Religious Educator: Perspectives on the Restored Gospel


John Hilton III


Jesus Christ, Crucifixion, atonement

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A colleague recently shared with me how, when teaching missionary preparation classes, he would role-play with students. When students pretending to be missionaries would ask him (acting as an investigator) if he knew about Christ’s Atonement, he would say, “Yes, I saw that Mel Gibson movie about Christ dying for our sins on the cross.” At least half of his students would correct him, stating that Christ atoned for our sins in Gethsemane, but not on the cross. This not only indicates a lack of the interpersonal skill of building on common beliefs but is also doctrinally incomplete. It also might explain why another colleague lamented the fact that in his extensive interfaith work, he frequently encounters Christians whose perception is that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (herein referred to as “the Church”) do not believe Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world.