by Mike Parker
|¹⁰Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; ¹¹for, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. ¹²And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. ¹³And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
¹⁴Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people. ¹⁵And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
¹⁶And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
How great is “the worth a soul”? It could be measured by the cost incurred to redeem it.
The Book of Mormon indicates that Christ’s atonement was infinite—his suffering and the extent to which he paid for our sins cannot be measured. Therefore the worth of each individual person must also be infinite.
It’s no wonder then “how great is [the Lord’s] joy in the soul that repenteth!”
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve taught:
If we could truly understand the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we would realize how precious is one son or daughter of God. . . . We would strive to emulate the Savior and would never be unkind, indifferent, disrespectful, or insensitive to others.
If we truly understood the Atonement and the eternal value of each soul, we would seek out the wayward boy and girl and every other wayward child of God. We would help them to know of the love Christ has for them. We would do all that we can to help prepare them to receive the saving ordinances of the gospel.
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 See 2 Nephi 9:7; 25:16; Alma 34:10–14.
 This idea is captured in the three parables taught by the Savior in Luke 15: the lost sheep (15:3–7), the lost coin (15:8–10), and the prodigal son (15:11–32). The purpose of all three parables is to express the joy “in heaven over one sinner that repenteth” (15:7, 10).
 M. Russell Ballard, “The Atonement and the Value of One Soul,” General Conference, April 2004, https://churchofjesuschrist.org/general-conference/2004/04/the-atonement-and-the-value-of-one-soul.
Mike Parker is a business and marketing analyst with twenty years’ experience in the financial services industry. He is a returning student currently pursuing a BS in Business Finance from Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. He also has eight years’ experience in corporate training, and currently teaches an adult religion class in the Hurricane, Utah, area. Mike and his wife, Denise, have three children.