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

There was only one way of redemption, one way in which reparation could be made and the body restored again to the spirit; that was by an infinite atonement, and it had to be made by an infinite being, someone not subject to death and yet someone who had the power to die and who also had power over death. And so our Father in heaven sent us his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world with life in himself. And because he had a mother who had blood in her veins he had the power to die. He could yield up his body to death and then take it again. Let me read his own words: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17-18.)

He had power to lay down his life, and on the cross he paid the price for our sins and at the same time for Adam’s transgression. His infinite atonement resulted in two things: (l) restoration of the body to the spirit, and (2) the redemption of those who accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and who will be loyal in the keeping of his commandments-freedom from their sins.

Now, in conclusion, what are we going to do? Are we going to love him? Are we going to realize the great work he did for us and are we going to be grateful, or are we going to violate his commandments? I would like to read something by Sydney Harris, taken from the Deseret News in 1964, entitled “Would We Believe and Follow?”

“If there should be a second coming, would there not be soon a second crucifixion? And this time, not by the Romans or the Jews, but by those who proudly call themselves Christians? I wonder! I wonder how we today would regard and treat this man with his strange and frightening and ‘impractical’ doctrines of human behavior and relationships. Would we believe and follow, any more than the masses of people in his day believed and followed?

“Would not the militarists among us assail him as a cowardly pacifist because he urges us not to resist evil?

“Would not the nationalists among us attack him as a dangerous internationalist because he tells us we are all of one flesh?

“Would not the wealthy among us castigate him as a trouble-making radical because he bars the rich from entering the kingdom of heaven?

“Would not the liberals among us dismiss him as a dreamy vagabond because he advises us to take no thought for the morrow, to lay up no treasures on earth?

“Would not the ecclesiastics among us denounce him as a ranting heretic because he cuts through the core of ritual and commands us only to love God and our neighbors?

“Would not the sentimentalist among us deride him as a cynic because he warns us that the way to salvation is narrow and difficult?

“Would not the puritans among us despise and reject him because he eats and drinks with the publicans and sinners, preferring the company of winebibbers and harlots to that of ‘respectable’ church members?

“Would not the sensual among us scorn him because he fasts for forty days in the desert, neglecting the needs of the body?

“Would not the proud and important among us laugh at him when he instructs the twelve disciples that he who would be ‘first’ should be the one to take the role of the least and serve all?

“Would not the worldly wise and educated among us be aghast to hear that we cannot be saved except we become as children, and that a little child shall lead us?

“Would not each of us-in his own way-find some part of this man’s saying and doing to be so threatening to our ways of life, so much at odds with our rooted beliefs, that we could not tolerate him for long?

“I wonder, I wonder if we are any more prepared for the second coming than we would have been for the first.”

President Joseph Fielding Smith
Conference Report,April 1967,Afternoon Meeting

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