Latter-day Saints have a unique insight into the real meaning of the atonement of Jesus Christ, thanks to The Book of Mormon.
The key beginning place for understanding the Atonement is in Alma 34. Here, Amulek is teaching about sin and repentance, and the need for a great and last atoning sacrifice. Amulek then makes this alarming comment in verse 11: "Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another."
It's a startling comment that flies in the face of traditional Christian understanding about the atonement. If no man can shed his blood to atone for the sins of another, then what exactly did Jesus do? Did he not shed his blood for all of us? How do we reconcile these two conflicting ideas?
As a young missionary serving in England in 1930, W. Cleon Skousen had a lot of questions about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Every Easter, young Cleon would listen to the story of the suffering the Savior had to endure and wondered why all of that torture on a Roman cross was necessary.
Some years later he arrived in the mission field at age 17 with the same questions still stirring in his heart and mind. And then one evening, Elder Skousen found himself riding the train with his mission president, Elder John A. Widtsoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Skousen decided to ask this Apostle for help in understanding the Atonement.
From that encounter began a lifelong pursuit for knowledge that eventually resolved all conflicts and questions about the sacrifice of Jesus, and uncovered the true foundation stone for his atoning sacrifice.
The Atonement relates W. Cleon Skousen's search for understanding, and how a kind and patient Apostle of the Lord led him step by step into realms of discovery and insight that were almost lost to generations of Latter-day Saints.
W. Cleon Skousen includes all of the source materials for his delightful and moving presentation, and shares them happily for those with a desire to embark on the same sacred journey. It is a wonderful, beautiful, and very personal search for the true meaning of the Atonement, by W. Cleon Skousen.
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Great booklet read poorly.
The teachings in this booklet are amazing and the spirit testifies of their truthfulness.
I don't know if it was the reader or the editor, but the performance seemed to me to be very poor. The reader read very quickly as if he couldn't wait to get to the end. It seemed there were no pauses at the end of paragraphs and new sections were begun almost before the last section ended. It almost seemed like it had to be read fast enough that it could all be recorded on one side of a 45 minute cassette tape.
Buy the booklet and read that instead of listening to this on audio. At the very least buy the booklet and read along while you listen. Then you will have time to study it and also have all of the references at hand as well.
- Will S