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 June 3, 2017

Covenants, General Authorities, Hafen

Some people reason that such powerful, positive forces as membership in the Church, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the Spirit of Christ operate independently of the Atonement-because they think the Atonement serves the limited function of simply paying for our sins. But membership in the Church is but one fruit of the larger blessing of accepting the first principles and ordinances of the gospel, which all flow from and center on the Atonement. The members of the Church are not just fellow members of a common institution-we are, more exactly, the very people from all across the earth who have covenanted with the Savior to accept his Atonement. In this sense, the Saints are the “true followers of . . . Christ.” (Moroni 7:48.) We call each other “brother and sister” because we are all children of Christ, the father of our spiritual rebirth.

Our repentance from our sins qualifies us to enter this covenant relationship with Christ, just as his Atonement qualifies him to enter it with us. The hope, the comfort, and the charity we then receive through the medium of the Holy Ghost are all part of the abundant blessing of belonging to Christ by being bought with his sacrifice. This relationship unlocks the doors not only to forgiveness but also to all the promises of the Holy One of Israel, including his bearing the burdens of our pains and infirmities that are not the result of our sins. And even though we cannot typically “repent” of these infirmities, we must repent of our actual sins to be entitled to his healing power, which can wipe away all our tears.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen  and Marie K. Hafen

The Belonging Heart: The Atonement And Relationships With God And Family

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