As the result of Christ’s victory over the grave, we shall all be resurrected.
The central idea in the gospel of Jesus Christ—its most powerful idea, along with the universal Resurrection—is the Atonement of our Savior.
Indeed the Atonement of the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh is the crucial foundation upon which all Christian doctrine rests and the greatest expression of divine love this world has ever been given. Its importance in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cannot be overstated. Every other principle, commandment, and virtue of the restored gospel draws its significance from this pivotal event.
I feel, and the Spirit seems to accord, that the most important doctrine I can declare, and the most powerful testimony I can bear, is of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. His Atonement is the most transcendent event that ever has or ever will occur from Creation’s dawn through all the ages of a never-ending eternity.
The great Atonement was the supreme act of forgiveness. The magnitude of that Atonement is beyond our ability to completely understand. I know only that it happened and that it was for me and for you. The suffering was so great, the agony so intense, that none of us can comprehend it when the Savior offered Himself as a ransom for the sins of all mankind.
By personally understanding and believing in the Atonement, you and I can teach and testify of it with greater gratitude, greater love, and greater power.
The Prophet Joseph Smith once declared that all things “which pertain to our religion are only appendages” to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In like manner and for the same reasons, every truth that a missionary or member teaches is only an appendage to the central message of all time—that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
Our salvation depends on believing in and accepting the Atonement. Such acceptance requires a continual effort to understand it more fully.
The second concept to stress in our mental preparation is Atonement. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the central act of all human history. It is the core of the plan of salvation. Without the infinite Atonement, all mankind would be irretrievably lost. Temple ordinances and covenants teach of the redeeming power of the Atonement.
His Atonement, Resurrection, and example teach us to have faith in Him, repent, make covenants, and love one another. Jesus Christ is the light that never faileth—the bright light that will pierce the darkness.
We know from the scriptures that some trials are for our good and are suited for our own personal development.
Live so the Atonement can be fully efficacious in your life.
Our hope in the Atonement empowers us with eternal perspective.
Joy is much deeper than simply passing moments of contentment or feelings of happiness. Real joy, or “everlasting joy” (2 Nephi 8:11), comes from experiencing the power of the Atonement through sincere repentance and from a spiritual confirmation that we can be redeemed from sin through the Lord Jesus Christ and inherit eternal life.
Our great personal challenge in mortality is to become “a saint through the atonement of Christ.”
The Atonement is intensely personal and uniquely crafted for our own individual circumstances and situations.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite.