Repentance and the Atonement


Heavenly Father knew that we could not be perfect as mortals, so He chose Jesus Christ, who is perfect, to be our Savior.

To help explain what the Savior has done for us, President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, told the story of a man who borrowed a great deal of money. He bought something he had always wanted. But when the bill came due, he could not afford to pay it. He knew that his creditor would take away his possessions as payment and throw him in jail.

Then the man’s friend came to rescue him. The friend asked, “If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor?” The man gratefully agreed, and his friend told him, “You will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be possible.”

Because the friend was willing and able to pay, the creditor received the money that was fairly owed him. At the same time, the man was able to keep his possessions and not go to jail. (See “The Mediator,” Ensign, May 1977, 54–55.)

Like the friend in the story, Jesus offers to pay our “debts.” He overcame death so that we can all be resurrected, and He suffered for our sins so that we don’t have to suffer if we repent (see D&C 19:16). In return, He asks us to follow certain “terms,” or rules—to repent and keep the commandments. As we do so, Jesus makes it possible for us to return to Heavenly Father someday.

Family Home Evening Activities and Ideas

1. To remind yourself to follow Jesus’ example, cut out these two pages along the solid lines. Fold to form a booklet (see illustrations).

Illustrations Illustrations(click to view larger)

Illustrated by Paul Mann and Robert T. Barrett

2. In family home evening or when you give a talk in Primary, use the pictures of Jesus to tell about His life. Use the pictures of modern children to describe ways we can follow the Savior’s example.

3. For a family home evening activity, discuss each of the pictures in the booklet you made. Then have each family member cut and fold a piece of paper to form a booklet like the one below. Have each family member write or draw pictures on each page of ways he or she can follow the Savior (for example, studying the scriptures, attending church, or helping someone).