“The Striking Contrast between the Savior and the Adversary,” Liahona, April 2021
Consider the majesty of the gift our Savior gave all of God’s children when He willingly offered to fulfill the Father’s plan. In the premortal council, when our Heavenly Father said, “Whom shall I send?” the Savior meekly answered, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27) and further declared, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever” (Moses 4:2).
It was because of His love for us that Jesus Christ offered to be our Savior.1 Satan’s response to the Father’s plan, however, was selfish. Although he claimed he would “redeem all mankind” (see Moses 4:1), he “was not volunteering to be our savior. He was not interested in suffering or dying for anyone. He wasn’t going to shed any of his blood. He wanted the glory, honor, and power of God without paying any price. … He would be supreme, and no one else could advance.”2
In shining contrast, all that Christ does and will do is motivated by His perfect love for us (see 2 Nephi 26:24) and desire to honor Heavenly Father (see John 8:28–29). It is humbling and inspiring to think that “Jesus Christ was filled with unfathomable love as He endured incomprehensible pain, cruelty, and injustice for us. Through His love for us, He rose above otherwise insurmountable barriers … so we too may rise above the pain and cruelty and injustice of this world and help and forgive and bless.”3 Is it any wonder we sing, “Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me”?4
The scriptures contain countless comparisons between the character of Jesus Christ and the adversary. Examining them can help us understand the scope of our Savior’s perfect love.
“The devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8) and “goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men” (Doctrine and Covenants 10:27).
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. … And I lay down my life for the sheep. … I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself” (John 10:11, 15, 17–18).
“He rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency” (Doctrine and Covenants 29:36).
“I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me. … I do always those things that please him. … I honour my Father. … And I seek not mine own glory” (John 8:28–29, 49–50).
He “spread the works of darkness and abominations over all the face of the land, until he dragged the people down to an entire destruction, and to an everlasting hell” (Helaman 6:28).
“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10) and “to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).
He “will not support his children at the last day” (Alma 30:60), “flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell” (Doctrine and Covenants 10:26), “until he grasps them with his awful chains” (2 Nephi 28:22).
“I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father” (Doctrine and Covenants 29:5), “even Jesus Christ, your advocate, who knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted” (Doctrine and Covenants 62:1).
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
He “blinded the minds of them which believe not” (2 Corinthians 4:4), “thinketh to overpower your testimony” (Doctrine and Covenants 10:33), and “cometh and taketh away light and truth” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:39).
“If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal. … Therefore, he that lacketh wisdom, let him ask of me, and I will give him liberally and upbraid him not” (Doctrine and Covenants 42:61, 68).
May we consistently “contemplate [the Savior’s] lasting grace, [His] boundless charity” and cherish the truth that because of Him, “to us the gift of life was giv’n for all eternity.”5