We should spend our lives striving to understand and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
When I started gathering these quotes to give as an LDS institute handout years ago it was such a sweet, sacred experience. Then my husband gave the quotes to ward members at tithing settlement. Now I'm giving it to my early morning seminary students. We never can focus too much on our Savior.
This Easter week you can use these quotes for your personal or family scripture study, or family home evening. If you have any more you like, please add them in the comments below.
Here is a printable full-page version of most of what's on this post.
Here is a smaller version you can print on both sides, cut and fold into an insert to glue in your scriptures (this one has just the quotes). I used a stick glue to glue mine into Matthew 26.
Jeffrey R. Holland- "None Were With Him." Mormon Message video
Becky Edwards’ Favorite Quotes about Christ’s Atonement
Elder Boyd K. Packer: “[The Atonement of Christ] is the very root of Christian doctrine. You may know much about the gospel as it branches out from there, but if you only know the branches and those branches do not touch that root, if they have been cut free from that truth, there will be no life nor substance nor redemption in them” (“The Mediator,” Ensign, May 1977, 56).
Joseph Smith: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it” (Teachings, 121).
President Gordon B. Hinckley: “No member of this Church must ever forget the terrible price paid by our Redeemer, who gave His life that all men might live—the agony of Gethsemane, the bitter mockery of His trial, the vicious crown of thorns tearing at His flesh, the blood cry of the mob before Pilate, the lonely burden of His heavy walk along the way to Calvary, the terrifying pain as great nails pierced His hands and feet. . . . We cannot forget that. We must never forget it, for here our Savior, our Redeemer, the Son of God, gave Himself, a vicarious sacrifice for each of us” (Ensign, April 2005, 4).
Elder Neal A. Maxwell: “Have you thought that there was no way that Jesus could know the suffering which we undergo as a result of our stupidity and sin, (because he was sinless) except He bear those sins of ours in what I call the awful arithmetic of the atonement?” (CES Symposium, 1979).
President Gordon B. Hinckley: “I sense in a measure the meaning of his atonement. I cannot comprehend it all. It is so vast in its reach and yet so intimate in its effect that it defies comprehension” (Ensign, Feb. 95).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: To ‘succor’ means to “run to.” I testify that in my fears and in my infirmities the Savior has surely run to me. I will never be able to thank Him enough for such personal kindness and such loving care (Ensign, Nov 1997, 64).
President Gordon B. Hinckley: “I know that Jesus is my Redeemer, my Lord, my Savior. I know that. I can’t comprehend the full meaning of the Atonement, but I know that through His sacrifice He has made it possible for you and for me to live eternal lives” (Ensign, Aug. 1996, 61).
Elder Bruce C. Hafen: “Some Church members feel weighed down with discouragement about the circumstances of their personal lives, even when they are making sustained and admirable efforts. Frequently, these feelings of self-disappointment come not from wrongdoing, but from stresses for which they may not be fully to blame. The atonement of Jesus Christ applies to these experiences because it applies to all of life. The Savior’s atonement is thus portrayed as the healing power not only for sin, but also for carelessness, inadequacy, and all mortal bitterness. The Atonement is not just for sinners” (“Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Christ,” Ensign, April 97, 39).
Merrill J. Bateman: “For many years I thought of the Savior’s experience in the garden and on the cross as places where a large mass of sin was heaped upon Him... however, my view has changed. Instead of an impersonal mass of sin, there was a long line of people, as Jesus felt “our infirmities” (Heb. 4:15), “[bore] our griefs, … carried our sorrows … [and] was bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:4–5). The Atonement was an intimate, personal experience in which Jesus came to know how to help each of us...He learned about your weaknesses and mine. He experienced your pains and sufferings. He experienced mine. I testify that He knows us. He understands the way in which we deal with temptations. He knows our weaknesses. But more than that, more than just knowing us, He knows how to help us if we come to Him in faith” (“A Pattern for All,” Ensign, Nov 2005, 74).
President Joseph Fielding Smith: “Here we have the Son of God carrying the burden of my transgressions and your transgressions and the transgressions of every soul that receives the gospel of Jesus Christ. ... He carried the burden—our burden. I added something to it; so did you. So did everybody else. He took it upon himself to pay the price that I might escape—that you might escape—the punishment on the conditions that we will receive his gospel and be true and faithful in it” (“Fall—Atonement— Resurrection— Sacrament,” SLC Institute, Jan. 14, 1961, 8).
Boyd K. Packer: “...Save for the exception of the very few who defect to perdition, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the atonement of Christ” (Ensign, Nov 1995, 18).
Neal A. Maxwell: The cumulative weight of all mortal sins—past, present, and future— pressed upon that perfect, sinless, and sensitive Soul! All our infirmities and sicknesses were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement” (“Willing to Submit,” Ensign, May 1985, 70).
Elder Marion G. Romney “...No man, nor set of men, nor all men put together, ever suffered what the Redeemer suffered in the Garden” (In Conf. Report, Oct. 1953, p. 35).
Elder Quentin L. Cook: “ “...Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, [we] can be reunited with the loved ones [we] have lost” (Ensign, May 2010, 83–86).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone” (Ensign, May 2009, 86–88).
Joseph Fielding Smith: “As excruciating, as severe as was that punishment, coming from the driving of nails through His hands and through His feet, and being suspended, until relieved by death, yet still greater was the suffering which He endured in carrying the burden of the sins of the world-my sins, and your sins, and the sins of every living creature. This suffering came before He ever got to the cross, and it caused the blood to come forth from the pores of his body, so great was that anguish of His soul, the torment of His spirit that He was called upon to undergo. Are we not indebted? Yes. Are we ungrateful? Yes, unless we are willing to abide by every word that comes from the mouth of God, unless we are obedient, unless our hearts are broken, in the scriptural sense, unless our spirits are contrite, unless within our soul is the spirit of humility and faith and obedience” (Conference Report, April 1944, 49-50).
Elder Shayne M. Bowen: "Is it possible to reclaim a life that through reckless abandon has become so strewn with garbage that it appears that the person is unforgivable? Or what about the one who is making an honest effort but has fallen back into sin so many times that he feels that there is no possible way to break the seemingly endless pattern? Or what about the person who has changed his life but just can't forgive himself? . . .The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means--total, complete, all, forever" (Ensign, Nov. 2006, 33).
Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "The more we know of Jesus' Atonement, the more we will humbly and gladly glorify Him, His Atonement, and His character. We will never tire of paying tribute to His goodness and loving-kindness. How long will we so speak of our gratitude for His Atonement? The scriptures advise "forever and ever!" (“Enduring Well,” Ensign, 1997).
Elder Joseph B. Worthlin: "The more you understand the Atonement and what it means, the less likely you will be to fall prey to temptations of the adversary. No other doctrine will bring greater results in improving behavior and strengthening character than the doctrine of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is central to God's plan and is preeminent in the restored gospel" (Ensign, Nov. 1999).
President James E. Faust: "Any increase in our understanding of His atoning sacrifice draws us closer to Him" (Ensign, Nov. 2001).
Elder Tad Callister: “...No mortal can cry out, ‘He does not understand my plights for my trials are unique.’ There is nothing outside the scope of the Savior’s experience. As Elder Maxwell observed, “None of us can tell Christ anything about depression.” As a result of his mortal experience, culminating in the Atonement, the Savior knows, understands, and feels every human condition, every human woe, and every human loss. He can comfort as no other. He can lift burdens as not other. He can listen as no other” (Infinite Atonement, 207-209).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “It is the wounded Christ who is the captain of our soul—he who yet bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love and humility and forgiveness. Those wounds are what he invites young and old, then and now, to step forward and see and feel. . . . Then we remember with Isaiah that it was for each of us that our Master was “despised and rejected . . . ; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). All this we could remember when we are invited by a kneeling young priest to remember Christ always” (“This Do in Remembrance of Me,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 69).
Donald W. Parry (BYU Professor of Hebrew): “The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the hinge point of all eternity. Its gifts are numerous. It is limitless in its magnitude, power, and scope, and covers our sins as well as our pains, griefs, infirmities, afflictions, disease, physical bodies, and more. The Atonement provides us with clarity as we move through mortality. It gives us purpose and understanding in our daily walk, in family relationships, and educational and occupational pursuits. It makes us better disciples of Jesus Christ, better sons and daughters, better parents, and better spouses. It increases our love, judgement, and wisdom, and provides us with power and desire to repent of our sins, and to become new creatures in Jesus Christ.
“On the one hand, the Atonement’s capacity reaches out throughout eternity and covers infinite worlds and their inhabitants. On the other hand, it reaches into our very hearts, and impacts our daily lives before God. Without the Atonement, we come to earth, we sin, we die, and we suffer endless woe, becoming angels to the devil, and devils ourselves. With the Atonement, if we come unto Christ and partake of the great blessings he offers us...repent of our sins and be purified and renewed, and when we rise in the resurrection, we will rise to glory.
“Just how limitless, how infinite, is the Atonement? ... Its gifts and blessings are numerous, going well beyond the coverage of our personal sins and the universal resurrection. Coverage of our sins and the resurrection – these alone would make the Atonement the most magnificent gift, but the Atonement goes well beyond these. The Atonement impacts our pains, sicknesses, rebellions, crimes, addictions, mental, physical, and emotional weaknesses, griefs, and infirmities. It also covers little children, physical and spiritual death, and much, much more (“The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Can We Really Understand?” BYU Education Week, Aug. 17, 2009).
Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "The more we know of Jesus, the more we will love Him. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will trust Him. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will want to be like Him and to be with Him by becoming the manner of men and women that He wishes us to be (see 3 Ne. 27:27), while living now "after the manner of happiness” (2 Ne. 5:27). (Ensign, May 2001).
President David O. McKay: "To the church and to the world I repeat this question as being the most vital, the most far reaching query in this unsettled, distracted world (Matt 22:42). What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are, will largely determine what your acts will be. No person can study this divine personality, can accept his teachings without becoming conscious of an uplifting and refining influence within himself" (New Era, Oct. 2002, 26).
Brigham Young: “There is no spirit but what was pure and holy when it came here from the Celestial World…. He is the Father of our spirits; and if we could know, understand, and do His will, every soul would be prepared to return back into His presence. And when they get there, they would see that they had formerly lived there for ages, that they had previously been acquainted with every nook and corner, with the palaces, walks, and gardens; and they would embrace their Father, and He would embrace them and say, ‘My son, my daughter, I have you again;’ and the child would say, ‘Oh my Father, My Father, I am here again’” (Journal of Discourses, 4:268, quoted by Bishop Keith McMullin, Ensign, May 1999).
Elder Russell M. Nelson: “The ordeal of the Atonement centered about the city of Jerusalem. There the greatest single act of love of all recorded history took place. Leaving the upper room, Jesus and His friends crossed the deep ravine east of the city and came to a garden of olive trees on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives. There in the garden bearing the Hebrew name of Gethsemane —meaning ‘oilpress’—olives had been beaten and pressed to provide oil and food. There at Gethsemane, the Lord ‘suffered the pain of all men, that all ... might repent and come unto him.’ He took upon Himself the weight of the sins of all mankind, bearing its massive load that caused Him to bleed from every pore” (Ensign, Nov. 1996, 35).
Elder James E. Talmage: “Death by crucifixion was at once the most lingering and most painful of all forms of execution. The victim lived in ever increasing torture, generally for many hours, sometimes for days. ... The welcome relief of death came through the exhaustion caused by intense and unremitting pain” (Jesus the Christ, 655).
Elder Tad Callister: (paraphrasing) We’ll never fully understand the Atonement, but we should spend our lives trying to (The Infinite Atonement).
Elder Bruce R. McKonkie: “The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion” (Christ and the Creation).
President Gordon B. Hinckley: "[Jesus Christ’s] Atonement is the greatest event in human history. There is nothing to compare with it. It is the most fundamental part of our Father’s plan for the happiness of His children. Without it, mortal life would be a dead-end existence with neither hope nor future. The gift of our divine Redeemer brings an entirely new dimension to our lives. Because of our Savior’s sacrifice, instead of dismal oblivion, death becomes only a passage to a more glorious realm. The Resurrection becomes a reality for all. Eternal life becomes available to those who walk in obedience to His commandments” (“Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, Sep. 2007).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "...The greatest and most important single thing there is in all eternity—the thing that transcends all others since the time of the creation of man and of the worlds—is the fact of the atoning sacrifice of Christ the Lord... The Atonement is the central thing in the whole gospel system. The Prophet said that all other things pertaining to our religion are only appendages to it" (“Behold the Condescension of God,” New Era, Dec. 1984).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: "When He says to the poor in spirit, “Come unto me,” He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way" (“Broken Things to Mend,” Ensign, May 2006).
David P. Vandagriff: “The Atonement of Jesus Christ is not only for your last breath and the last day of your life, but it is also for every day of your life, every breath of your life” (I Need Thee Every Hour, Applying the Atonement in Everyday Life).
Elder David A. Bednar: “President David O. McKay...summarized the overarching purpose of the gospel of the Savior in these terms: ‘. . . the purpose of the gospel is . . . to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature’ (from the film Every Member a Missionary, as acknowledged by Franklin D. Richards, CR, October 1965, pp. 136-137).
“Now I do not believe the word 'bad' in this statement by President McKay connotes only wicked, awful, horrible, or inherently evil. Rather, I think he was suggesting that the journey from bad to good is the process of putting off the natural man or the natural woman in each of us.
“Now, please notice the next line in Mosiah 3:19: ‘and becometh a saint.’ May I suggest this phrase describes the continuation and second phase of life's journey as outlined by President McKay. ‘The purpose of the gospel is to make bad men good’--or, in other words, put off the natural man–‘and good men better’--or, in other words, become more like a saint. Now, brothers and sisters, I believe this second part of the journey, this process of going from good to better, is a topic about which we do not study or teach frequently enough nor understand adequately.
“If I were to emphasize one overarching point this afternoon, it would be this. I suspect that you and I are much more familiar with the nature of the redeeming power of the atonement than we are with the enabling power of the atonement...The Lord desires, through His atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us--not only to direct us but also to empower us...Most of us clearly understand that the atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the atonement is also for saints--for good men and women who are obedient and worthy and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully.
"I frankly do not think many of us "get it" concerning this enabling and strengthening aspect of the atonement, and I wonder if we mistakenly believe we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves, through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities...The atonement provides help for us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good. There is help from the Savior for the entire journey of life--from bad to good to better and to change our very nature. Indeed, this doctrine tastes good” (BYU-I Devotional, Jan. 8, 2002).
“...Both of these essential elements of the journey of life--both putting off the natural man and becoming a saint, both overcoming bad and becoming good--are accomplished through the power of the atonement. Individual willpower, personal determination and motivation, and effective planning and goal setting are necessary but ultimately insufficient to triumphantly complete this mortal journey. Truly, we must come to rely upon ‘the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah’ (2 Nephi 2:8).
“[On page 697 of the] Bible Dictionary...under the word "grace," we read: “...divine means of help or strength... It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts’ (emphasis added).
“That is, grace represents that divine assistance or heavenly help each of us will desperately need to qualify for the celestial kingdom. Thus, the enabling power of the atonement strengthens us to do and be good and serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity. In my personal scripture study, I often insert the term "enabling power" whenever I encounter the word grace. Consider, for example, this verse with which we are all familiar in 2 Nephi, chapter 25, verse 23: ‘. . . for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.’ ...As we come to better understand this sacred power, our gospel perspective will be greatly enlarged and enriched. Such a perspective will change us in remarkable ways.
“[Referring to Alma 7] the Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distress that so frequently beset us... There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, ‘No one understands. No one knows.’ No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, and succor--literally run to us--and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying only upon our own power.
“Perhaps now we can more fully understand and appreciate the lesson of Matthew 11:28-30: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
“I can think of no person or knowledge or influence or event that has had a greater impact upon me during my half century of mortality than the doctrines I have attempted to discuss this afternoon. I pray that you will learn and understand and appreciate and apply this essential doctrine early in your lives” (“In the Strength of the Lord,” BYU-I Devot. Jan. 8, 2002).
President Joseph Fielding Smith: “The great love, with its accompanying blessings, extended to us through the crucifixion, suffering, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is beyond our mortal comprehension. We never could repay. We have been bought with a price beyond computation—not with gold or silver or precious stones, ‘but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot.’ (1 Pet. 1:19)” (Conf Report, Apr. 1966).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “Christ suffered for the sins and sorrows and pains of all the rest of the human family, providing remission for all of our sins as well, upon conditions of obedience to the principles and ordin-ances of the gospel He taught (see 2 Nephi 9:21–23)” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 67).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “The atonement of Jesus Christ is the foreordained but voluntary act of the Only Begotten Son of God. He offered his life, including his innocent body, blood, and spiritual anguish as a redeeming ransom (1) for the effect of the Fall of Adam upon all mankind and (2) for the personal sins of all who repent, from Adam to the end of the world. Latter-day Saints believe this is the central fact, the crucial foundation, the chief doctrine, and the greatest expression of divine love in the plan of salvation. The Prophet Joseph Smith declared that all ‘things which pertain to our religion are only appendages’ to the atonement of Christ ([Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith], p. 121)” (“Atonement of Jesus Christ,” in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 5 vols. , 1:82–83).
Richard G. Scott: “...No matter what the source of difficulty and no matter how you begin to obtain relief — through a qualified professional therapist, doctor, priesthood leader, friend, concerned parent, or loved one — no matter how you begin, those solutions will never provide a complete answer. The final healing comes through faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and obedience to His commandments. ... Do what you can do a step at a time. Seek to understand the principles of healing from the scriptures and through prayer. ... Above all, exercise faith in Jesus Christ. ...I testify that the surest, most effective, and shortest path to healing comes through application of the teachings of Jesus Christ in your life” (“To be Healed,” Ensign, May 1994, p. 9).
Some of my favorite scriptures about the Atonement
Alma 7:11-14, 1 Nephi 19:9, Mosiah 3:7, Matt 26:36-46, 2 Nephi 2:7, 2 Nephi 25:23, 3 Nephi 11:11, Alma 34:10, DC 19:16-19, Moroni 10:32-33, Philip 4:13.
|I like marking Atonement scriptures with a brown pencil, brown reminding me of the Garden of Gethsemane.|
My favorite talks or books about the Atonement
- Elder David A. Bednar: “In the Strength of the Lord,” BYU-I Devot Jan 8 2002
- Elder Holland: "This Do In Remembrance of Me," Ensign, Nov. 1995
- Elder Holland: "None Were With Him," Ensign, Nov. 2009 (See video above)
- Brad Wilcox: "His Grace Is Sufficient," BYU Devotional, July 12, 2011 (also “The Atonement: After All We Can Do,” BYU Ed Week, Aug. 18, 2009)
- Brad Wilcox: The Continuous Atonement
- Thomas B. Griffeth: "The Root of Christian Doctrine," BYU Devotional, March 14, 2006
- Tad Callister: The Infinite Atonement
- Donald Parry: “The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Can We Really Understand?” BYU Education Week, Aug. 17, 2009
- “Messiah: Behold the Lamb of God - ‘I have Trodden the Wine Press Alone’ - Atonement” documentary on www.BYUTV.org
- David Vandergriff: I Need Thee Every Hour, Applying the Atonement in Everyday Life
- Robert Millet: "After All We Can Do: The Meaning of Grace in Our Lives," BYU Women's Conference 1998. Watch it here.
- Carolyn J. Rasmus: "The Enabling Power of the Atonement: Bask in His Life-Giving Light," BYU Women's Conference 2006.
- James Ferrell: The Peacegiver
- John Bytheway: "The Best Three Hours of the Week"
Some ways to use the Atonement
Repent, forgive, turn our burdens over to Christ (upsets, pains, decisions or people or health issues I’m concerned about), ask him to change my nature or desires, taking the sacrament, ask him to change our weaknesses into strengths, ask him to magnify our meager efforts into something meaningful and contributing to others, ...
My favorite pictures or object lessons about the Atonement
A tree with the atonement as the root of Christian doctrine; wheel with atonement as center hub and the rest of the gospel as spokes coming from it; umbrella that covers everything including sins, heartache and pain; blanket that covers us; merger of a failing business and a successful business; yoking ourselves with God’s infinite power; C. S. Lewis' story of Christ remodeling us from a cottage into a palace; a huge electrical cord plugged into Christ’s power; sacrament - eating Christ’s flesh and blood, him becoming a part of us; a ladder; eating the doughnut.
My favorite songs about the Atonement
“Gethsemane” by Kenneth Cope
“I Stand all Amazed”
Any of the sacrament hymns in the LDS Hymn Book, numbers 169-197
My favorite stories or analogies about the Atonement
The bike (story from Believing Christ book by Stephen Robinson)
For more about the Atonement on my blog go here and here and here.
Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts or feelings about our Savior's Atonement.