The Guide to the Scriptures

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Atone, Atonement

To reconcile man to God.

As used in the scriptures, to atone is to suffer the penalty for an act of sin, thereby removing the effects of sin from the repentant sinner and allowing him to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ was the only one capable of making a perfect atonement for all mankind. He was able to do so because of his selection and foreordination in the Grand Council before the world was formed (Ether 3:14; Moses 4:1–2; Abr. 3:27), his divine Sonship, and his sinless life. His atonement included his suffering for the sins of mankind in the Garden of Gethsemane, the shedding of his blood, and his death and subsequent resurrection from the grave (Isa. 53:3–12; Mosiah 3:5–11; Alma 7:10–13). Because of the Atonement, all people will rise from the dead with immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:22). The Atonement also provides the way for us to be forgiven of our sins and live forever with God. But a person who has reached the age of accountability and received the law can receive these blessings only if he has faith in Jesus Christ, repents of his sins, receives the ordinances of salvation, and obeys the commandments of God. Those who do not reach the age of accountability and those without the law are redeemed through the Atonement (Mosiah 15:24–25; Moro. 8:22). The scriptures clearly teach that if Christ had not atoned for our sins, no law, ordinance, or sacrifice would satisfy the demands of justice, and man could never regain God’s presence (2 Ne. 2; 9).

  • This is my blood, shed for many for the remission of sins:Matt. 26:28;
  • His sweat was as it were great drops of blood:Luke 22:39–44;
  • I will give my flesh for the life of the world:John 6:51;
  • I am the resurrection, and the life:John 11:25;
  • Christ is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey:Heb. 5:9;
  • We are sanctified by the shedding of the blood of Christ:Heb. 9;Heb. 10:1–10;
  • Christ also hath once suffered for sins:1 Pet. 3:18;
  • The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin:1 Jn. 1:7;
  • He was lifted up upon the cross and slain for sins:1 Ne. 11:32–33;
  • Redemption comes to those who have a broken heart and contrite spirit:2 Ne. 2:3–10, 25–27;
  • He offered himself a sacrifice for sin:2 Ne. 2:7;
  • The Atonement ransoms men from the Fall and saves them from death and hell:2 Ne. 9:5–24;
  • It must needs be an infinite atonement:2 Ne. 9:7;
  • Be reconciled unto God through the Atonement of Christ:Jacob 4:11;
  • His blood atones for the sins of those who have ignorantly sinned:Mosiah 3:11–18;
  • Man received salvation through the Atonement:Mosiah 4:6–8;
  • Were it not for the Atonement, they must unavoidably perish:Mosiah 13:27–32;
  • He shall atone for the sins of the world:Alma 34:8–16;
  • God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy:Alma 42:11–30;
  • I am the God of the whole earth, slain for the sins of the world:3 Ne. 11:14;
  • I, God, have suffered these things for all:D&C 19:16;
  • Little children are redeemed through mine Only Begotten:D&C 29:46–47;
  • Behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin:D&C 45:3–5;
  • This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten:Moses 5:7;
  • Through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved:A of F 1:3;