Skip main navigation

What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

The Atonement is the sacrifice Jesus Christ made to help us overcome sin, adversity, and death. Jesus’s atoning sacrifice took place in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary. He paid the price for our sins, took upon Himself death, and was resurrected. The Atonement is the supreme expression of the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Prepare yourself spiritually

What resources will help the young men understand the Atonement and its significance in their lives?

Matthew 26–27; D&C 19:16–19 (In Gethsemane and on the cross, Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins and took upon Himself our pains)

Matthew 28:1–10 (Jesus Christ overcame death through His Resurrection)

2 Nephi 9:6–16 (Jesus Christ overcame sin and death through His Atonement)

Alma 7:11–13 (Jesus Christ took upon Himself our pains, sicknesses, infirmities, and sins)

Thomas S. Monson, “He Is Risen!Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 87–90

Linda K. Burton, “Is Faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ Written in Our Hearts?Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 111–15

The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” True to the Faith (2004), 14–21

Videos: Bible videos portraying the Atonement

Video: “An Apostle’s Easter Thoughts on Christ”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas, or think of your own, to review the doctrine from last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Write the question from last week’s lesson (the lesson title) on the board. Ask the quorum members what they learned last week that helps them answer this question. What have they done to live what they learned?
  • Show pictures depicting the events of the Atonement (such as the Savior’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, His Crucifixion, or His Resurrection; see Gospel Art Book, 56–59), and ask the young men to share what they know about these events. Invite each young man to write down a question he has about the Atonement. Gather the questions, and read them aloud if appropriate. Encourage each young man to continue to think about his question throughout the lesson. At the end of the lesson, ask the quorum to share any answers they found to their questions.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the quorum members understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite a quorum member to teach a portion of this lesson. He could do this as part of his Duty to God plan to learn and teach about the Atonement (see “Understand Doctrine,” page 18, 42, or 66). You could suggest that he read President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “He Is Risen!” as he prepares.
  • Ask the young men to match an event that happened during the last few hours of the Savior’s life with scripture references in Matthew 26–28 (such as the suffering in Gethsemane, the betrayal, the trials of Christ, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection; for depictions of these events, go to biblevideos.lds.org or the Gospel Art Book). What do the young men learn about the Savior and His Atonement from these events? Invite a few quorum members to share their feelings about what the Savior has done for them.
  • Invite each young man to read one of the principles of the Atonement in Linda K. Burton’s talk “Is Faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ Written in Our Hearts?” Ask him to find someone in the quorum who read about the same principle, and invite them to discuss what they learned and share an example from their own lives or the lives of people they know that illustrates the principle. Ask someone from each pair to share with the rest of the quorum what they discussed. 
  • Invite the young men to read 2 Nephi 9:6–16 and look for verses that teach them about the need for the Atonement. Give time for several young men to share the verses they selected and what they teach. Encourage them to write a letter to someone who does not believe in God and use these verses to explain why the Atonement is important and why we need a Savior. Ask them to share their letters with each other.
  • Invite some of the young men to read Alma 7:11–13, and invite the others to read about grace in the Bible Dictionary. Ask them to share what they learn about how the Atonement blesses their lives. How can the power of the Atonement help us, in addition to paying the price for our sins? Ask the young men to share an example from the scriptures or from their own lives in which someone received strength through the Atonement. 
  • Watch one or more of the videos listed in this outline, or read as a group Doctrine and Covenants 19:16–19. Invite the young men to write down their feelings after they watch or listen. Ask them to share why they are grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the Atonement better? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Invite quorum members to write down and share what they can do to help their families and friends receive the blessings of the Atonement.
  • Invite the young men to record their feelings about the Atonement in their journals.