6 Necessary Attributes of the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Including Foreordination, a Sinless Life, and Resurrection

Jesus Christ in Gethsemane
Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Photo courtesy of © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The atonement of Jesus Christ is the most important principle of the gospel, according to the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church adherents believe that the Heavenly Father's plan for humankind's salvation and happiness included the fall of Adam and Eve. This event allowed sin and death to enter the world. Thus, the emergence of a savior, Jesus Christ, was necessary because he was the only one able to perform a perfect atonement. A perfect atonement is made up of six attributes


When God presented his plan to humankind in the premortal world, it was evident that a savior was necessary. Jesus volunteered to be the savior, according to the Mormon church, as did Lucifer. God chose Jesus to come to Earth and save everyone by performing the atonement. Since Jesus was designated to become the savior before being born, he was said to be foreordained to do so.​

Divine Sonship

Born of the Virgin Mary, Christ is the literal Son of God, according to the church. This made it possible for him to bear the eternal weight of the atonement. Throughout the Scriptures, there are many references to Christ as the Son of God. For example, at Christ's baptism, at Mount  Hermon, the site of the Transfiguration, and at other times in history, the voice of God has been heard to declare that Jesus is his Son. 

Christ stated this in the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11:11, when he visited the Americas where he proclaimed:

"And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning."

A Sinless Life

Christ was the only person to live on Earth who never sinned. Because he lived a life without sin, he was able to perform the atonement. According to Mormon doctrine, Christ is the mediator between justice and mercy, as well as the advocate between mankind and God, as stated in 1 Timothy 2:5:

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

Shedding of Blood

When Christ entered the Garden of Gethsemane, he took upon himself every sin, temptation, heartache, sorrow, and pain of every person who has lived, and will live, upon this Earth. As he suffered this unimaginable atonement, blood came out of every pore in Luke 22:44

"And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

Death on the Cross

Another main aspect of the atonement was when Christ was crucified on the cross at Golgotha (also known as Calvary in Latin). Before he died, Christ completed his suffering for all the sins of humankind while he hung upon the cross. He gave up his life voluntarily once the suffering was completed, as referenced in Luke 23:46:

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.


The culminating triumph of the atonement was when Christ was resurrected three days after his death. His spirit and body were once again reunited into a perfect being. His resurrection paved the way for humankind's eventual resurrection in Acts 23:26:

"That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead ..."

After being foreordained, Jesus Christ was born as the literal Son of the Heavenly Father. He lived a sinless and perfect life. He suffered and died for humankind's sins.