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

When I was a young man living in a city called Namur in Belgium, there was a large river separating it from an adjacent city on the other side of the river. At that time, only one bridge connected the two cities. It had been built and rebuilt over the remnants of a bridge built centuries before by the Roman conquerors. It had become too narrow for the traffic, and there were too many small arches to allow the passage of large boats and barges. A new bridge was necessary, wider and with only one arch. The work to establish the foundations soon started on both sides of the river. Rapidly, two huge metallic arms began to stretch from each side with the aim to meet together in the middle of the river. I was fascinated by the engineering and rode my bicycle almost every day to watch the progress of the work. Finally the day came when the centerpiece, a cornerstone made of steel, was going to link the two arms together. Crowds were now watching with me the delicate operation, the final step that would join the two arms together and permit crossing the bridge for the first time. When it took place, people applauded, workers embraced; the obstacle of the river had been conquered and overcome.

I mention this experience because of the symbolism that it represents. The bridge is more than a bridge of metal. It symbolizes the bridge of faith enabling us, children of our Heavenly Father, to meet Him again. The centerpiece of the bridge, the cornerstone, represents the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Mediator, the link between mortality and immortality, the connection between the natural man and the spiritual man, the change from temporal life to eternal life. It is because of Him that mankind can be reconciled with their Heavenly Father and that we can overcome the walls of sin and mortality, these obstacles that represent spiritual and physical death. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of the plan of salvation, the promised reunion with our Heavenly Father, as we read in the book of Moses: “This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time” (Moses 6:62).

The love of God, the other side of the bridge, is the reward of our faith in His Son, Jesus the Christ. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). The greatest of all the gifts of God is the supreme sacrifice of His Son, His Atonement, that brings not only immortality but also eternal life if we keep His commandments and endure to the end (see D&C 14:7).

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Elder Charles Didier
Building a Bridge of Faith,” Ensign, Nov 2001, 10

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