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Sanctification

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Atonement of Jesus Christ Crucifixion Mormon
According to the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sanctification means the process of becoming free from sin, becoming pure, clean, and holy through the atonement of Jesus Christ (see Moses 6: 59-60). Jesus Christ was the only person who led a perfect, sinless life; the rest of us depend upon repentance made possible by the atonement to become sanctified.

Leaders of the LDS Church often remind members that now is the time to prepare and become sanctified. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated, “Joshua said, ‘Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.’ [Few people realize] how soon and how unexpectedly those tomorrows can come and in some cases how little time you may have to make hasty, belated preparation." [1]

To be sanctified, we must act. Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, “Justification and sanctification are accomplished by the grace of Christ, which grace is a gift to man based on faith. But our moral agency is also a necessary element in this divine process. We must will to repent and act to repent. We must elect to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and we must elect to remain loyal to our covenants thereafter. To receive the gift [of sanctification] we must act in the manner He has ordained." [2]

Elder Christofferson explains further that the first step is to be justified:

Because of “the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice,” Jesus Christ can satisfy or “answer the ends of the law” on our behalf. Pardon comes by the grace of Him who has satisfied the demands of justice by His own suffering, “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). He removes our condemnation without removing the law. We are pardoned and placed in a condition of righteousness with Him. We become, like Him, without sin. We are sustained and protected by the law, by justice. We are, in a word, justified. [...] To be sanctified through the blood of Christ is to become clean, pure, and holy. If justification removes the punishment for past sin, then sanctification removes the stain or effects of sin.

Thus sanctification follows justification, and both come through the Atonement of Jesus Christ to us when we repent and covenant with Him through baptism. The Book of Moses, found in the Pearl of Great Price, one of the four books of scripture recognized by Mormons, states that "by the water [of baptism] ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood [of Jesus] ye are sanctified" (Moses 6:60).

References

  1. "Sanctify Yourselves," Ensign, Nov. 2000.
  2. "Justification and Sanctification," Ensign, June 2001.

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