In these verses we receive one of the most significant contributions to our understanding of what constitutes the gospel of Jesus Christ. Earlier the Lord had declared those principles that comprise his gospel (see 3 Nephi 11:32-39). These verses, however, give life and meaning to those principles.
The gospel is truly the life, mission, teachings, atoning sacrifice, death, and resurrection of Christ (compare to D&C 76:40-42). The “good news” and, “glad tidings” of the gospel are found in Christ—in his atonement-not just in his teachings. Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:
“Nothing in the entire plan of salvation compares in any way in importance with ... the atoning sacrifice of our Lord.... It is the rock foundation upon which the gospel and all other things rest.... 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.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 60.)