Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mormonism Basics: The Atonement of Jesus Christ


The center of Mormonism is Jesus Christ (see Jesus Christ is the son of God, the Only Begotten. Before the world was made he was with the Father and there was chosen to the be Savior of the world. In the Meridian of Time he came forth to do his work to redeem mankind from the fall of Adam. He finished his mortal ministry with what is called The Atonement. It was here that the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died, and three days later was resurrected. It is this atonement that I will talk about on this page.


Jesus Christ, in the garden of Gethsemane, did something that no mortal man can do.  The scriptures tell us that he knelt and prayed in the garden, bleeding from each pore, and took all mankind's sins upon himself.

Nothing I have read or heard speaks of the atonement of Christ in a more profound or personal way than those of Elder Bruce R. McConkie, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
"We do not know, we cannot tell, no mortal mind can conceive the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane.

"We know he sweat great gouts of blood from every pore as he drained the dregs of that bitter cup his Father had given him.

"We know he suffered, both body and spirit, more than it is possible for man to suffer, except it be unto death.

"We know that in some way, incomprehensible to us, his suffering satisfied the demands of justice, ransomed penitent souls from the pains of penalties of sin, and made mercy available to those who believe in his holy name.

"We know that he lay prostrate upon the ground as the pains and agonies of an infinite burden caused him to tremble and would that he might not drink the bitter cup.

"We know that an angel came from the courts of glory to strengthen him in his ordeal, and we suppose it was mighty Michael, who foremost fell that mortal man might be.

"As near as we can judge, these infinite agonies - this suffering beyond compare - continue for some three or four hours." (The Purifying Power of Gethsemane, General Conference, April 1985.)

Golgotha | Calvary

After his agonizing experience in Gethsemane the Lord was arrested and taken to the leaders of the day - Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod - to be tried as a blasphemer.  His sentence was to be scourged 39 times, and then crucified in Golgotha, on the hill Calvary.

On the cross he again felt the pains of Gethsemane.  This he did until he was able to say to God, the Father, that his work on earth was finished.

Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea

The Atonement, in its entirety, was not completed until three days later.

After the Savior of the world died on the cross he was moved to the tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea.  Here Nicodemus, Joseph, and others that believed and loved him in life, placed him in linen and spices.

Three days later, in a way that none of us can fully understand, Jesus Christ reunited his spirit and his body, and was the first to be resurrected.  In so doing he broke the fearsome bands of death and completed the Atonement.

In Closing

The Lord did all of this for each and every person who lives on the earth, that we may again live with God in heaven again.  He took all sins upon him that we may be allowed to repent of these sins and be clean again (see Forgiveness Is A Gift).  And he was resurrecting, opening the gates for the resurrection of all mankind.

*All photos taken from's Media Library.

As is always the case, if you have questions about Jesus Christ, the Atonement, or any other topic relating to Mormonism, just ask the missionaries and they will help you.

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