Nephi’s final words to his loved ones include valuable counsel about how to teach others with the Spirit and how to make your relationship with Christ more personal.

There Must Needs Be a Christ | KYLE S. MCKAY of the Seventy | March 23, 2021 | BYU Speeches


Elder McKay delivered an address on the Doctrine of Christ, emphasizing the fundamental belief in the existence and identity of Jesus Christ. He drew parallels between the rejection of Christ in ancient times and contemporary challenges to Christian values. Elder McKay highlighted the consequences of denying Christ, such as the absence of hope, healing, and redemption.

He explored the hypothetical scenario of a world without Christ, pointing out the bleak outlook it would entail, including eternal death and the inability to undo wrongs or choose righteousness. Elder McKay stressed the indispensable role of Christ in healing, redemption, and the restoration of agency.

Referring to scriptures and personal experiences, Elder McKay affirmed the reality of Christ’s Atonement and its transformative power. He encouraged humility and faith in seeking a deeper understanding of the doctrine of Christ, citing Alma’s teachings on planting the word of Christ in one’s heart and exercising even a particle of faith.

Elder McKay concluded by bearing witness of Jesus Christ as the Savior and inviting listeners to come unto Him with humility and faith. He expressed confidence in Christ’s ability to bring about change and redemption in individuals’ lives, emphasizing the importance of preparing to meet Him.

In essence, Elder McKay’s address underscored the central importance of Jesus Christ in the lives of believers and the necessity of embracing His Atonement for healing, redemption, and eternal life.

In the twilight of his ministry, Nephi, sensing a profound urgency, felt compelled to expound upon “the doctrine of Christ.” This imperative, resonating through the ages, echoes in our hearts today. As I contemplate and intercede on your behalf, I am stirred by a similar urgency to delve into the essence of the doctrine of Christ. Yet, I propose to traverse beyond the familiar terrain of faith, repentance, and ordinances, and instead, journey into the foundational belief in the necessity of a Christ—an essence I shall refer to as the “doctrine of Christ” herein. For if the existence of a Christ is indispensable, then understanding His identity is equally paramount.

Throughout history, the doctrine of Christ has been the subject of debate, contention, and defense. Interestingly, those amidst Jesus’ mortal ministry didn’t dispute the doctrine itself; rather, they were divided concerning His identity. Conversely, during the era of the Book of Mormon, adversaries rejected the notion of a Christ altogether. They failed to acknowledge the need for a Savior, embodying a stance akin to modern secularists. Indeed, the parallels between the Book of Mormon narrative and contemporary society are striking.

In the current milieu, many nations proclaim themselves as “post-Christian,” with some even disavowing their foundational Christian or Judeo-Christian principles. These anti-Christian voices seek not merely to challenge but to eradicate the influence of Christianity, reminiscent of the Nephites’ decline before their demise. The paradox of asserting a nation’s secular foundation while simultaneously declaring it “post-Christian” underscores the illogical nature of arguments against the doctrine of Christ, albeit often veiled in allure and flattery.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s poignant Christmas message in December 2017 elucidated the significance of Jesus Christ, a theme further expounded in the subsequent Ensign publication titled “Why We Need Jesus Christ.” Building upon Elder Christofferson’s discourse, I aim to provide additional insights and testimonies as we grapple with the profound question posed by Amulek: “whether there shall be [a] Christ.”

“If There Be No Christ”

In contemplating the hypothetical scenario of a world devoid of Christ, we confront the stark reality of eternal oblivion. Without Christ, the promise of Resurrection dissolves, leaving death as an endless abyss. Contrary to the gospel’s message of hope and redemption, the secular narrative reduces existence to temporal pleasures, devoid of eternal significance.

The gospel offers a transcendent narrative, affirming our potential for eternal progression and the reality of Resurrection, grounded in the existence of a Christ. His Atonement not only assures salvation but also offers solace and healing amid life’s tribulations. While time may fail to mend wounds, Jesus Christ, with His boundless compassion, offers healing and deliverance, amplifying the significance of faith in accelerating restoration.

Moreover, without Christ, agency becomes a mere illusion, robbed of its transformative power. The Atonement preserves our agency, enabling us to choose redemption and eternal life. Conversely, the absence of a Christ leaves humanity shackled in eternal stagnation, devoid of the capacity for meaningful change and progress.

Furthermore, the concept of undoing wrongs and injustices becomes inconceivable without Christ. His Atonement provides the means for repentance and redemption, offering healing for both the repentant and the wronged. In the absence of Christ, the scars of injustice persist, perpetuating a cycle of despair and futility.

“There Must Needs Be a Christ”

Transitioning from the hypothetical to the affirming reality, we affirm the indispensable nature of a Christ. Reflecting on King Benjamin’s teachings, we recognize humanity’s inherent need for salvation—a need that finds fulfillment in Jesus Christ. His Atonement offers redemption from our fallen state, paving the path to spiritual renewal and eventual exaltation.

As we immerse ourselves in the doctrine of Christ, humility emerges as a foundational virtue, catalyzing faith and spiritual growth. Recognizing our dependence on the Savior, we cultivate a disposition of humility, essential for embracing the gospel’s transformative power.

Alma’s analogy of the word as a seed underscores the transformative potential of the doctrine of Christ. Nourished by faith, this seed germinates within our hearts, fostering spiritual growth and enlightenment. Embracing a desire to believe, we embark on a journey of discovery and spiritual transformation, guided by the light of revelation.



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