What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life?

Official Answer

It is impossible to put into words the full meaning of the Atonement, which is the most important and most transcendent event in the history of the world. Through His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, the Savior atoned for our sins. This is the good news for all people!

We can’t fully understand how Jesus suffered for our sins. But we know that in the Garden of Gethsemane, the weight of our sins caused Him to feel such agony that He bled from every pore (Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-17).

Later, as He hung upon the cross, Jesus again felt the weight of our sins even as He willingly suffered painful death by one of the most cruel methods ever known. Jesus the Christ, page 462 states, “It seems, that in addition to the fearful suffering incident to crucifixion, the agony of Gethsemane had recurred, intensified beyond human power to endure. In that bitterest hour the dying Christ was alone, alone in most terrible reality.”

The Savior tells us:

“For behold, I... have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer... even as I.” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-17)

Jesus Christ did what only He could do in atoning for our sins. To make His Atonement fully effective in our individual lives, we must have faith in Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized and confirmed by one having authority, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, obey God’s commandments, receive sacred ordinances, and strive to become like Him. As we do these things through His Atonement, we can return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father forever.

  • Jesus Christ died so that everything which is not right or unfair could be corrected in due time. Because of His life and death, he has the power to help you, right now, with whatever you struggle with. Show more

  • The Atonement of Christ is the single most important event to happen on the earth today. The Atonement of Christ is when our brother, Jesus Christ, suffered for ALL our sins and ALL our pains and afflictions. It is impossible to comprehend just how much suffering He went through, but we do know that is caused him to "bleed from every pore". Try and put that into perspective, suffering for ALL our sins and pains, for Worlds without number. Its such a fascinating concept. Why did he have to die for us? It was the only way, and our Heavenly Father, and his son Jesus Christ, knew that. The only way back to live with our Heavenly Father is through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. Therefore, we must have faith is Christ, repent of our sins, and strive to become like him. We must do all things through Christ to be in His presence again. Show more

  • Through the scriptures we know that "no unclean thing can dwell with God (1 Nep. 10:21)." However, our goal on earth is to live our lives in such a way that we can return to live with God. We are all human, and, as humans, we all sin. To fulfill justice, payment has to be made for our sins, but we are unable to do so in our imperfect state. Jesus Christ was the only perfect human being to ever live on this earth, so, of all people, he is the only one who has no sins to be punished for. Jesus Christ mercifully atoned for all of our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane. He made payment for all of our sins because he was the only one who could. All mankind may be saved and once again dwell with God because the payment for our sins has been made. However, we must accept Christ's atonement to make use of it. We do this by having faith in Christ, repenting of our sins, being baptized and confirmed, receiving sacred ordinances, and striving to become like him. Show more

  • The Atonement is the ultimate price that Jesus Christ paid in order for us to be able to be forgiven of God and return to His presence again some day. The Atonement is the peace you feel when you know God has forgiven you and that you have a new start. The Atonement is forgiveness as many times as you repent. It is the eternal and everlasting path to return to God's presence. Show more

  • This question has been one that has been most misunderstood, as I have come to realize on my mission. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is literally is how we are reconciled to the father. Since no unclean thing can enter into God's kingdom, and no person that has existed on this planet ever was perfect, (aside from Jesus Christ) There needed to be someway for us to be able to go back to God's presence. In the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross Jesus Christ suffered for our sins. In some way incomprehensible to us mere mortals, Christ voluntarily took the punishment for our sins, so when we follow him and do what he says, we can one day live with the father in heaven. Show more

  • The atonement of Jesus Christ makes returning to our Father in Heaven possible. Put simply, it includes his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, his crusifiction the next day on the cross and his resurrection 3 days later. To acutally have this atonement of the Savior take full effect in our lives we must do as he has asked: have faith in him, repent of our sins, be baptized and confirmed by one having authority, recieve th gift of the Holy Ghost, obey God's commandments, recieve sacred ordinances and strive our best to become like him. I know that by doing these simple things peace enters into life that cannot be found anywhere else. Show more

  • The Atonement of Jesus Christ is a central part of our religion. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes, big and small, every single day. Heavenly Father knew we would sometimes make wrong choices and that those choices would separate us from Him spiritually, that is why He sent Jesus Christ to atone, or pay the price, for our sins. Jesus Christ lived a life free from any sin. Because Christ lived a sinless life, He is the only person who could offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. From His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane to His final words on the cross, the Savior paid the price for our sins. Because of this, He understands us perfectly and is willing to forgive us when we show that we are willing to repent, or have a change of heart and action. Jesus Christ is our advocate with our Father in Heaven. This is why the Atonement of Jesus Christ was necessary and why it is so important. We don't have to be defined by past mistakes, because of the Atonement, we can move forward and become better each day. Show more

  • The Atonement consists of Christ suffering for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, sacrificing His life for us on the cross, and Him conquering death and being resurrected. The Atonement was possible because Christ was a perfect sacrifice. The sacrifice is both infinite and eternal (Alma 34:10). To make use of His Atonement in our individual lives we must: have faith in Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized and confirmed by one having authority, receive the Holy Ghost, and obey the commandments continually trying to become like Him. As we do these things, utilizing the Atonement, we can ultimately return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father. I have come to accept that I will never truly understand the Atonement fully. I do not know how Christ was able to feel the pains, anguish, guilt, and take upon Him all the sins of the world. But that does not mean I have not felt its cleansing effects in my life. I know that the Atonement is real and if relied upon can enrich our lives and draw us nearer to our Savior. Show more

  • It is what ensures that we get forgiven and saved for eternity Show more

  • The whole point of this life is to learn and grow, and do what is necessary to return to live with our Heavenly Father. God is so perfect, that we, too, have to be clean of absolutely every sin or misdeed we have done in order to live where he does. It's not Him being mean or's sort of like a parent telling you that you have to clean all the mud off your boots before you walk on the pristine living room carpet. The problem is, even when we try hard to be righteous, when we try to clean off all the "mud," we still fall short. The good news is that our imperfection is actually FINITE. I know that sounds odd, but today maybe I sinned ten times, or even twenty (hopefully minor issues). In a lifetime, there is a FINITE amount of sin I have committed. My older brother, Jesus Christ, lived an absolutely perfect life, free of sin. His perfection is INFINITE. Using this infinite perfection, he is willing to make up the difference for my faults, as long as I strive to take care of what I can. He didn't have to do this, but He loved me enough to sacrifice His comfort in order to make me clean. He purchased the debt of my sin, and "mixed" my finite imperfection with His infinite cleanliness. As we learn in mathematics, a finite number added to an infinite number equals an infinite result. I am forever grateful to my Savior for sacrificing to pay my debt. The wonderful news is that His sacrifice applies to your debt as well, as long as you follow His direction. Show more

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