The Atonement of Christ is taught as a leading doctrine by all sects professing Christianity. The expression is so common a one, and the essential point of its signification is so generally admitted, that definitions may appear to be superfluous; nevertheless, there is a peculiar importance attached to the use of the word "atonement" in a theological sense. The doctrine of the atonement comprises proof of the divinity of Christ's earthly ministry, and the vicarious nature of His death as a foreordained and voluntary sacrifice, intended for and efficacious as a propitiation for the sins of mankind, thus becoming the means whereby salvation may be secured.
The New Testament, which is properly regarded as the scripture of Christ's mission among men, is imbued throughout with the doctrine of salvation through the work of atonement wrought by the Savior; and yet the word, atonement, occurs but once in the record; and in that single instance, according to the opinion of most Biblical authorities, it is misused. The instance referred to is found in the words of Paul addressed to the saints at Rome: "But we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." FN The marginal rendering gives, instead of atonement, "reconciliation," and of this word a related form is used in the preceding verse. A consistent translation, giving a full agreement between the English and the Greek, would make the verse quoted, and that immediately preceding it, read in this way: For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation. FN The term "atonement" occurs repeatedly in the Old Testament, with marked frequency in three of the books of the Pentateuch, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers; and the sense in which it is employed is that of a sacrifice of propitiation, usually associated with the death of an acceptable victim, whereby reconciliation was to be effected between God and men.
The structure of the word in its present form is suggestive of the true meaning; it is literally at-one-ment," denoting reconciliation, or the bringing into agreement of those who have been estranged." FN And such is the significance of the saving sacrifice of the Redeemer, whereby He expiated the transgression of the fall, through which death came into the world, and provided ready and efficient means for man's attainment of immortality through reconciliation with God.
Nature of the Atonement -- The atonement wrought by Jesus Christ is a necessary sequel of the transgression of Adam; and, as the infinite foreknowledge of God made clear to Him the one even before Adam was placed upon the earth, so the Father's mercy prepared a Savior for mankind before the world was framed. Through the fall Adam and Eve have entailed the conditions of mortality upon their descendants; therefore all beings born of earthly parents are subject to bodily death. The sentence of banishment from the presence of God was in the nature of a spiritual death; and that penalty, which was visited upon our first parents in the day of their transgression, has likewise followed as the common heritage of humanity. As this penalty came into the world through an individual act, it would be manifestly unjust to cause all to eternally suffer therefrom without means of deliverance. Therefore was the promised sacrifice of Jesus Christ ordained as a propitiation for broken law, whereby Justice could be fully satisfied, and Mercy be left free to exercise her beneficent influence over the souls of mankind. FN All the details of the glorious plan, by which the salvation of the human family is assured, may not lie within the understanding of man; but man has learned, even from his futile attempts to fathom the primary causes of the phenomena of nature, that his powers of comprehension are limited; and he will admit, that to deny an effect because of his inability to elucidate its cause would be to forfeit his claims as an observing and reasoning being.
Simple as is the plan of redemption in its general features, it is confessedly a mystery in detail to the finite mind. President John Taylor has written in this wise: "In some mysterious, incomprehensible way, Jesus assumed the responsibility which naturally would have devolved upon Adam; but which could only be accomplished through the mediation of Himself, and by taking upon Himself their sorrows, assuming their responsibilities, and bearing their transgressions or sins. In a manner to us incomprehensible and inexplicable, He bore the weight of the sins of the whole world, not only of Adam, but of his posterity; and in doing that, opened the kingdom of heaven, not only to all believers and all who obeyed the law of God, but to more than one-half of the human family who die before they come to years of maturity, as well as to the heathen, who, having died without law, will through His mediation be resurrected without law, and be judged without law, and thus participate, according to their capacity, works, and worth, in the blessings of His atonement." FN
However incomplete may be our comprehension of the scheme of redemption through Christ's vicarious sacrifice in all its parts, we cannot reject it without becoming infidel; for it stands as the fundamental doctrine of all scripture, the very essence of the spirit of prophecy and revelation, the most prominent of all the declarations of God unto man.
The Atonement a Vicarious Sacrifice -- It is to many a matter of surpassing wonder that the voluntary sacrifice of a single being could be made to operate as a means of ransom for the rest of mankind. In this, as in other things, the scriptures are explicable by the spirit of scriptural interpretation. The sacred writings of ancient times, the inspired utterances of latter-day prophets, the traditions of mankind, the rites of sacrifice, and even the sacrileges of heathen idolatries, all involve the idea of vicarious atonement. God has never refused to accept an offering made by one who is authorized on behalf of those who are in any way incapable of doing the required service themselves. The scapegoat FN and the altar victim FN of ancient Israel, if offered with repentance and contrition, were accepted by the Lord in mitigation of the sins of the people. It is interesting to note that while the ceremonies of sacrifice formed so large and so essential a part of the Mosaic requirements, these rites long antedated the establishment of Israel as a distinct people; for, as already shown, altar sacrifice was rendered by Adam. The symbolism of the immolating of animals as a prototype of the great sacrifice to follow on Calvary was thus instituted with the beginning of human history.
The many kinds of sacrifice prescribed by the Mosaic law are classifiable as bloody and bloodless. Offerings of the first order only, involving the infliction of death, were acceptable in propitiation or atonement for sin, and the victim had to be clean, healthy, and without spot or blemish. So for the great sacrifice, the effects of which were to be infinite, only an innocent subject could be accepted. It was Christ's right to become the Savior as the only sinless being on earth, and as the Only Begotten of the Father, and above all as the one ordained in the heavens to be the Redeemer of mankind; and though the exercise of this right involved a sacrifice, the extent of which man cannot comprehend, yet Christ made that sacrifice willingly and voluntarily. To the last He had the means of terminating the tortures of His persecutors, by the exercise of His inherent powers. FN In some way, though that way may be inexplicable to us, Christ took upon Himself the burdensome onus of the sins of mankind. The means may be to our finite minds a mystery, yet the results are our salvation.
Something of the Savior's agony as He groaned under this load of guilt, which to Him, as a type of purity, must have been in itself bitter in the extreme, He has told us in this day: "For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit -- and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink -- Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men." FN Further instances of the validity of vicarious service are found in the rites of baptism for the dead FN as taught in apostolic and modern times, and in the institution of other temple ordinances FN in the current dispensation.
Christ's Sacrifice was Voluntary and Love-inspired -- We have noted in passing that Christ gave His life willingly and voluntarily for the redemption of mankind. He had offered Himself, in the primeval council in heaven, as the subject of the atoning sacrifice made necessary by the foreseen transgression of the first man; and the free agency shown and exercised in this, the early stage of His saving mission, was retained to the very last of the agonizing fulfilment of the accepted plan. Though He lived on earth a man in every particular that concerns us in our regard for Him as an example of godliness in humanity, yet it is to be remembered that, though born of a mortal mother, he was begotten in the flesh by an immortal Father; and so combined within His being the capacity to die, and the power to hold death indefinitely in abeyance. He gave up His life; it was not taken from Him against His will. Note the significance of His own declaration: "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." FN On another occasion Jesus testified of Himself in this way: "For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man." FN Amidst the tragic scenes of the betrayal, when one who had been a professed follower and friend gave Him with a traitorous kiss to His persecutors, and when Peter, with a rashness prompted by personal zeal, drew and used the sword in His defense, the Master said: "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" FN And on to the bitter end, marked by the expiring though triumphant cry "It is finished," the incarnated God held in subjection within Himself the power to thwart His torturers had He so willed.
The motive inspiring and sustaining Him through all the scenes of His mission, from the time of His primeval ordination to the moment of victorious consummation on the cross, was twofold: first, the desire to do His Father's will in accomplishing the redemption of mankind; second, His love for humanity, of whose welfare and destiny He had assumed charge. Far from cherishing the least feeling of vindictiveness against those who put Him to death, He entertained for them compassion to the last. Hear Him in the hour of extreme agony, praying aloud: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." FN Not less is the Father's love, as shown by His accepting the Son's offer and permitting Him whom He delighted to call His Beloved to suffer as only a God could suffer: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." FN Further, we hear the teaching of the apostle, whom the Savior loved so well: "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." FN
The Atonement Foreordained and Foretold -- As already shown, the plan of the Father to open a way for the redemption of mankind, then to leave all men free to exercise their agency, was adopted by the council in heaven to the rejection of Lucifer's plan of compulsion. Even at that remote period Christ was thus ordained as a mediator for all mankind; in fact, "a covenant was entered into between Him and His Father, in which He agreed to atone for the sins of the world, and He thus, as stated, became the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world.'" FN Prophets who lived centuries before the time of Christ's birth testified of Him and of the great work He had been ordained to perform. These men of God had been permitted to behold in prophetic vision many of the scenes incident to the Savior's earthly mission, and they solemnly bore record of the manifestations. The testimony of Christ is the spirit of prophecy, and without it no person can rightly claim the distinction of being a prophet of God. Adam's despair incident to the fall was changed to joy when, through revelation, he learned of the plan of redemption to be wrought by the Son of God in the flesh. FN Righteous Enoch taught the same truths, which had been declared to him from the heavens. FN This testimony was borne by Moses, FN Job, FN David, FN Zechariah, FN Isaiah, FN and Micah. FN The same declaration was made by John the Baptist FN who was characterized by the Lord as more than a prophet.
Should there be doubt as to the application of such prophecies, we have the conclusive testimony of Christ that they refer to Himself. On that memorable day, immediately following His resurrection, while walking incognito with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He taught them the scriptures that had been written concerning the Son of God: "Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." FN A few hours after this event the Lord appeared to the eleven at Jerusalem. He operated upon their minds "that they might understand the scriptures; and said unto them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer," FN in this way testifying that He was fulfilling a previously ordained plan. Peter, one of the Savior's most intimate earthly associates, refers to Him as "a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world." FN In his epistle to the Romans, Paul characterizes Christ as the one "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past." FN These are but a few of the Biblical evidences of Christ's foreordination; both Old and New Testament FN writings abound in proofs of the Messiah's appointed work.
Book of Mormon prophets are characterized by the directness of their testimonies concerning the Messiah. Because of his faith the brother of Jared was permitted to behold the Savior, twenty-two centuries prior to the meridian of time, and to be shown that man was created after the image of the Lord, at the same time being taught of the Father's purpose that the Son take upon Himself flesh and dwell upon the earth. FN Note the personal declaration of the foreordained Redeemer to this prophet: "Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have light, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters." FN
Nephi records the prophecy of his father Lehi concerning the future appearing of the Son in the flesh, His baptism, death, and resurrection; and this prophetic utterance specifies the exact date of the Savior's birth -- six hundred years after the time of Lehi's exodus from Jerusalem. The mission of John the Baptist is described and even the place of baptism is designated. FN Shortly after the time of Lehi's vision, Nephi was shown by the Spirit the same things, as also many others, some of which he has written but the greater part of which he was forbidden to write, as another, the Apostle John, had been ordained to set them forth in a book which should form part of the Bible. But, from the partial account of his vision we learn that he saw, in Nazareth, Mary the Virgin, first alone and shortly afterward with a child in her arms; and that the demonstrator of the vision informed him that the infant was the Lamb of God, the Son of the Eternal Father. Then Nephi beheld the Son ministering among the children of men, proclaiming the word, healing the sick, and working many other wondrous miracles; he saw John, the prophet of the wilderness, going before Him; he beheld the Savior baptized of John, and the Holy Ghost descending upon Him with the visible sign of the dove. Then he saw and prophesied that twelve apostles would follow the Savior in His ministry; that the Son would be taken and judged of men and finally be slain. Piercing the future even beyond the time of the crucifixion, Nephi beheld the strife of the world against the apostles of the Lamb and the final triumph of God's cause. FN
Jacob, brother of Nephi, prophesied to his brethren that Christ would appear in the flesh among the Jews, and that He would be scourged and crucified. FN King Benjamin lifted his voice in support of the same testimony, and preached unto his people the righteous condescension of God. FN So also declared Abinadi, FN Alma, FN Amulek, FN and Samuel the Lamanite prophet. FN The literal fulfilment of these prophecies furnishes proof of their truth. The signs and wonders indicative of Christ's birth FN and death were all realized; FN and after His death and ascension the Savior manifested Himself among the Nephites while the Father proclaimed Him to the multitude. FN
The ancient scriptures, then, are plain in declaring that Christ came upon the earth to do a work previously allotted. He lived, suffered and died, in accordance with a plan that had been framed in righteousness even before the world was, for the redemption of the children of Adam. Equally important and explicit is the word of latter-day revelation through which the Son has declared Himself as Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, man's Advocate with the Father, the universal Redeemer. FN Consider a single citation from the many revelations concerning Christ given in the present dispensation: "Listen to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same today as yesterday, and forever. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am one in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one." FN
The Extent of the Atonement is universal, applying alike to all descendants of Adam. Even the unbeliever, the heathen, and the child who dies before reaching the years of discretion, all are redeemed by the Savior's self-sacrifice from the individual consequences of the fall. FN It is proved by scripture that the resurrection of the body is one of the victories achieved by Christ through His atoning sacrifice. He Himself proclaimed the eternal truth: "I am the resurrection, and the life"; FN and He was the first of all men to rise from the grave to immortality -- "the firstfruits of them that slept." FN The scriptures leave no room for doubt concerning the fact that the resurrection will be universal. The Savior announced to His apostles the beginning of this work of deliverance from the tomb; hear His words: "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation FN or, as the latter part of the declaration has been rendered through inspiration in the present day, "They who have done good in the resurrection of the just, and they who have done evil in the resurrection of the unjust." FN
Paul preached the doctrine of a universal resurrection: "That there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." FN On another occasion he wrote: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." FN John the Revelator testifies of his vision concerning futurity: "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;
* * * And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them." FN Thus it is plain that the effect of the atonement, so far as it applies to the victory over temporal or bodily death, includes the entire race. It is equally clear that the release from spiritual death, or banishment from the presence of God, is offered to all; so that if any man lose salvation such loss will be due to himself, and in no way be the inescapable effect of Adam's transgression. That the gift of redemption through Christ is free to all men was specifically taught by the apostles of old. Thus Paul says: "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." FN And further: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all." FN John spoke of the Redeemer's sacrifice, saying: "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." FN
The same truths were taught among the Nephites. Benjamin, the righteous king, preached of "the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world." FN In revelation of the present day we read of Christ's having come into the world, to suffer and to die: "That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him." FN
But besides this universal application of the atonement, whereby all men are redeemed from the effects of Adam's transgression both with respect to the death of the body and inherited sin, there is application of the same great sacrifice as a means of propitiation for individual sins through the faith and good works of the sinner. This twofold effect of the atonement is implied in the article of our faith now under consideration. The first effect is to secure to all mankind alike, exemption from the penalty of the fall, thus providing a plan of General Salvation. The second effect is to open a way for Individual Salvation whereby mankind may secure remission of personal sins. As these sins are the result of individual acts it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed requirements -- "obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."
The General Effect of the Atonement, so far as it applies to all who have arrived at years of accountability and judgment, has been demonstrated by the scriptures already quoted. Its application to children may properly receive attention. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches as a doctrine founded on reason, justice, and scripture, that all children are innocent in the sight of God, and that, until they reach an age of personal responsibility, baptism is neither requisite nor proper in their behalf; that, in short, they are saved through the atonement of Christ. To a degree, children are born heirs to the good or evil natures of their parents; the effects of heredity are admitted. Good and evil tendencies, blessings and curses, are transmitted from generation to generation. Through this divinely-appointed order, the justice of which is plain in the revealed light of knowledge concerning the antemortal state of the spirits of mankind, the children of Adam are natural heirs to the ills of mortality; but through Christ's atonement they are all redeemed from the curse of this fallen state. The debt, which comes to them as a legacy, is paid for them and thus are they left free. Children who die before reaching the state of accountability for their acts are innocent in the eyes of God, even though they be the offspring of transgressors. We read in the Book of Mormon: "Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy. * * * For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law." FN
The prophet Mormon, writing to his son Moroni, expressed in the following manner his conviction of the innocence of children: "Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them. * * * Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach -- repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children. And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world." FN
In a revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith in this dispensation, the Lord has said: "But behold, I say unto you, that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten; Wherefore, they cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me." FN President John Taylor, after citing instances of Christ's affection for little children, and proofs of the innocent condition in which they are regarded in heaven, says: "Without Adam's trangression those children could not have existed; through the atonement they are placed in a state of salvation without any act of their own. These would embrace, according to the opinion of statisticians, more than one-half of the human family who can attribute their salvation only to the mediation and atonement of the Savior." FN
The Individual Effect of the Atonement makes it possible for any and every soul to obtain absolution from the effect of personal sins, through the mediation of Christ; but such saving intercession is to be invoked by individual effort as manifested through faith, repentance, and continued works of righteousness. The laws under which individual salvation is obtainable have been prescribed by Christ, whose right it is to say how the blessings made possible by His own sacrifice shall be administered. All men are in need of the Savior's mediation, for all are transgressors. So taught the apostles of old: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." FN And again: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." FN That the blessing of redemption from individual sins, while open for all to attain, is nevertheless conditioned on individual effort, is as plainly declared as is the truth of unconditional redemption from death as an effect of the fall. There is a judgment ordained for all, and all will be judged "according to their works." The free agency of man enables him to choose or reject, to follow the path of life or the road that leads to destruction; therefore it is but just that he be held to answer for the exercise of his power of choice and that he meet the results of his acts.
Hence the justice of the scriptural doctrine that salvation comes to the individual only through obedience. "He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" FN is said of the Christ. And further: God "will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God." FN To these may be added the words of the risen Lord, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." FN
Consider further the prophecy that King Benjamin proclaimed to the Nephite multitude: Christ's blood "atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned. But wo, wo unto him who knoweth that he rebelleth against God! For salvation cometh to none such except it be through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ." FN
But why multiply scriptural citations when the whole tenor of sacred writ supports the doctrine? Without Christ no man can be saved, and the salvation provided at the cost of Christ's sufferings and bodily death is offered upon certain clearly defined conditions only; and these are summarized under "obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."
Salvation and Exaltation -- Some degree of salvation will come to all who have not forfeited their right to it; exaltation is given to those only who by righteous effort have won a claim to God's merciful liberality by which it is bestowed. Of the saved, not all will be exalted to the higher glories; rewards will not be bestowed in violation of justice; punishments will not be meted out to the ignoring of mercy. No one can be admitted to any order of glory, in short, no soul can be saved until justice has been satisfied for violated law. Our belief in the universal application of the atonement implies no supposition that all mankind will be saved with like endowments of glory and power. In the kingdom of God there are numerous degrees or gradations provided for those who are worthy of them; in the house of our Father there are many mansions, into which only those who are prepared are admitted. The false assumption, based upon sectarian dogma, that in the hereafter there shall be but two places, states, or conditions for the souls of mankind -- heaven and hell, with the same glory in all parts of the one and the same terrors throughout the other -- is untenable in the light of divine revelation. Through the direct word of the Lord we learn of varied kingdoms or glories.
Degrees of Glory -- The revelations of God have defined the following principal kingdoms or degrees of glory, as prepared through Christ for the children of men.
1. The Celestial Glory FN -- There are some who have striven to obey all the divine commandments, who have accepted the testimony of Christ, obeyed "the laws and ordinances of the Gospel," and received the Holy Spirit; these are they who have overcome evil by godly works and who are therefore entitled to the highest glory; these belong to the Church of the Firstborn, unto whom the Father has given all things; they are made kings and priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek; they possess celestial bodies, "whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical"; they are admitted to the glorified company, crowned with exaltation in the celestial kingdom.
2. The Terrestrial Glory FN -- We read of others who receive glory of a secondary order, differing from the highest as "the moon differs from the sun in the firmament." These are they who, though honorable, failed to comply with the requirements for exaltation, were blinded by the craftiness of men and unable to receive and obey the higher laws of God. They proved "not valiant in the testimony of Jesus," and therefore are not entitled to the fulness of glory.
3. The Telestial Glory FN -- There is another grade, differing from the higher orders as the stars differ from the brighter orbs of the firmament; this is for those who received not the testimony of Christ, but who nevertheless, did not deny the Holy Spirit; who have led lives exempting them from the heaviest punishment, yet whose redemption will be delayed until the last resurrection. In the telestial world there are innumerable degrees comparable to the varying light of the stars. FN Yet all who receive of any one of these orders of glory are at last saved, and upon them Satan will finally have no claim. Even the telestial glory "surpasses all understanding; And no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it." FN Then there are those who have lost all claim upon the immediate mercy of God, whose deeds have numbered them with Perdition and his angels. FN
The Atonement Wrought by Jesus Christ
Sacrificial death of Christ prefigured by altar sacrifices under the Law of Moses. For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul -- Lev. 17:11.
For sins of the people, sacrifice by shedding of blood of animals before the Lord -- Lev. chap. 4. see also 5:5-10.
Adam required to offer firstlings of the flocks, in similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten -- Moses 5:5-8. see also verse 20.
A virgin to bear a son and call his name Immanuel -- Isa. 7:14. see also Matt. 1:21-23.
Prediction of the Savior's life and work -- Isa. 53:3-12.
Mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior -- Moses 1:6.
Plan of salvation unto all men through the blood of mine Only Begotten -- Moses 6:62.
Only Begotten Son prepared before foundation of the world -- Moses 5:57.
The Son of God hath atoned for original guilt -- Moses 6:54.
Must be cleansed by blood, even that of the Only Begotten -- Moses 6:59.
Jesus Christ who gave himself a ransom for all -- Matt. 20:28. see also 1 Tim. 2:5, 6.
The Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world -- John 1:29.
I lay down my life for the sheep -- John 10:15.
My blood, shed for many for remission of sins -- Matt. 26:28. see also Luke 22:19. John 6:51.
I lay down my life that I might take it again -- John 10: 17. see also verses 11 and 15.
The Son of Man lifted up that men may have eternal life -- John 3: 14, 15. see also 8:28; 12:32.
Christ exalted to be a Prince and a Savior to give repentance and remission of sins -- Acts 5:31.
Christ must needs have suffered -- Acts 17:3. see the Lord's words -- Luke 24:26, 46.
Christ died for us, we shall be saved from wrath through him -- Rom. 5:8, 9. Christ died and rose and revived, Lord of dead and living -- Rom. 14:9. Christ came into the world to save sinners -- 1 Tim. 1:15; a ransom for all -- 2:6; the Savior of all men -- 4:10; hath abolished death -- 2 Tim. 1:10. To make reconciliation for the sins of the people -- Heb. 2:17; the author of eternal salvation -- 5:9; the mediator of the new testament -- 9:15. Who bare our sins in his own body -- 1 Pet. 2:24; hath suffered for us in the flesh -- 4: 1.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain -- Rev. 5: 12.
Lehi prophesies concerning the Messiah to come -- 1 Nephi 10:4-17. Nephi's vision of the Messiah -- chap. 11.
Messiah to come to redeem men from the fall -- 2 Nephi 2:26. Jacob teaches that the atonement is infinite -- 2 Nephi chap. 9. From death by the resurrection, from everlasting death by the power of the atonement -- 2 Nephi 10:25.
None other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved -- 2 Nephi 31:21. see also Helaman 5:9-12. D&C 18:23-25.
Be reconciled to him through the atonement of Christ -- Jacob 4:11. Come unto Christ and partake of his salvation -- Omni 26.
Law of Moses availeth nothing except through the atonement -- Mosiah 3:15. Law of Moses fulfilled by Christ, by whom the law had been given -- 3 Nephi 12:17; 15:2-6.
They have eternal life through Christ who has broken the bands of death -- Mosiah 15:23; also verses 24-28.
No redemption save through death and sufferings of Christ and the atonement -- Alma 21:9; see also Helaman 5:9-11; 14: 16, 17.
Expedient that an atonement be made -- Alma 34:9-16.
Mercy cometh because of the atonement -- Alma 42:23.
The Lord not to redeem men in their sins but from their sins -- Helaman 5: 10. I have come to bring redemption unto the world -- 3 Nephi 9:21; see also D&C 49:5.
I have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world -- 3 Nephi 11:11.
Because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man -- Mormon 9:12, 13. He hath brought to pass the redemption of the world -- 7:7.
He that saith little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ and setteth at naught the atonement -- Moroni 8:20.
The Lord suffered pain of all men, and death, that they might come unto him -- D&C 18:11. Jesus Christ the only name given by which men may be saved -- verses 23-25. I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent -- 19:16. see also Moses 6:52.
Salvation provided for all men in all ages -- D&C 20:23-29.
Your Redeemer, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins -- D&C 29: 1. Little children redeemed -- verses 46, 47.
Only Begotten Son sent into the world for redemption of the world -- D&C 49:5.
I, the Lord, who was crucified for sins of the world -- D&C 53:2; also 54:1. 76:41.
The Lord is God, and beside him there is no Savior -- D&C 76:1; see verses 39-42.
Through redemption comes the resurrection -- D&C 88: 14-17.
Through redemption from the fall men became again innocent -- D&C 93:38.
Mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior -- Moses 1:6; see also verse 39.
A similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten -- Moses 5:7.
Thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will -- Moses 5:9.
Prophetic call to salvation -- Isa. 55: 17; see also Luke 3:36.
Obtainable through Christ -- Isa. 61: 10; see also Luke 19: 10; 24:46, 47; John 3:14, 17; Acts 4:12; 13:38; Rom. 5:15-21; D&C 18:23; Moses 5:15; see references above under Atonement.
A reconciliation with God effected through Jesus Christ -- 2 Cor. 5: 18, 19; see also Col. 1: 19-23.
Endure to the end to be saved -- Matt. 24: 13; see also 10:22; Heb. 3: 14; D&C 53:7.
Conditioned on obedience -- Matt. 28: 19, 20; Mark 1:4; 16: 16.
To be worked out with fear and trembling -- Philip. 2: 12
The engrafted word, which is able to save your souls -- Jas. 1:21. Salvation to come through overcoming Satan -- Rev. 12: 10. Salvation is free -- 2 Nephi 2:4; see also 26:24; to be declared to every nation -- Mosiah 15:28; Matt. 24: 14. See references under Free Agency, following Chap. 3 herein.
Possible to procrastinate day of salvation until too late -- Helaman 13:38. Righteous to reap salvation of their souls -- Alma 9:28.
No gift greater than salvation -- D&C 6:13; see also 11:7. Conditions of salvation set forth -- D&C 49:5.
Impossible to be saved in ignorance -- D&C 131:6.
Salvation without exaltation -- D&C 132:17.
Salvation graded; exaltation higher -- John 14:2; 1 Cor. 15:40-42; D&C sec. 76; 132:19-21.
Revelation to Adam as to conditions of salvation -- Moses 5:9-15.