John Taylor, Teacher of the Atonement


John Taylor, Modern Day Prophets, The Atonement


Methodist exhorter, convert to Mormonism, missionary, Apostle, and ultimately third President of the Church, John Taylor believed in the power and efficacy of the Atonement of Jesus Christ from his youth. That conviction of Christ’s redemption became the foundation of his teaching and was rooted in personal revelation (beginning when he was a boy) as well as his study of the Old and New Testaments, which also led him to find the restoration of primitive or original Christianity, as described in the Bible. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ brought to President Taylor new understanding of the Atonement, and its significance deepened for him after he was ordained to the apostleship in 1838. His ever-growing knowledge of the profundity of the central act in the Father’s plan culminated in the publication of The Mediation and Atonement of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in 1882, while serving as President of the Church. This was the first major treatise written by an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints devoted entirely to the Atonement. It represented a lifetime of study and reflection and continues to have an impact on the Church and its teachers to this day.

Original Publication Citation

“John Taylor: Teacher of the Atonement,” in Champion of Liberty: John Taylor. Mary Jane Woodger, ed. (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, 2007), pp. 309-325.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor