The nature of the Atonement and its effects is so infinite, so unfathomable, and so profound that it lies beyond the knowledge and comprehension of mortal man. I am profoundly grateful for the principle of saving grace. Because of the transcendent act of the Atonement, it is possible for every soul to obtain forgiveness of sins, to have them washed away and be forgotten. (See 2 Ne. 9:6–9) This forgiveness comes about, however, on condition of repentance and personal righteousness. Many people think they need only confess that Jesus is the Christ and then they are saved by grace alone. We cannot be saved by grace alone, “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” 7
Through the grace of Jesus Christ, immortality comes to all men, just or unjust, righteous or wicked. However, eternal life is “the greatest of all the gifts of God.” (D&C 14:7.) We obtain this great gift, according to the Lord, “if you keep my commandments and endure to the end.” If we so endure, the promise is, “you shall have eternal life.” (D&C 14:7.)
It has been almost two thousand years since the wondrous occasion when death was conquered. We still do not know how the Savior was able to take upon Himself and bear our transgressions, our foolishness, our grief, our sorrows, and our burdens. It was indefinable and unfathomable. It was almost unbearable. The indescribable agony was so great in Gethsemane that “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44.) The haunting cry on the cross, in a loud voice in His native Aramaic, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) gives but a mere glimpse of His suffering and humiliation. One cannot help wondering how many of those drops of precious blood each of us may be responsible for.
Even though, as a man or a woman, we are born, live a brief moment, and then die, through the atonement of Jesus Christ we will all live after death. Through the divinity which is within us as a gift of the great Creator, we can come to complete fruition as heirs of God with eternal powers, dominions, and progression without end. Paul said this gift is a free gift. (See Rom. 5:15.) Through the Mediation and Atonement we will be resurrected ourselves without going through any part of the atoning agony that the Son of God went through.
Jacob’s teachings in the Book of Mormon further explain, “if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.” (2 Ne. 9:8.)
The Atonement and the Resurrection accomplish many things. The Atonement cleanses us of sin on condition of our repentance. Repentance is the condition on which mercy is extended. 25 After all we can do to pay to the uttermost farthing and make right our wrongs, the Savior’s grace is activated in our lives through the Atonement, which purifies us and can perfect us. 26 Christ’s Resurrection overcame death and gave us the assurance of life after death. Said He: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” 27 The Resurrection is unconditional and applies to all who have ever lived and ever will live. 28 It is a free gift. President John Taylor described this well when he said: “The tombs will be opened and the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and they shall come forth, they who have done good to the resurrection of the just, and they who have done evil to the resurrection of the unjust.”
The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.
I cannot with composure tell you how I feel about the Atonment. It touches the deepest emotion of gratitude and obligation. I do know he lives and he is the son of the living God.For more information visite: lds.org/ Atonment of Jesus Christ