The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

By , on November 2, 2015

General Conference


Mark Davies, a BYU professor of corpus linguistics, has created a database of all sermons presented in General Conference over the last 160 years. Among other functions, the database makes it possible to study how frequently a word has been spoken during various periods of time.

I have previously mentioned how much more often the word, “Atonement,” has been mentioned during General Conferences between 1995-2009. Professor Davies’ database allows us determine its usage during all General Conferences.

The columns below show how often “Atonement” appears in General Conference talks during various decades, beginning in the 1850’s and ending in the 2000’s.

It is easy to see how the Brethren have increased their emphasis on this vital doctrine. While the Atonement is undoubtedly central to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in any age, it has become more and more important for us to remember, apply in our lives and keep in our hearts today.

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1850’s     64

1860’s     37

1870’s     59

1880’s     60

1890’s     61

1900’s    40

1910’s     71

1920’s     52

1930’s     52

1940’s     52

1950’s    114

1960’s     98

1970’s     91

1980’s   208

1990’s   393

2000’s  655

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Link to Corpus of LDS General Conference Talks
Link to All 24 million words of LDS general conference in The Deseret News

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