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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Few places on earth are as sacred and important as this small grove of olive trees here on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. It was here in the Garden of Gethsemane, on that last night in mortality, that Jesus left His Apostles and descended alone into the depth of agony that would be His atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.
Moving slowly, kneeling, falling forward on His face, He cried, “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Mark 14:36).
To the thoughtful follower of Christ, it is a matter of surpassing wonder that the voluntary and merciful sacrifice of a single being could satisfy the infinite and eternal demands of justice; atone for every human misdeed; bear every mortal infirmity; feel every personal heartache, sorrow, and loss. But I testify that is exactly what Christ did for every one of us. I bear solemn witness that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the compassionate foundation and central fact in God’s eternal plan for our salvation and our happiness.
Is it any wonder that we walk quietly and reverently here? Is it any wonder that we make sacred covenants because of the love that was demonstrated here? Is it any wonder that Christ, the greatest of all, partook of the bitter cup and did not shrink here, that we might not suffer if we would repent and come unto Him?
I declare my wonder and awe, my adoration and apostolic witness of Him in His redeeming name, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.