Atonement – An Eternal Sacrifice

This month, we look forward to celebrating the greatest event in the history of humankind – the resurrection of the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. Easter reminds us of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the hope of receiving forgiveness for our sins, and Christ's victory over death. This season fills our hearts with deep gratitude towards our loving Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ for their love towards each of us. These are the glad tidings of immense joy our young Elders and Sisters proclaim around the world today to our fellow brothers and sisters.

Effects of the Fall:

As we are born on this earth as the descendants of Adam and Eve, we inherit the effects of the Fall of Adam. We become subjects to physical death, which is the separation of our bodies and spirits. We experience spiritual death, being separated from the presence of God, and we become mortal beings.

Throughout our mortal journey, we inevitably encounter opposition and temptations. Unfortunately, we succumb to these temptations very often, leading us to a separation from God, and we fall short of His glory and become unclean. The scriptures emphasise that “no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom,”1 and the consequence of such will be eternally “miserable being cut off from the presence of God.”2

The Plan of Redemption:

Our all-wise Heavenly Father, who knew this, have prepared “the plan of redemption, which was laid from the foundation of the world,”3 a plan wherein a Redeemer is provided for you and me. He ordained “His only begotten son,”4 Jesus Christ, to compensate for the anticipated fall of Adam and Eve and the rest of humankind. From the Book of Mormon, we read, “And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore, God himself atoned for the sins of the world to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.” 5

Jesus Christ and the Atonement:

Jesus Christ came to this earth to perform the Atonement to meet the demands of justice and help his brothers and sisters to obtain mercy. Paul explained it well when he said: “For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Christ] came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 6

The atonement of Jesus Christ stands as the most profound and impactful event across time and eternity for us. It is a process that began before the world was formed and will continue long into eternity. It is commonly viewed as Christ having paid the price for our sins, but it is much more than that. The term 'Atonement' in English reflects the idea of being 'at one' or ‘in harmony with.’ Atonement is the process where Christ unites us with Him by making us like Him if we choose to apply it in our lives.

When we fully understand the Atonement, it becomes a powerful motivator, guiding us to love God more deeply than fear Him. Its transformative influence allows us to experience Christ's profound love for both His Father and us. Our Saviour explained in 3 Nephi 11 when he visited the people of Nephi, 'And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.' This understanding assures us of Christ's inherent goodness and mercy, providing a firm foundation of support. As we internalize this knowledge, our love for our Heavenly Father and our elder brother, Jesus Christ, intensifies, imparting the courage needed to address our weaknesses patiently and persistently until we navigate through challenges and find resolution. It provides the assurance that God's primary concern is our progress towards becoming like Him rather than our mistakes.

Pres. Bushi, Mission President.

When we sincerely love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, our response will be a prompt repentance, a commitment to reform our ways, abandonment of our old habits, adjustment of our behaviors, and a willingness to forgive both ourselves and those who, like us, are grappling with the challenges of this mortal life and to endure in our covenant path. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught the connection between Atonement and forgiveness when he said, 'We all depend on the Savior; none of us can be saved without Him. Christ’s Atonement is infinite and eternal. Forgiveness for our sins comes with conditions. We must repent, and we must be willing to forgive others. . . Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive. Lay your burden at the Savior’s feet. Let go of judgment. Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another. The merciful will obtain mercy. '7

Sacrament and the Atonement:

“He (Christ) marked the path and led the way,

And ev’ry point defines
To light and life and endless day
Where God’s full presence shines.

In mem’ry of the broken flesh
We eat the broken bread,
And witness with the cup, afresh,
Our faith in Christ, our Head,”

The above lines from Hymn #195, 'How great the Wisdom and the Love,' guide us in comprehending the purpose of the Atonement and underscore the significance of partaking in the Sacrament each week. Our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, explained, “We commemorate His Atonement in a very personal way. We bring a broken heart and a contrite spirit to our sacrament meeting. It is the highlight of our Sabbath-day observance.”8

I know Christ performed atonement so we would be one with him and become like him. The sacrament helps us to remember His eternal sacrifice and renew our covenants to follow Him. As we partake of the sacrament worthily each week, our understanding of the atonement will increase. This will enable us to love God, keep His commandments, repent of our sins, forgive others, and serve Him diligently.

I testify that Jesus is the Christ. Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and love each of us so much. They count on us; they rejoice when we apply the atonement and change our lives; in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.



1     3 Nephi 27:19

2    Alma 42:11

3    Alma 12:25

4    John 3:16

5    Alma 42:15

6    1 Cor 15:21–22

7      “The Merciful obtain Mercy”, April 2012, Sunday AM Session, General Conference.

8     “Worshiping at Sacrament Meeting,” Liahona, Aug. 2004, 12; Ensign, Aug. 2004, 26