Is it too much of a stretch to say that any Mormon discussion of the atonement must answer the big three questions: Where are we going? Why are we here? Where did we come from?
These questions have become so predominant in our theology that I think for the atonement to be truly central to our theology, the answers to the big three must be:
Why are we here? To be atoned for
Where did we come from? a place we needed the atonement at
Where are we going? a place where we will be able to fully realize the benefits of the atonement
Is it too strong to say that if the atonement is merely limited to the removal of the effects of sin and death, it is too limited to say that all other things pertaining to our religion are appendages to it?