Romans 5

Romans 5:1 being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

"I believe that Paul, who uses the word peace more than twice as often as it is used in the four Gospels and Acts together, had a profound perception of Christ's peace. The apostle sees the atonement as the great peace offering, as the real fruition of the Old Testament covenant of peace: 'We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.' (Rom. 5:1.) He often refers to Christ as the Lord or God of peace. (See Rom. 15:33; Rom 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:11; Philip. 4:9; 1 Thes. 5:23; 2 Thes. 3:16.) The apostle also equates the sense of Christ's presence with a feeling of peace: 'Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.' (2 Thes. 3:16.) And in Philippians, he alludes to the sustaining power and incomprehensibility of this peace:

'And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus...And the God of peace shall be with you.' (Philip. 4:7, 9.)" (George S. Tate, "The Peace of Christ," Ensign, Apr. 1978, 45)

Romans 5:3 we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience

"Paul says that determined faith subjected to such trials will bring about 'patience,' ...And this endurance of faith brings 'experience,' a word (dokime) that literally means a 'tested condition.' It is rendered 'tested virtue' (NAB) but more frequently 'character' (RSV, NIV, NKJB). Thus, the final reward of tested faith is a character worthy of sure hope in 'the love of God'...

"Thus, Romans establishes a progression for the full favor of God: first grace and justification through faith, followed by trials, followed by endurance, followed by a tested character. It is fiction to say that people go through such processes without using their total resolve, resources, and powers of decision. As real Gethsemanes come, only prayer and inspiration from God will bring the victory. Only gratitude to the atoning Lord can give meaning to the constant struggle." (Richard Lloyd Anderson, Understanding Paul [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 183.)

Neal A. Maxwell

"Patience permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord when we are tossed about by suffering as if by surf. When the undertow grasps us, we will realize that even as we tumble we are somehow being carried forward; we are actually being helped even as we cry for help!

"One of the functions of the tribulation of the righteous is that 'tribulation worketh patience' (Rom. 5:3). What a vital attribute patience is, if tribulation is worth enduring to bring about its development!

"Patience, in turn, allows us to have the needed experience, as noted in the stunning insight the Lord gave to the Prophet Joseph Smith: 'All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good' (D&C 122:7). Perhaps one can be forgiven if, in response to this sobering insight, his soul shivers just a bit.

"James stressed the importance of patience when our faith is being tried, because those grueling experiences 'worketh patience,' and James said, in what was almost a sigh of the soul, 'Let patience have her perfect work' (James 1:3-4).

"To Joseph Smith the Lord described patience as having a special finishing or concluding role, for 'these things remain to overcome through patience, that such may receive a more exceeding and eternal weight of glory' (D&C 63:66)." ("Patience," Ensign, Oct. 1980, 29-30)

Romans 5:5 the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost

"Pure love comes from a pure source, from God. It begins with God, is extended by him to man, and sheds 'itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men.' (1 Nephi 11:22.) As we shall see, we are able to love others purely only as we seek for and partake of the love of God ourselves. As the Prophet Joseph Smith explained, 'Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 174.)" (Robert L. Millet, Steadfast and Immovable: Striving for Spiritual Maturity [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 80.)

Romans 5:7-8 scarcely for a righteous man will one die...for a good man some would even dare to die

While many parents would freely give their lives for their children, it is uncommon and even remarkable for someone to give their life for any one else. Paul says it's a rare thing for someone to give their life for another-even if that person is righteous. The Savior told us what is involved in paying the ultimate sacrifice, 'For greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends' (John 15:13). We can imagine no greater expression of human love than for a man to lay down his life, not for his family, but for his friends.

Yet, there was One who showed an even greater love. As a God, his loving capacity exceeds ours. He was one who laid down his life-not for his family, not for his friends, not even for the righteous and the good-but for his enemies, for 'the natural man is an enemy to God' (Mosiah 3:19). What kind of love does it take to lay down your life for your enemies? Would you be able to forgive the soldiers who drove the nails into your cross? Even more, would you be able to voluntarily give up your life for those who were trying to kill you? What debt do we owe God for commending 'his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us'? Obviously, we can't love him as much as he loves us. Obviously, we can't repay him for what he has given us.

Gordon B. Hinckley

"The magnificent expression of His love came in His death when He gave His life as a sacrifice for all men. That Atonement, wrought in unspeakable pain, became the greatest event of history, an act of grace for which men gave nothing but which brought the assurance of the Resurrection to all who have or would walk the earth.

"No other act in all of human history compares with it. Nothing that has ever happened can match it. Totally unselfish and with unbounded love for all mankind, it became an unparalleled act of mercy for the whole human race...He not only granted the blessing of the Resurrection to all, but opened the way to eternal life to those who observe His teachings and commandments." ("At the Summit of the Ages," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 73)

Romans 5:10-11 Reconciliation and Atonement

Hugh Nibley

"The word atonement is only found once in the New Testament. It's found a number of times in the Old Testament, but only once in the New Testament. And it's not found at all in the Revised Standard Version. They don't use atonement at all. The word doesn't even appear in the New Testament. They use instead reconciliation, keeping it quite literal, from reconcilio. Reconciliation means 'to return and sit down beside somebody again.' ...You return and then you sit down. You sit down by the side of the Lord, and you sit down again because you've been there before. It's reconciliation. It's redemption. It's the redeeming. This means buying back something that he had before. We weren't just created out of nothing, you see. We are returning to his presence. We've been there before, and the whole thing is a sense of returning to his presence. That's what reconciliation is, which is the equivalent of atonement, ...[Atonement] is not a Latin word. It's not a Greek or Hebrew word. Atonement a good old English word, a theological word. At-one-ment, being at-one with the family, to go out no more, as he says, 'with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.'

"There's your solid security. You're home at last. You're back where you started from, and we hope that you're back with some added credentials, etc. The only passage [where atonement is found] is in Rom. 5:11 in the New Testament. There in the King James [translation] you'll find the word is atonement, but now in the Bible they use only reconciliation, which is a good word. We're reconciled." (Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon--Semester 1: Transcripts of Lectures Presented to an Honors Book of Mormon Class at Brigham Young University, 1988--1990 [Provo: FARMS], 214.)

Neal A. Maxwell

"The Atonement was itself an act of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus 'hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us . . . that he might reconcile [us] unto God' (Ephesians 2:14-16).

"The theme of reconciliation is often found in the Book of Mormon as well: 'Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved' (2 Nephi 10:24).

"There is no such thing as one party reconciliation. 'And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation' (2 Corinthians 5:18). God stands ready to reconcile us to Him, waiting with open arms to receive us (Mormon 6:17). There is no such thing as a solo embrace." (Not My Will, But Thine [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1998], 99.)

Bruce R. McConkie

"Nothing in the entire plan of salvation compares in any way in importance with that most transcendent of all events, the atoning sacrifice of our Lord. It is the most important single thing that has ever occurred in the entire history of created things; it is the rock foundation upon which the gospel and all other things rest. Indeed, all 'things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it,' the Prophet said. (Teachings, p. 121.)

"The doctrine of the atonement embraces, sustains, supports, and gives life and force to all other gospel doctrines. It is the foundation upon which all truth rests, and all things grow out of it and come because of it. Indeed, the atonement is the gospel...

"Salvation comes because of the atonement. Without it the whole plan of salvation would be frustrated and the whole purpose behind the creating and populating of the earth would come to naught. With it the eternal purposes of the Father will roll forth, the purpose of creation be preserved, the plan of salvation made efficacious, and men will be assured of a hope of the highest exaltation hereafter." (Mormon Doctrine, "Atonement", p. 60-61)

Romans 5:11 we have now received the atonement

Boyd K. Packer

"Atonement is really three words: At-one-ment, meaning to set at one, one with God; to reconcile, to conciliate, to expiate.

"But did you know that the word atonement appears only once in the English New Testament? Only once! I quote from Paul's letter to the Romans:

'Christ died for us. ...
We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement' (Rom. 5:8, 10-11; italics added).

"Only that once does the word atonement appear in the English New Testament. Atonement, of all words! It was not an unknown word, for it had been used much in the Old Testament in connection with the law of Moses, once only in the New Testament. I find that to be remarkable." ("Atonement, Agency, Accountability," Ensign, May 1988, 69)

Russell M. Nelson

"The word atonement, in any of its forms, is mentioned only once in the King James Version of the New Testament. In the Book of Mormon, it appears 39 times! The Book of Mormon also contains more references to the Resurrection than does the Bible...the Atonement of Jesus Christ [is] the central act of all human history.

"The Book of Mormon is the most important religious text to be revealed from God to man 'since the writings of the New Testament were compiled nearly two millennia ago.' Joseph Smith declared the Book of Mormon to be 'the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion.' It is the only book that the Lord Himself has testified to be true." ("A Testimony of the Book of Mormon," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 70)

Romans 5:12 by one man sin entered into the world

"Original sin is, according to a Christian theological doctrine, humanity's state of sin resulting from the Fall of Man. This condition has been characterized in many ways, ranging from something as insignificant as a slight deficiency, or a tendency toward sin yet without collective guilt, referred to as a 'sin nature', to something as drastic as total depravity or automatic guilt of all humans through collective guilt." (

The extremes of the Original Sin doctrine argue that man is born in sin and inherently evil, making Adam responsible for man's "total depravity" through "automatic guilt."

"Since about the fourth century, Catholic doctrine has held that because children inherit the fall from Adam they are thus born in sin. This belief is based primarily on a misinterpretation of two verses from Romans, which read: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. . . . For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." (Rom. 5:12, 19, italics added.)

"These verses were wrongly interpreted by Augustine and others to mean that all mankind sinned in Adam and that, therefore, children are born in original sin. This resulted in the development of the practice of infant baptism, since infants were considered legally to be sinners by inheritance." (Robert J. Matthews, A Bible! A Bible! [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], 255)

"Martin Luther (1483-1546) asserted that humans inherit Adamic guilt and are in a state of sin from the moment of conception...

It is also taught among us that since the fall of Adam all men who are born according to the course of nature are conceived and born in sin. That is, all men are full of evil lust and inclinations from their mothers' wombs and are unable by nature to have true fear of God and true faith in God...

"John Calvin defined original sin in his Institutes of the Christian Religion as follows:

Original sin, therefore, seems to be a hereditary depravity and corruption of our nature, diffused into all parts of the soul, which first makes us liable to God's wrath, then also brings forth in us those works which Scripture calls 'works of the flesh' (Gal 5:19)." (

Obviously, Latter-day Saints do not blame Adam for all the sins committed since the Fall. The individual must take responsibility for his own sins. The student should know the history of the doctrine of "Original Sin" and that its origin comes from misunderstanding Romans 5. Paul is merely explaining that sin came by one man-Adam, and redemption from sin came by another-Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:12 all have sinned

Spencer W. Kimball

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. ("rom. 5:12Rom. 5:12.)

"The Prophet Joseph Smith in his prayer of dedication of the Kirtland Temple implored: 'O Jehovah, have mercy upon this people, and as all men sin forgive the transgressions of thy people, and let them be blotted out forever.' (D&C 109:34.)

"It was because of the universality of sin, the seriousness of sin, and the nearness of the end of the world, that the Lord revealed to his latter-day Prophet, Joseph Smith, the instruction, 'Say nothing but repentance unto this generation.' (D&C 6:9.)

"One of the oft-told stories about the late President J. Golden Kimball concerns his witticism to the effect that 'the Brethren cannot cut me off the Church I repent too often.' Here is a great lesson, if it is correctly interpreted. There is never a day in any man's life when repentance is not essential to his well-being and eternal progress." (The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], 32)

Romans 5:14 Adam...who is the figure of him that was to come

Many prophets, especially Moses, are considered a type for the Savior. Herein, Paul explains that Adam is also a figure of Christ. Certainly, Adam is the father of mortality as Christ is the father of immortality. Adam is the father of all who have been physically begotten in mortality, and Christ is the father of all those who have been 'spiritually begotten' (Mosiah 5:7, italics added) being born again as sons and daughters of Christ. Elder Jeffry R. Holland noted:

"The scriptural reassurance that such a sequence of fall and atonement was known and prepared for from before the foundation of this world reinforces the inseparable doctrinal relationship between the role of Adam and that of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the great premortal council in heaven, God the Father presided and presented his plan for the mortality and eventual immortality of his children. In this his two principal associates were the premortal Jesus (then known as Jehovah) and the premortal Adam (then known as Michael). The roles of these two were related from the beginning, each having a crucial part to play in providing life to all other children of God-temporal life through Adam and eternal life through Christ. (Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 198.)

Along these same lines, we know that Adam played a major role in the war in heaven, when 'Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not' (Rev. 12:7-8). But the preeminent roles of Michael and Jehovah apply to the end of the world as well. Adam's prominent role as a general in this war is similar to the Savior's. Elsewhere in Revelation, Adam and Christ are both portrayed in battle array riding white horses in glory and power. Of Adam, John wrote, 'I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer' (Rev. 6:2). Of Christ, he wrote, 'I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses' (Rev. 19:11-14). Therefore, Adam and Christ are the predominant figures in the fight against Satan. From the pre-mortal councils, to the Fall, to the eventual destruction of Satan and his forces by an army on white horses, Lucifer's greatest enemies are Jehovah and Michael.

Romans 5:15 the gift by grace...hath abounded unto many

"The Atonement came about through the 'grace of God,' and grace is an important concept in the Apostle Paul's writings. The Greek word for grace, charis, simply means 'favor' or 'gift' and refers to the fact that the Atonement is a gift. Through the grace of God, the Atonement offers two gifts. The first gift is immortality and is given to all mankind: 'For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead' (1 Cor. 15:21). But the second gift is eternal life and this gift is reserved for those who become 'saints of God.'" (David Rolph Seely and Jo Ann H. Seely, "Paul: Untiring Witness of Christ," Ensign, Aug. 1999, 27)

Romans 5:15 the free gift

Orson Pratt

"What free gift? The free gift of salvation from the grave, the salvation of our bodies, or in other words, of our corporeal systems. The redemption of our bodies from the grave is brought about through the atonement of Jesus Christ; hence we have had no agency in bringing death into our world, and we have no agency in the redemption of our world. One man brought death into the world, and one man brought redemption from death." (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 2: 369.)

James E. Faust

"As one of the special witnesses of Jesus and of the gospel restored to earth by God working through the Prophet Joseph, I testify that the greatest gift of this or any other Christmas is the atonement of Jesus as the Redeemer, the Son of God. Paul said this was a free gift (Rom. 5:15). It is a gift we cannot handle or touch, but we can feel the immeasurable love of the Giver.

"Through this gift we can all find the pathway to eternal life. My testimony of this is sure, real, and absolute, as is my sacred testimony of Him." ("A Christmas with No Presents," New Era, Dec. 1984, 7)

Romans 5:18 as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men...even so by the righteousness of one

James E. Talmage

"Death has come to be the universal heritage; it may claim its victim in infancy or youth, in the period of life's prime, or its summons may be deferred until the snows of age have gathered upon the hoary head; it may befall as the result of accident or disease, by violence, or as we say, through natural causes; but come it must, as Satan well knows; and in this knowledge is his present though but temporary triumph. But the purposes of God, as they ever have been and ever shall be, are infinitely superior to the deepest designs of men or devils; and the Satanic machinations to make death inevitable, perpetual and supreme were provided against even before the first man had been created in the flesh. The atonement to be wrought by Jesus the Christ was ordained to overcome death and to provide a means of ransom from the power of Satan.

"As the penalty incident to the fall came upon the race through an individual act, it would be manifestly unjust, and therefore impossible as part of the divine purpose, to make all men suffer the results thereof without provision for deliverance. Moreover, since by the transgression of one man sin came into the world and death was entailed upon all, it is consistent with reason that the atonement thus made necessary should be wrought by one." (Jesus the Christ, 19.)

Gordon B. Hinckley

"Whenever the cold hand of death strikes, there shines through the gloom and the darkness of that hour the triumphant figure of the Lord Jesus Christ, He, the Son of God, who by his matchless and eternal power overcame death. He is the Redeemer of the world. He gave His life for each of us. He took it up again and became the firstfruits of them that slept. He, as King of Kings, stands triumphant above all other kings. He, as the Omnipotent One, stands above all rulers. He is our comfort, our only true comfort, when the dark shroud of earthly night closes about us as the spirit departs the human form." (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 154.)