Arms of Safety

A Way of Life, Elder Jay E. Jensen

I speak this evening about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and its relevance to the administration of the sacrament by the holders of the Aaronic Priesthood, taught so powerfully and so beautifully by Elder Oaks this morning. I will use a short scripture phrase that helps me visualize the Savior’s mercy. It is the phrase “arms of safety” (see Alma 34:16).

Secure in His Arms

A family had been taking pictures on a lookout point of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. They heard screams and ran to find that a two-year-old girl had fallen through a railing to a ledge about 35 feet (11 m) below. The little one tried to climb back up, but her movements caused her to slip even farther until she was 5 feet (1.5 m) from a dangerous 200-foot (61-m) drop.

A 19-year-old young man named Ian saw where she was and, using his emergency-response training, knew how to handle the situation. These are his words: “‘Immediately, it all came at me, and I just knew what I had to do. I set down my camera and went up the trail a little ways where it wasn’t as steep, climbed over the rail, scrambled down a bunch of rocks and through brush, and found her.’ Holding her in his arms for an hour, Ian waited until emergency teams could drop down with ropes” to rescue them (“Save Her!” New Era, Sept. 2007, 6). The phrase “holding her in his arms” caught my attention because the scriptures talk about arms—arms of love, arms of mercy, and arms of safety (see 2 Nephi 1:15; Mosiah 16:12; Alma 5:33; D&C 6:20; 29:1).

The scripture phrase “encircled in the arms of safety” comes from Amulek’s message to the Zoramites about the infinite and eternal Atonement. He taught that the sacrifice of the Son of God made it possible for man to have faith in Christ to lead us to repent. “And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety” (Alma 34:16; see also vv. 9–15).

Excerpt from Elder Jay E. Jensen’s October 2008 General Conference Address, Arms of Safety. Elder Jay E. Jensen is a Member Of The Presidency of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. View Elder Jay E. Jensen’s full address here.