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Atone, Atonement

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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, the shedding of His blood, and His death and subsequent resurrection from the grave (Isa. 53:3–12; Luke 22:44; Mosiah 3:5–11; Alma 7:10–13; D&C 19:16–19). 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).