Latter-day Saint Life

Understanding how doctrinal principles work together: Read Tad R. Callister's insights


Sometimes, considering doctrinal principles as separate and distinct ideas can feel like the best way to fully understand the gospel. Tad R. Callister, an emeritus General Authority and former Sunday School General President, offers an additional approach. In a recent article for Church News, Brother Callister demonstrates the great value in understanding doctrinal principles together. 

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“Understanding the correlation between doctrinal principles can give us a new and broader perspective—somewhat like looking at a completed puzzle rather than viewing each piece individually,” he states inthe article. He further illustrates this point by demonstrating how the plan of salvation, the Savior’s Atonement, and the doctrine of Christ complete each other and cannot function independently. 

Brother Callister suggests the plan of salvation is much like a map, the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be compared to a vehicle, and the doctrine of Christ (i.e. faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) acts like a driver. In our journey to eternal life, Brother Callister teaches that Heavenly Father provides the way and means to return to Him. 

Through the gift of agency, God also gives us the opportunity to access Christ’s Atonement and experience strength beyond our own. According to Brother Callister, understanding the integrality between these precious doctrinal truths can enhance our faith and motivation to keep moving forward on the covenant path. 

Read Brother Callister’s full remarks at Church News

Lead image: Nathaniel Ray Edwards from Deseret News

Enhance both your gospel study and your personal journaling efforts. For the first time, this beloved gospel classic is available in a new journal edition, providing you large, faintly lined margins to use as a canvas to express your thoughts, document insights you’ve received, or create your own visual art, illuminations, or calligraphy. Deepen your understanding and testimony of timeless gospel topics.

With The Infinite Atonement, Brother Tad R. Callister offers us what may be the most comprehensive, yet understandable, treatment of the Atonement in our day. He thoughtfully probes the infinite scope of this "great and last sacrifice," describing its power and breadth and explaining how it redeems us all. Available at


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