Basic Doctrines Series Part 3 – The Atonement of Jesus Christ with Anthony Sweat

July 26, 2019

After knowing that there is a God, and knowing that there is a Plan for our Salvation, the next logical Doctrine to discuss is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the means by which the Plan of Salvation is accomplished. The Atonment is a central teaching to the theology of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, and yet, one that may be least understood.

There is a difference between what is a doctrine and what is a policy or practice. The doctrine of The Atonement of Jesus Christ is has practices designed to help us to come to greater understanding of its role in the Plan of Salvation. These practices include the Sacrament, and the teachings and ordinances of the priesthood, including the Temple.

Here is the text from the official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on The Atonement of Jesus Christ:

Atonement of Jesus Christ

To atone is to suffer the penalty for sin, thereby removing the effects of sin from the repentant sinner and allowing him or her to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ was the only one capable of making a perfect atonement for all mankind. His Atonement included His suffering for the sins of mankind in the Garden of Gethsemane, the shedding of His blood, His suffering and death on the cross, and His Resurrection from the tomb (see Luke 24:36–39D&C 19:16–19). The Savior was able to carry out the Atonement because He kept Himself free from sin and had power over death. From His mortal mother, He inherited the ability to die. From His immortal Father, He inherited the power to take up His life again.

Through grace, made available by the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, all people will be resurrected and receive immortality. The Atonement of Jesus Christ also makes it possible for us to receive eternal life (see Moroni 7:41). To receive this gift, we must live the gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring faithfully to the end (see John 3:5).

As part of His Atonement, Jesus Christ not only suffered for our sins but also took upon Himself the pains, sicknesses, and infirmities of all people (see Alma 7:11–13). He understands our suffering because He has experienced it. His grace, or enabling power, strengthens us to bear burdens and accomplish tasks that we could not do on our own (see Matthew 11:28–30Philippians 4:13Ether 12:27).

Related references: John 3:5Acts 3:19–21

Faith in Jesus Christ

Faith is a “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21; see also Ether 12:6). It is a gift from God.

Faith must be centered in Jesus Christ in order for it to lead a person to salvation. Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him and trusting in His infinite Atonement, power, and love. It includes believing His teachings and believing that even though we do not understand all things, He does (see Proverbs 3:5–6D&C 6:36).

More than passive belief, faith is expressed by the way we live (see James 2:17–18). Faith can increase as we pray, study the scriptures, and obey God’s commandments.

Latter-day Saints also have faith in God the Father, the Holy Ghost, and priesthood power as well as other important aspects of the restored gospel. Faith helps us receive spiritual and physical healing and strength to press forward, face our hardships, and overcome temptation (see 2 Nephi 31:19–20). The Lord will work mighty miracles in our lives according to our faith.

Through faith in Jesus Christ, a person may obtain a remission of sins and eventually be able to dwell in God’s presence.

Related reference: Matthew 11:28–30


Repentance is a change of mind and heart that gives us a fresh view about God, about ourselves, and about the world. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments.

Our sins make us unclean—unworthy to return to and dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Father in Heaven has provided the only way for us to be forgiven of our sins (see Isaiah 1:18).

Repentance also includes feeling sorrow for committing sin, confessing to Heavenly Father and to others if necessary, forsaking sin, seeking to restore as far as possible all that has been damaged by one’s sins, and living a life of obedience to God’s commandments (see D&C 58:42–43).

Related references: Isaiah 53:3–5John 14:62 Nephi 25:23, 26D&C 18:10–11D&C 19:23D&C 76:40–41

Anthony Sweat BIO:

Another great source for information on The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the Living Christ: The Testimony of The Apostles document. We invite missionaries everywhere to use this document as a tract for sharing our beliefs with others not of our faith. While almost 20 years old (at the time of this posting) this document will never change in its message or impact on the hearts of the honest seeker of truth. It carries the true message of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Divine Plan of Salvation.

Anthony Sweat Promotional PhotoAnthony R. Sweat grew up in West Valley City, Utah and served a mission to Bolivia, La Paz.  He received a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah (1999) and his M.Ed (2005) and his Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction (2011) from Utah State University.  Prior to joining the religion faculty at BYU he worked for thirteen years with Seminaries and Institutes of Religion. Dr. Sweat is the author of several books and articles related to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He centers his research on factors that influence effective pedagogical practices, particularly in religious education. As a practicing artist, his paintings center on previously undepicted, important aspects of LDS history to promote visual learning. His outside interests include basketball, triathlon, and painting.  Anthony and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of seven children and reside in Springville, Utah.

Antony was a previous guest on the Latter-day Saint MissionCast to talk about going to the temple for the first time. Click here to listen to that episode.

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