- Answered ends of law
- Is infinite in nature- Offers eternal life
The three crucial components of the plan of salvation - the Creation, the Fall and the Atonement - relate to each other, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve said Saturday afternoon.
"Before we can comprehend the atonement of Christ, we must first understand the fall of Adam. And before we can understand the fall of Adam, we must first understand the Creation," Elder Nelson explained.
"The Creation," he said, "culminated with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The creation of Adam and Eve was a paradisiacal creation, one that required a significant change before they could fulfill the commandment to have children and thus provide earthly bodies for premortal spirit sons and daughters of God.
"That brings us to the Fall," Elder Nelson continued. "The fall of Adam and Eve constituted the mortal creation and brought about the required changes in their bodies, including the circulation of blood and other modifications as well.
"But mortal life, glorious as it is, was never the ultimate objective of God's plan. Life and death here on planet Earth were merely means to an end - not the end for which we were sent."
Elder Nelson said the atonement of Jesus Christ "became the immortal creation. He volunteered to answer the ends of a law previously transgressed. And by the shedding of His blood, His and our physical bodies could become perfected."
In pondering the meaning of the Atonement, Elder Nelson explained the three components - "at-one-ment" - suggest that a person is at one with another.
The atonement of Jesus Christ is "infinite - without an end," Elder Nelson said. It was, he added, infinite for all humankind, infinite in Christ's suffering, infinite in time and infinite in scope.
"Jesus was the only one who could offer such an infinite atonement since He was born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father. Because of that unique birthright, Jesus was an infinite Being."
Elder Nelson spoke of the "greatest single act of love of all recorded history." In Gethsemane, the Savior "took upon Himself the weight of the sins of all mankind, bearing its massive load that caused Him to bleed from every pore."
Later, He was beaten, scourged and, finally, crucified.
After three days, Christ became the first fruits of the resurrection. "He had accomplished the Atonement, which could give immortality and eternal life to all obedient human beings. All that the Fall allowed to go awry, the Atonement allowed to go aright.
"The Savior's gift of immortality comes to all who have ever lived. But His gift of eternal life requires repentance and obedience to specific ordinances and covenants."
Elder Nelson explained: "The Creation required the Fall. The Fall required the Atonement. The Atonement enabled the purpose of the Creation to be accomplished. Eternal life, made possible by the Atonement, is the supreme purpose of the Creation.
"The purposes of the Creation, the Fall and the Atonement all converge on the sacred work done in temples . . . . This is the great latter-day work of which we are a part."