The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Teachings of Church Leaders


From the beginnings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (herein referred to as “the Church”), the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ has been at the heart of its theology. In numerous revelations received by Joseph Smith, the Savior is identified as having been “crucified for the sins of the world” (D&C 53:2; see also 21:9, 35:2, 46:13, 54:1, 76:41). President Brigham Young taught that salvation was only “through the name and ministry of Jesus Christ, and the atonement he made on Mount Calvary.”1 President John Taylor said that Christ “was crucified and put to death to atone for the sins of the world.”2 President Wilford Woodruff stated, “The Lord Jesus was crucified on Mount Calvary for the sins of the world.”3 And President Lorenzo Snow taught that Christ “sacrificed his life on Mount Calvary for the salvation of the human family.”4 In 1918, President Joseph F. Smith wrote “that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross” (D&C 138:35), and in 1941, President Heber J. Grant testified that Christ “came to this earth with a divine mission to die upon the cross as the Redeemer of mankind, atoning for the sins of the world.”5 In brief, every President of the Church has similarly testified that Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins of the world. At the start of the twenty-first century, the united First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve proclaimed that Christ was “sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind.”6 Clearly, Christ’s Crucifixion is central to the theology of the Church.

Original Publication Citation

Hilton, J., III, Hyde, E.K., Trussel, M.G. The Teachings of Church Leaders Regarding the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ: 1852-2018, BYU Studies Quarterly 59, no. 1, 2020, 49-80

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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BYU Studies Quarterly




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor