A Personal Atonement At some point the multitudinous sins of countless ages were heaped upon the Savior, but his submissiveness was much more than a cold response to the demands of justice. This was not a nameless, passionless atonement performed by some detached, stoic being. Rather, it was an offering driven by infinite love. This was a personalized, not a mass atonement. Somehow, it may be that the sins of every soul were individually (as well as cumulatively) accounted for, suffered for, and redeemed for, all with a love unknown to man. Christ tasted "death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9; emphasis added), perhaps meaning for each individual person. One reading of Isaiah suggests that Christ may have envisioned each of us as the atoning sacrifice took its toll—"when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed" (Isaiah 53:10; emphasis added; see also Mosiah 15:10–11). Just as the Savior blessed the "little children, one by one" (3 Nephi 17:21); just as the Nephites felt his wounds "one by one" (3 Nephi 11:15); just as he listens to our prayers one by one; so, perhaps, he suffered for us, one by one. President Heber J. Grant spoke of this individual focus: "Not only did Jesus come as a universal gift, He came as an individual offering with a personal message to each one of us. For each one of us He died on Calvary and His blood will conditionally save us. Not as nations, communities or groups, but as individuals."55 Similar feelings were shared by C. S. Lewis: "He [Christ] has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world."56 Elder Merrill J. Bateman spoke not only of the Atonement's infinite nature, but also of its intimate reach: "The Savior's atonement in the garden and on the cross is intimate as well as infinite. Infinite in that it spans the eternities. Intimate in that the Savior felt each person's pains, sufferings, and sicknesses."57 Since the Savior, as a God, has the capacity to simultaneously entertain multiple thoughts, perhaps it was not impossible for the mortal Jesus to contemplate each of our names and transgressions in concomitant fashion as the Atonement progressed, without ever sacrificing personal attention for any of us. His suffering need never lose its personal nature. While such suffering had both macro and micro dimensions, the Atonement was ultimately offered for each one of us.
Tad R. Callister (The Infinite Atonement)