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

We come to the Father through the life-giving mission of the Son in two ways. In each of these ways, Jesus Christ is the life of the world, our Savior and our Redeemer.

Through the power and example of the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind will be resurrected (see 2 Ne. 9:7, 12). Our mortal life came into being because of his creative act. Our immortal life has now been assured because the Resurrected Lord has redeemed us from death. According to the plan of the Father, the Son was “the firstborn from the dead” (Col. 1:18). “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22).

Jesus Christ is also the life of the world because he has atoned for the sins of the world. By yielding to temptation, Adam and Eve were “cut off from the presence of the Lord” (Hel. 14:16). In the scriptures this separation is called spiritual death (see Hel. 14:16; D&C 29:41).

The atonement of our Savior overcame this spiritual death. The scriptures say, “The Son of God hath atoned for original guilt” (Moses 6:54). As Paul taught the Saints in Rome: “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” (Rom. 5:18). As a result of this atonement, “men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression” (A of F 1:2).

Our Savior has redeemed us from the sin of Adam, but what about the effects of our own sins? Since “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23), we are all spiritually dead. Again, our only hope for life is our Savior, who, the prophet Lehi taught, “offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law” (2 Ne. 2:7).

In order to lay claim upon our Savior’s life-giving triumph over the spiritual death we suffer because of our own sins, we must follow the conditions he has prescribed. As he has told us in modern revelation, “I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I” (D&C 19:16–17).

Our third article of faith describes the Savior’s conditions in these words: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”

In the words of our Savior, recorded in the Book of Mormon as he taught the people on this continent, “And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved” (3 Ne. 23:5).

In summary, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, is the life of the world because his resurrection and his atonement save us from both physical and spiritual death. Jacob rejoiced in this gift of life: “O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit” (2 Ne. 9:10).

I wish that everyone could understand our belief and hear our testimony that Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, is the light and life of the world.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“‘The Light and Life of the World’,” Ensign, Nov 1987, 63

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