In these two essays, I work to lay out the rationale and groundwork for any serious LDS consideration of the atonement of Christ. The first essay explores the context of the project. Why should we engage in such speculation as this? What is the LDS view of the role of reason in religious and spiritual life? How do we view the various attempts by others, including church leaders and prophets through the ages, to communicate this central message? The second essay focuses on the “concept” of the atonement. What is it that an explanation of the atonement is trying to explain? Before we try to understand just what Jesus did or how he did it, we need some conceptual clarity about the task he was undertaking, the problem he was solving.