:
I want you to keep three truths about Him in your mind as we begin today. Those truths are:
-He is quick to forgive sin,
-He allows all to come unto Him,
-and He is no respecter of persons.
In most cases it is our disrespect for ourselves that impedes coming to Him. We tend to think we aren’t good enough. However, because He is quick to forgive sins, it really doesn’t matter if you are not good enough. One of the first orders of business when you come into His presence is that He forgives you. He cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, but He has the capacity and the ability to forgive sin. Therefore although your sins may be as scarlet, He can, He will and He does, make you white as snow, no longer accountable for your limitations. Therefore you needn’t fear, but you can approach boldly, our Lord. (p.2)
If you will receive it, faith in Him comes by hearing the word of God. Not by a pretender, not by someone guessing, not by someone offering up their theory of how the scriptures ought to be understood. Faith does not come by hearkening to someone citing you a bibliography. Faith comes only by hearing the word of God delivered as He would have it delivered, by whomever it is that He may choose to deliver it.
If you receive God’s word sent by someone He sends, then you might have faith, and that too in the Son of God. Then you also might receive Him. But if you will not, if you will harden your hearts, if you will blind your minds, if you will not receive what He offers from His mouth in your day, then you do not have faith in Him. You will fall short of that faith required to become His son and His daughter.
It is that way, it has always been that way, it will always be that way. There is no other test. (p.49-50)
I only offer you the Lord. I ask you to give heed to Him. I will tell you no man can be trusted for all men are weak. Even Peter, the night of the Lord’s trial, was a broken reed. If you put your weight on that, it would pierce your hand. That is what men are, but not who our Lord is, for His course is straight. He does not even cast a shadow to the right or left, for His course is true.
He was “despised and rejected of men,” and that will always be true of both Him and His word! That will be true of whoever follows Him! They, like their Lord, will be despised and rejected of men.
He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” It was necessary for Him to be so, that He might know how to understand us. He grieved because He knew what He offered mankind, and none were (or are) willing to receive it. It was necessary for Him to experience sorrow and be acquainted with grief.
“We hid as it were our faces from Him,” that is, we turned from Him. We will not give heed to what He offers. We prefer vanity to truth, pride to humility and we refuse to repent and return to Him.
“He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” The only person who has ever lived who deserved respect, and we “esteem him not.” Still today we do not value what He offers to us. We prefer worldly success and proof that “Zion prospers” to satisfy our pride. We think only the respectable and prosperous can be true. Therefore we have no regard for what He offers.
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” See He was, “smitten of God,” because He was cast out of the synagogue. They were looking to stone Him. Why would they have expected God would honor a man who had been cast out of their synagogue? How could they know when He departed salvation likewise departed from them?
“Smitten of God and afflicted, But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Do not think you can follow that Master and be spared His path. He will let you understand what it means to follow Him. That understanding will come through experiences to help you relate to, and understand our Lord. You will endure affliction to know Him. If you are comfortable, He will make you uncomfortable. Then come to comfort you. If you are certain, He will make you uncertain. If you think you have it all figured out, He will offer up a contradiction, and leave you to struggle. Then when you can bear the contradiction no more, in the agony and anguish of your uncertainty He will delay the answer a little further still. He will delay until your heart is finally soft enough to come to Him in meekness. Then He will speak to you the words you need to hear. Sometimes, only just in time.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” All those variances we have taken off of the correct path, He paid the price to forgive. (p.57-58)
This is the Son of God about whom the scriptures speak. This is the Lord who is asking you to come to Him. He is not aloof and He is not distant. . . . He will speak to you, every one of you. What He has to say to you is far more important than anything I can say. But I can bear testimony of Him, and I can assure you He will not leave your petitions unanswered. I can also assure you today is once again a day of salvation, and He has set His hand again.
No matter how unlikely it may appear, no matter how much reason there is to be skeptical, no matter how many more signs you think may need to be fulfilled, I’m telling you He has set His hand again. The heavens are opened for business, and the question is whether you are interested in becoming a customer or not. (p.61)
What was the Fall of man? It was to be cast out from the presence of God. What is the redemption of man? It is to be brought back into the presence of God. Today is the day of redemption. Today is the day of salvation, if you come back into His presence.
Look at Ether chapter 3 beginning at verse 13: “When he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.”
This is the gospel of Christ. What is it you must know to have eternal life? You must know Him. “And this is life eternal that you might know Him.” This passage in Ether affirms that because the Brother of Jared knew these things, Christ came to him. Christ returned him to His presence. Christ redeemed him from the Fall “Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall.” This is Christ speaking in the first person. He is defining what it means to be redeemed. Who is better qualified to define what it means to be redeemed than the Redeemer? Reconciliation comes through Christ. Reconciliation comes with Christ. Reconciliation is by Christ. And Christ has the power to redeem you all. (p. 67-68)
He is real! He lives! His work of redemption continues right now, just as it continued throughout His mortal life, just as it continued as He hung on the cross, just as it continued in His resurrection in Palestine, and as He came to visit with the Nephites. He ministered to other sheep, and He has called other people. There are, in fact, holy men who ye know not of who still remain on earth. (p. 76)
Hearken to the word of the Lord. End your days on this barren treadmill and rise up. There is no reason to fail when the Lord offers you His word, and even His presence, today. He will not leave you here comfortless, but He will come and take up His abode with you. The idea this is only to happen “in your heart” is an old sectarian notion, and is false. Joseph Smith declared that, and I declare he spoke the truth. (p.78)
Here is the link to the audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgSsTk8ORyg
Here is the link to the PDF transcript, which is where the quotes above are found by page number: http://denversnuffer.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/07-Ephraim-Transcript-Christ.pdf
For other formats of this talk, you can go to this link: http://denversnuffer.com/40-years-in-mormonism-lecture-series/