The message begins with M. Russell Ballard stating;
“At the heart of the English word atonement is the word one. If all mankind understood this, there would never be anyone with whom we would not be concerned, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, or social or economic standing. We would strive to emulate the Savior and would never be unkind, indifferent, disrespectful, or insensitive to others.”
While I agree that it’s important for Christians to have the desire the to help and encourage others, I question why he chose to use the word ‘atonement’ as a catalyst for his remarks.
Atonement for Christians means something completely different to the Mormons.
Their 3rd Article of Faith states:
‘We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.’ [emphasis mine]
In other words, only those who have made a commitment to the gospel of Mormonism can, possibly be saved. While in Christianity the message of the cross, which represents the atonement, welcomes everyone to come and be saved. In the true gospel of Jesus Christ there is no ‘may be saved’, there’s only will be saved.
Despite their effort to put forth an image of unity, in reality the Mormon Church only desires a community of exclusivity. Those who prefer to put their trust and faith in Jesus, and Jesus alone, can never be part of their vision of ‘being of one heart’.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 ‘For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’