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

Knowing the identity of the Father and the Son helps us know that all of us are placed on earth to acquire a physical body, gain experience, and prove ourselves worthy to return to our Heavenly Father. Laws govern our mortal life on earth. When we transgress the law, we sin. When we sin, we break eternal laws; the law of justice requires a penalty or a punishment.

Sin and the need to repent might be represented by a man who takes a journey. On his back is a large empty bag. From time to time, he picks up a rock, representing the transgression of a law. He places the rock in the bag on his back. Over time, the bag becomes full. It is heavy. The man cannot continue on his journey. He must have a way to empty the bag and remove the rocks. This can be done only by the Savior through the Atonement.

This is possible when we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, forsake sin, and make covenants through the ordinances of the gospel. As we faithfully endure to the end, we can then return to live with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

. . . .
Through the infinite Atonement, God has provided a means whereby we can both overcome our sins and become completely clean again. This is made possible by the eternal law of mercy. Mercy satisfies the claims of justice through our repentance and the power of the Atonement. Without the power of the Atonement and our complete repentance, we are subject to the law of justice.

Alma taught that “mercy claimeth the penitent” (Alma 42:23) and that “the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance.” (Alma 42:13)

The great prophet Amulek taught, “And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.” (Alma 34:16)

Adam and Eve, our first parents, transgressed law and were cast out of the beautiful Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were taught the great plan of salvation that they might find happiness in this life. (See Alma 12:32)

Adam said, “For because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.” (Moses 5:10)

Eve uttered a similar acclamation of happiness: “Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption.” (Moses 5:11)

Elder Earl C. Tingey
The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, May 2006, 72–74

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