5) The Atonement was absolutely necessary.
In the course of this book, Elder Callister presents a few suggested reasons for why the Atonement might have been a requirement.
“Perhaps it was necessary to comply with some immutable law (i.e., one of those laws that has always existed and remains unchanged throughout eternity). Or perhaps it was necessary because it was dictated by God’s perfect attributes,” he says, then goes on to comment on a suggested reason given by Elder B.H. Roberts, explaining that “Elder Roberts suggests the improbability of God having put his Son through such excruciating pain if an easier means were available. Such a conclusion strongly suggests there was no equally viable alternative, or God would have chosen it and thus spared the Shepherd without sacrificing the sheep.”
And though a few other possibilities are discussed, Elder Callister concludes his work with a powerful testimony of this most sacred of events.
“One does not speak lightly of the Atonement or casually express his appreciation. It is the most sacred and sublime event in eternity. It deserves our most intense thoughts, our most profound feelings, and our noblest deeds. One speaks of it in reverential tones; one contemplates it in awe; one learns of it in solemnity. This event stands alone, now and throughout eternity. . . .
“I now add my testimony to the many who have preceded me that his sacrifice was indeed an infinite and eternal Atonement” (pages 334-335).