Brother Tad R. Callister: ‘The Atonement of Jesus Christ’

Outgoing Sunday School general president

Notable quotes:

“If we feel the Spirit, then that is our witness that we have been forgiven, or that the cleansing process is taking place.”
“Because of the Savior’s Atonement, we can have an eternal perspective that gives meaning to our trials and hope for our relief.”
“Because of Christ’s Atonement, we are eligible to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and its accompanying spiritual gifts. These gifts are attributes of godliness; therefore, every time we acquire a gift of the Spirit, we become more like God.”

Summary points:

  1. The Savior's Atonement is infinite, not finite.
  2. Without the mercy and grace of the Savior's Atonement, the law of justice would condemn all mankind.
  3. The Savior descended below all things. There are no sins, weaknesses, shortcomings, or afflictions that His power cannot touch.

Talk summary:

The Savior's Atonement can be looked at as a "series of divine events," that were "motivated by an incomprehensible love for each of us." But its purpose is to "make it possible for us to return to God's presence, become more like Him and have a fullness of joy."

The Atonement of Christ overcame four obstacles to make these things possible: physical death, spiritual death, afflictions and infirmities, weaknesses and imperfections.

Without the sacrifice of the Savior, a perfect being with infinite power, who descended below all things, there could not be a balance between justice and mercy for the children of God. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is like a merciful, spiritual parachute, given to counteract the law of justice which, like gravity against a falling individual, would pull all humankind to an exacting and unforgiving end.

At times, faithful saints who know of the power of the Atonement of Christ, unwittingly convert "an infinite Atonement to a finite one that somehow falls short of their particular sin or weakness. But it is an infinite Atonement because it encompasses and circumscribes every sin and weakness, as well as every abuse or pain caused by others."

It is essential to "understand the Savior's Atonement and its infinite implications" in order to increase understanding of and forgiveness for oneself and others through repentance.

Gifts of the Spirit and the blessings that come from the saving ordinances of the gospel allow each individual to become more like Christ as they seek, receive and give forgiveness for their sins and imperfections.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is "heaven's antidote to the obstacles and struggles of this world."

In the news:

About the speaker:

  • Brother Callister was sustained as the Sunday School general president in April 2014 general conference.
  • He met his future wife, Kathryn Louise Saporiti, while he was serving as Sunday School president in his ward at Brigham Young University in 1967. He also played on the BYU freshman baseball team at BYU, 1963-64.
  • Brother Callister has given a range of service in the Church, including serving a full-time mission in the Eastern Atlantic States Mission, teaching early morning seminary and serving in the Second Quorum of the Seventy, during which he was in the Presidency of the Seventy.