The Meaning of Atonement


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13 hours ago, Rob Osborn said:

I may not be understanding you but I disagree with the idea that Christ suffered every other possible negative mortal experience.

I'm not sure if you understood or not, but from what you wrote, it didn't sound like you did. I was solely referring to this principle when I made that statement:

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And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
(Alma 7: 11) emphasis added

Regardless, since you brought it up I'm happy to explain my personal ideas of one aspect of the Atonement.  Specifically, how the suffering for sin was accomplished.

In the US court system, an individual who receives multiple sentences resulting in jail time, can be made to serve them either consecutively (one after the other) or concurrently (all at the same time).  I believe that when Christ fulfilled the atonement, he suffered all punishment concurrently.

As of right now, I do not think that Christ suffered for each individual instance of sin committed by each person.  Instead, I believe that He suffered exactly one time for every possible sin, and experienced that suffering all at once.  Therefore He suffered the infinite punishment correspondent to an infinite number of ways to sin, but did so in the finite time He was praying in the garden.  In this way He would have the entirety of experience applicable to the sin any person could or would possibly commit.  He suffered the punishment for the sins that any person may commit,  but He did not suffer a punishment specifically for each person's sins.  Therefore, only a person who accepts Him can be made clean through His atonement, once they receive the cleansing made available because of the fact that His atonement is infinite and all encompassing.  And so it still works out that, technically, Christ did not suffer for the sins of those who do not repent, they will suffer for them on their own.

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8 hours ago, person0 said:

I'm not sure if you understood or not, but from what you wrote, it didn't sound like you did. I was solely referring to this principle when I made that statement:

Regardless, since you brought it up I'm happy to explain my personal ideas of one aspect of the Atonement.  Specifically, how the suffering for sin was accomplished.

In the US court system, an individual who receives multiple sentences resulting in jail time, can be made to serve them either consecutively (one after the other) or concurrently (all at the same time).  I believe that when Christ fulfilled the atonement, he suffered all punishment concurrently.

As of right now, I do not think that Christ suffered for each individual instance of sin committed by each person.  Instead, I believe that He suffered exactly one time for every possible sin, and experienced that suffering all at once.  Therefore He suffered the infinite punishment correspondent to an infinite number of ways to sin, but did so in the finite time He was praying in the garden.  In this way He would have the entirety of experience applicable to the sin any person could or would possibly commit.  He suffered the punishment for the sins that any person may commit,  but He did not suffer a punishment specifically for each person's sins.  Therefore, only a person who accepts Him can be made clean through His atonement, once they receive the cleansing made available because of the fact that His atonement is infinite and all encompassing.  And so it still works out that, technically, Christ did not suffer for the sins of those who do not repent, they will suffer for them on their own.

 

Perhaps in our arrogance we overlook the “nothingness” of ourselves and the great personal sacrifice and suffering of Christ.  It is my personal understanding that our agency (which includes our ability to sin) is a direct and specific “GIFT” given to us through Christ from the Father.  Because Jesus gives us the law and is also responsible for our agency – he is complicit for every individual and all sins we commit.  This is in part why Lucifer wanted the glory of being the Christ but not willing to share the responsibility for the sins we commit. 

I would also point out that the very definition of the “shedding of innocent blood” is the act of deliberately sinning and knowingly causing the suffering and pain of Christ with the knowledge or intent that we will not have to so suffer for our deliberate acts.   The blood of Christ is the only innocent blood.  The more we understand the atonement the greater are our un-repented sins – regardless of how minor we may want to excuse (make excuse) of them at the time..

 

The Traveler

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19 minutes ago, Traveler said:

[Christ] is complicit for every individual and all sins we commit.

I do not agree with this.  You could easily follow this statement up the chain and say that the Father endowed Christ with the ability, plan, and authority to do so and that the Father is therefore also complicit.  Also, assuming you are suggesting that every individual sin from each person ever or to come was suffered by Christ, I just don't think that's how it works because it would mean the atonement is a Hammurabi-esque fulfillment of Justice.

However, you have led me to a correction that may be in order in what I wrote previously.  I initially suggested Christ suffered concurrently a single time for every possible sin.  I think I could just as easily believe that Christ suffered concurrently an infinite number of times for every possible sin.  That adjustment would satisfy what I think you are trying to suggest, while still requiring us to receive Christ.  Otherwise, if Christ actually suffered in an way that the price of each individual sin was paid for each person in advance, there ought to be no need for us to repent, because the punishment would already be accounted for and accomplished.

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2 hours ago, person0 said:

I do not agree with this.  You could easily follow this statement up the chain and say that the Father endowed Christ with the ability, plan, and authority to do so and that the Father is therefore also complicit.  Also, assuming you are suggesting that every individual sin from each person ever or to come was suffered by Christ, I just don't think that's how it works because it would mean the atonement is a Hammurabi-esque fulfillment of Justice.

However, you have led me to a correction that may be in order in what I wrote previously.  I initially suggested Christ suffered concurrently a single time for every possible sin.  I think I could just as easily believe that Christ suffered concurrently an infinite number of times for every possible sin.  That adjustment would satisfy what I think you are trying to suggest, while still requiring us to receive Christ.  Otherwise, if Christ actually suffered in an way that the price of each individual sin was paid for each person in advance, there ought to be no need for us to repent, because the punishment would already be accounted for and accomplished.

Perhaps this provides some support for Rob's idea, if we examine D & C 88:6

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D & C 88:6

6 He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;

 

That he descended below all things rings of potential to be the suffering for sin, however the phrase "in that" pulls back from a sense of suffering for each and every individual sin but simply that from what he did suffer can be extrapolated comparable understandings. So to "comprehend" is not to understand per se but to envelope everything, to grasp a fullness of all things including the suffering of sin.

Point is the suffering that we derive from sin is not necessarily a unique experience for each type of sin, but is instead degrees of the same type of suffering.  When we pull away from spiritual light we suffer by shutting off the light which giveth light and life to all things.  The fall was simply removing us from the light of God's presence which we call spiritual death.  All forms of sin are essentially states of dying as we separate ourselves from the light of life.  So understanding one is the same as understanding another simply that degree will be magnified.  If we consider upon the words that President Brigham Young taught:

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At the very moment, at the hour when the crisis came for him to offer up his life, the Father withdrew Himself, withdrew His Spirit, and cast a vail [sic] over him. That is what made him sweat blood. If he had had the power of God upon him, he would not have sweat blood; but all was withdrawn from him, and a veil was cast over him, and he then pled with the Father not to forsake him.” It is true that in Gethsemane “there appeared an angel unto him [Christ] from heaven, strengthening him” (Luke 22:43). But this support seems to have been temporary, for according to the Savior’s own allusion to the presses of Gethsemane, He declared: “I have trodden the wine-press alone . . . and none were with me” (D&C 133:50; see also 76:107; 88:106; Isaiah 63:3)Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 3:206;)

It is possible to consider that in his state of being alone and having the Father withdraw his spirit he was able to grasp and comprehend all levels and all degrees of suffering for sin which are all measured by the presence of the light of God.  If you have ever felt God withdraw from yourself when one persists in transgression, then one understands that there is a good deal of suffering in the process.

You are absolutely correct that there is no complicitness with Christ and the sins of mankind.  To be complicit would bring him under the law which only he can answer for precisely because he alone was not under the law having never sinned.  One cannot answer the ends of a law which one is condemned by.

Finally, there a real tendency to not see what really occurred in the Atonement relative to sin.  I have posted this quote by Elder Eyring several times because he is telling something that only the spirit can reveal:

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Question: What exactly is the atonement and how can I receive its blessings and one thing I have always wondered but have never been able to find my answer to is how do I access the atonement. Is all I have to do is just ask God for the atonement to take place in my life?

President Eyring: Could I … First thing to do is to get a few facts straight.  The atonement was something that Jesus Christ Did.  It's not a thing itself he atoned for our sins and he paid the price to allow us to be forgiven and to be resurrected...alright, so it's what he did that qualified him to give us forgiveness to change our hearts and it's the Holy Ghost that is doing that.It's not the atonement as if it is a thing itself. 

The atonement is something the Savior did and the Father has given Him, because of that great sacrifice that He made for us, the power to forgive us.  And so when you feel forgiveness that is not the atonement - that's the Savior giving you a feeling of forgiveness because of the atonement.(President Henry B. Eyring, Face To Face, March 4th 2017 )

 

There is a real tendency to want to give measurement to the sins he suffered for which is to make it a finite sacrifice.  If you work with Elder Eyring long enough, eventually the lights will come on and you will see it is more than we usually see. 

Seeing what this verse says and coupling it with the quote above is the gateway to understanding this phase of the atonement

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Alma 34:11

11 Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay.

12 But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered; therefore there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world.

13 Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice, and then shall there be, or it is expedient there should be, a stop to the shedding of blood; then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled; yea, it shall be all fulfilled, every jot and tittle, and none shall have passed away.

 

"Just" is a critical understanding, justice will not permit you to sin and then let someone else suffer for that sin. Then the verse states that since this cannot be then it must needs be an infinite atonement.  So there is something happening here and that is where the President Eyring quote comes in...he is giving the best clue I have ever found. 

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2 hours ago, brlenox said:

Perhaps this provides some support for Rob's idea, if we examine D & C 88:6

That he descended below all things rings of potential to be the suffering for sin, however the phrase "in that" pulls back from a sense of suffering for each and every individual sin but simply that from what he did suffer can be extrapolated comparable understandings. So to "comprehend" is not to understand per se but to envelope everything, to grasp a fullness of all things including the suffering of sin.

Point is the suffering that we derive from sin is not necessarily a unique experience for each type of sin, but is instead degrees of the same type of suffering.  When we pull away from spiritual light we suffer by shutting off the light which giveth light and life to all things.  The fall was simply removing us from the light of God's presence which we call spiritual death.  All forms of sin are essentially states of dying as we separate ourselves from the light of life.  So understanding one is the same as understanding another simply that degree will be magnified.  If we consider upon the words that President Brigham Young taught:

It is possible to consider that in his state of being alone and having the Father withdraw his spirit he was able to grasp and comprehend all levels and all degrees of suffering for sin which are all measured by the presence of the light of God.  If you have ever felt God withdraw from yourself when one persists in transgression, then one understands that there is a good deal of suffering in the process.

You are absolutely correct that there is no complicitness with Christ and the sins of mankind.  To be complicit would bring him under the law which only he can answer for precisely because he alone was not under the law having never sinned.  One cannot answer the ends of a law which one is condemned by.

Finally, there a real tendency to not see what really occurred in the Atonement relative to sin.  I have posted this quote by Elder Eyring several times because he is telling something that only the spirit can reveal:

There is a real tendency to want to give measurement to the sins he suffered for which is to make it a finite sacrifice.  If you work with Elder Eyring long enough, eventually the lights will come on and you will see it is more than we usually see. 

If I understand correctly, Christ's suffering for our sins comes as a consequence of our having sinned, and not as payment for our sins.  In other words, Christ will experience a general suffering because mankind has sinned (not unlike what will be experienced by the 3 Nephites--3 Nephi 28:38), but not a one-to-one suffering (payment) for each sin;

Nevertheless, the suffering and sacrifice will be infinite and eternal because he who is suffering and sacrificing is infinite and eternal. along the lines of D&C 19:6-12.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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1 hour ago, wenglund said:

If I understand correctly, Christ's suffering for our sins comes as a consequence of our having sinned, and not as payment for our sins.  In other words, Christ will experience a general suffering because mankind has sinned (not unlike what will be experienced by the 3 Nephites--3 Nephi 28:38), but not a one-to-one suffering (payment) for each sin;

Nevertheless, the suffering and sacrifice will be infinite and eternal because he who is suffering and sacrificing is infinite and eternal. along the lines of D&C 19:6-12.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

This is precisely what Elder Eyering is addressing.  It is perfectly proper to say that Christ paid the price of our sins and we don't want anyone to think that we are ever saying anything different than that, however what we are trying to clarify is HOW does he pay the price for our sins. As we discuss that the conversation is challenging to get exactness because it is a bit of a paradigm shift so we talk all around it trying to say it in a way that gets through.

First a couple of points that you also probably already understand.  We often talk about the need for an atonement to reconcile us to God as a result of the fall.  Now we have to go back to separating the demands of the first law and the demands of the second law.  The First law was broken and God the Father consigned everyone to a death sentence - spiritually first and physically second. It was a court mandated judgment in the Garden and, if nothing intervenes, it is a complete and ostensibly final judgment.  Alma 42 is the crux of this material

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Alma 42:7-9

7 And now, ye see by this that our first parents were cut off both temporally and spiritually from the presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after their own will.

8 Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness.

9 Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal, that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death.

 

Now if we pay particular attention to verse 14:

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Alma 42:14

14 And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.

 

Thus far all we are discussing is the fall. A time prior to your sins and my sins and Cain and Abel's sins.  This takes us back to our discussion of justice and mercy and why God the Father is bound on the side of justice because his son, the only legitimate citizen of his kingdom, has the right and privilege to demand of his Father recompense for the sacrifice of his innocent blood. At this juncture no mercy can be expended in behalf of mankind as justice demands his Son, and citizen of his kingdom, be made whole for crimes against him. I digress... So if we are reconciling for an event that has nothing to do with our sins, is it exactly correct to say as you have suggested, "Christ's suffering for our sins comes as a consequence of our having sinned".  Unless, there is a bit more refinement we can add to this scenario it doesn't work quite right.  Christ's suffering is to bring us back into the presence of God the Father which was the loss we sustained through the Fall.

One more verse will help:

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Moroni 8:24

Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law.

 

IF we examine the nuance of meaning in the verse above repentance is provided for those who are under condemnation.  What is that referencing? Is it not describing the condemnation of the broken law of the Garden of Eden? Is not the curse of a broken law that Law which claimed Adam and Eve.  The case being that after one is bound under A law which necessitated the Fall, Then is when repentance becomes an active means to remedy the curse of the Fall. However, first Christ has to reconcile us to God before being able to repent is even meaningful. For this he suffers.

Second point is kind of a thought exercise.  Consider if no person who reaches the age of accountability were to return to our Father all were perdition.  An atonement would still be required even to redeem the sinless amongst us, our children and mentally handicapped. This because there are issues involved here that the atonement is designed to overcome but that are not directly related to our sins.  Now there is a bit of clarity here that can be brought to bear but I am out of time for this evening and perhaps we should let this hang for a bit to see how it goes.  

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29 minutes ago, brlenox said:

Second point is kind of a thought exercise.  Consider if no person who reaches the age of accountability were to return to our Father all were perdition.  An atonement would still be required even to redeem the sinless amongst us, our children and mentally handicapped. This because there are issues involved here that the atonement is designed to overcome but that are not directly related to our sins.  

Yes...they still need to be resurrected.

BTW, in reading about justification in relation to justice and mercy, it occurred to me that mercy = conditional pardon.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

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A few issues brought up in the few previous posts I would like to address. The separation of the spirit itself is not itself spiritual death but rather a consequence of spiritual death. The suffering Christ experienced itself was not spiritual death but rather the torments themselves that the damned feel when they become spiritually dead. This confusion over how to define spiritual death has caused many a historical peoples to baptize their children such as we see in the Book of Mormon and even still today in many Christian religions. Christ himself never suffered spiritual death as he is "the life" in that he has a well springing inside him always of spiritual life being "alive to the things of righteousness". As to if the Father actually withdrew his spirit from Christ during his crucifixion I highly doubt it as Christ himself said in reference to his crucifixion- 

"32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me" (John 16:32)

The question Christ asks about being "forsaken" was a recited Psalm in reference to fulfilling prophecy with man thinking Christ was forgotten and forsaken. Yet it is Christ himself, alone with the Father, who never did forsake the Son and Christ knows this and as Psalms 22 points out he is delivered by the Father.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, wenglund said:

Yes...they still need to be resurrected.

BTW, in reading about justification in relation to justice and mercy, it occurred to me that mercy = conditional pardon.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Perfect on the pardon consideration and scripture confirms your moments inspiration:

As the Father has committed all judgment to the Son, and the Son is the Lawgiver all breaches of the law are offenses against the Savior.  Just like you and I when someone offends us and breaks a law to our harm we can exercise the principle of forgiveness or we can demand that they be "exposed to the whole law of justice" as Alma states in verse 16.  Christ has a criteria and as Mosiah 15 states there is a group "whose sins he has born".  So while his suffering does not equate to x number of drops of blood to equate to x number of sins it does place him in a position to pardon or forgive an outstanding debt if the conditions are suitable.
 

Jeremiah 33:8

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8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.

 

The use of the word pardon accurately indicates that the charges of sin remain until the Savior acts in his capacity of Lawgiver and pardons according to his set conditions.  Their payment or that which Christ bore was the suffering necessary to enable him to justly request of his Father that he might extend mercy to those who honored His life and would never have contributed the shedding of his innocent blood.

Recently, D. Todd Christofferson observed:

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The Savior’s suffering in Gethsemane and His agony on the cross redeem us from sin by satisfying the demands that justice has upon us. He extends mercy and pardons those who repent. The Atonement also satisfies the debt justice owes to us by healing and compensating us for any suffering we innocently endure. “For behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam” (2 Nephi 9:21; see also Alma 7:11–12). (Redemption, Christofferson, D. Todd, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, April Conference 2013)

Good perceptions. If you are catching the distinctions of a pardon of our sins then already you are having a bit of a paradigm shift from paying the price "for our sins".  A price was paid but as Elder Eyring is pointing out the price paid entitled Christ to do something - that is what we are seeking to put into perspective.   This is very good

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1 hour ago, Rob Osborn said:

A few issues brought up in the few previous posts I would like to address. The separation of the spirit itself is not itself spiritual death but rather a consequence of spiritual death. The suffering Christ experienced itself was not spiritual death but rather the torments themselves that the damned feel when they become spiritually dead. This confusion over how to define spiritual death has caused many a historical peoples to baptize their children such as we see in the Book of Mormon and even still today in many Christian religions. Christ himself never suffered spiritual death as he is "the life" in that he has a well springing inside him always of spiritual life being "alive to the things of righteousness". As to if the Father actually withdrew his spirit from Christ during his crucifixion I highly doubt it as Christ himself said in reference to his crucifixion- 

"32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me" (John 16:32)

The question Christ asks about being "forsaken" was a recited Psalm in reference to fulfilling prophecy with man thinking Christ was forgotten and forsaken. Yet it is Christ himself, alone with the Father, who never did forsake the Son and Christ knows this and as Psalms 22 points out he is delivered by the Father.

The essence, Rob, of your comments is that Brigham Young did not know what he was talking about and that Christ was confused when he stated Eloi, eloi lama sabachthani. my God my God why has thou forsaken me.  Your John Scripture only emphasizes why Christ was so distraught at the temporary absence of his Father due to the withdrawal. He was accustomed to His Fathers presence always being with him.

To put into proper perspective your thoughts I suggest Isaiah who, when speaking messianically stated:

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Isaiah 63:3 

I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.

Neal A. Maxwell expanded and stated:

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“Hence Jesus was in the position of treading the winepress totally "alone." Truly "there was none with [Him]." (Isaiah 63:3; see also D&C 76:107; 88:106; 133:50.)
(Enduring Well,” Ensign, Apr. 1997, p. 10)

Again, as I so often state to you and others...doctrine needs witnesses to be established.  You are not providing us with anything which might add credibility to your position. 
 

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10 minutes ago, brlenox said:

The essence, Rob, of your comments is that Brigham Young did not know what he was talking about and that Christ was confused when he stated Eloi, eloi lama sabachthani. my God my God why has thou forsaken me.  Your John Scripture only emphasizes why Christ was so distraught at the temporary absence of his Father due to the withdrawal. He was accustomed to His Fathers presence always being with him.

To put into proper perspective your thoughts I suggest Isaiah who, when speaking messianically stated:

Neal A. Maxwell expanded and stated:

Again, as I so often state to you and others...doctrine needs witnesses to be established.  You are not providing us with anything which might add credibility to your position. 
 

Why is it the testimony of scripture never settles with you?

And, more testimony from scripture I give you, not that of opinions of men-

John 16:32 testifies that Christ will suffer the atonement without any mortal man to help him out but that even though all mortals would leave him alone he would not be alone because the Father is always with him. Christ was bringing those who heard him in remembrance of prophecy from David that he was the very Christ to be crucified by quoting Psalms 22. It may first appear that Christ is saying he is alone but this is only the perception from the psalmists view which quickly turns to show that in fact it is not true but in reality that the Father does hear and is not forsaking him. Here-

"24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard."

Its interesting here that Christ knows the psalm from beginning to end and knows that the Father has not hid his face from him. The recital of the psalm on the cross reinforces to those whom here that he is reciting this prophecy that it is the very person whom it is referring to and that the Father isnt indeed far from his roars and hearing and that indeed the Father has not hid his face from him or forsaken him but not only hears him but comes to his aid and delivers him.

 

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2 hours ago, brlenox said:

Good perceptions. If you are catching the distinctions of a pardon of our sins then already you are having a bit of a paradigm shift from paying the price "for our sins".  A price was paid but as Elder Eyring is pointing out the price paid entitled Christ to do something - that is what we are seeking to put into perspective.   This is very good

This is almost exactly what the Skousen theory teaches.  Christ suffered, and we are pardoned rather than a payment being made.  He actually uses the example of Lincoln pardoning the military deserting son of a widow for the sake of the widow and the suffering she had endured through the war.  The man was pardoned not because payment had been made for his crime, but because the available mercy toward the mother overcame the required punishment of her child.

That said, my interpretation was not intended to move away from this, or to exclude this line of thinking, and I think they both mesh, just depends on the paradigm you are trying to cater to in an explanation.  As I mentioned from the very beginning, I do not believe Christ's suffering was on an individual sin-punishment level for each person.

The punishment for all sin is exactly the same, eternal damnation and separation from light and truth, i.e. outer darkness.  This is the same punishment for the 'smallest' to the 'largest' sins.  The only reason we are able to designate some sins as smaller and others as larger is because it is Christ, who is our advocate, who determines what our requirement is or will be in order to have Him advocate for us on the basis of the atonement He completed.  Therefore because He is the 'middle-man', the sins we commit and the repentance required is established by Him, as he enabled our agency via the atonement.  Otherwise, just the fruit alone would have caused us all to literally be evil and experience outer darkness.

Bringing that full swing.  When Christ fulfilled the atonement, he only really had to suffer for one thing, 'imperfection of any kind', of which there are infinite kinds, but all of them have the exact same result.

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18 minutes ago, Rob Osborn said:

Christ will suffer the atonement without any mortal man to help him out but that even though all mortals would leave him alone he would not be alone because the Father is always with him.

Have you considered that Christ may not have known that the Father would have to completely withdraw from him at the time he spake those words?

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I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually—that concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”16

The loss of mortal support He had anticipated, but apparently He had not comprehended this. Had He not said to His disciples, “Behold, the hour … is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” and “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”?

(None Were with Him - Jeffrey R. Holland) emphasis added

An apostle of the Lord seems to think that was the case, and he declared it to the entire body of the Church at a sanctioned gathering.

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Just now, person0 said:

Have you considered that Christ may not have known that the Father would have to completely withdraw from him at the time he spake those words?

An apostle of the Lord seems to think that was the case, and he declared it to the entire body of the Church at a sanctioned gathering.

Christ knew all along the Father would never leave him. Its the very reason why he prophesies in John 16:32 that he shall not be completely alone but that the Father is with him.

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8 minutes ago, person0 said:

Image result for i do not think it means meme

I know what it means. One cannot understand what Christ was meaning unless he understands Psalms 22. 

The argument that Christ is questioning why the Father has left him is one of caution. Caution in that it says that Christ doubted, lacked faith. But both doubt and faith is from the evil one and is the framework of Satan the author of sin. To argue that Christ doubted is the same as saying Christ isnt perfect, for a perfect God doesnt doubt nor lack the faith. If Christ ever did truly doubt he couldnt be the Savior, he would cease to be God as he would not be perfect.

Read Psalms 22:24 very carefully-

"24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard."

Separation from God is God turning his face from us, not hearing us. Compare Isaiah 59-

"2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear".

Its obvious that Psalms make it clear, by Old Testament principles of separation doctrine that the Father was connected to the Son and never left him alone on the cross.

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12 hours ago, person0 said:

I do not agree with this.  You could easily follow this statement up the chain and say that the Father endowed Christ with the ability, plan, and authority to do so and that the Father is therefore also complicit.  Also, assuming you are suggesting that every individual sin from each person ever or to come was suffered by Christ, I just don't think that's how it works because it would mean the atonement is a Hammurabi-esque fulfillment of Justice.

However, you have led me to a correction that may be in order in what I wrote previously.  I initially suggested Christ suffered concurrently a single time for every possible sin.  I think I could just as easily believe that Christ suffered concurrently an infinite number of times for every possible sin.  That adjustment would satisfy what I think you are trying to suggest, while still requiring us to receive Christ.  Otherwise, if Christ actually suffered in an way that the price of each individual sin was paid for each person in advance, there ought to be no need for us to repent, because the punishment would already be accounted for and accomplished.

 

The word “agent” is an interesting word.   We are also told in scriptures that our agency was given to us by covenant, from G-d.  With this principle of agency in mind – two points.  Parents and legal guardians are libel for minors under their care and can be held accountable for (required to pay or redeem for damages) – especially if they knew in advance the minor’s intent or determination to cause harm and yet still allowed them to do so.    Another thought; if you own an automobile and give your keys to someone and say, “You may drive my car.”  You are legally liable for any damages they cause while driving your car – even if you did not know that they would cause any damages.

It is not just for anyone to redeem anyone else’s damages unless they were given agency to act for them or in some way are legally bound to the individual that created the damages.  Then the person that is bound by that agency or legal bound can justly be held accountable to redeem the damages.

There is one last thought – that of mercy.  G-d took upon him the covenant for our mortal fallen experience knowing he would have to be accountable for our sins.  This he did because of his love and mercy for us that we could partake of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  His sacrifice was not a pretense – it was real, it was just (because G-d is a just G-d) and it was and is the only redemption possible for the sins of those that received the covenant of agency to become fallen.

If you understand any other legal way someone (anyone) can be held accountable for someone else’s damages – I would welcome and be open to consider your idea and logic to explain how such a thing could be true and actual justice.  This is the only way that I have conceived that Jesus can justly pay for and suffer for our sins - Like I have said - If you have a better understanding of justice and how this could be - I am all ears.

 

The Traveler

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22 minutes ago, Rob Osborn said:

I know what it means. One cannot understand what Christ was meaning unless he understands Psalms 22. 

The argument that Christ is questioning why the Father has left him is one of caution. Caution in that it says that Christ doubted, lacked faith. But both doubt and faith is from the evil one and is the framework of Satan the author of sin. To argue that Christ doubted is the same as saying Christ isnt perfect, for a perfect God doesnt doubt nor lack the faith. If Christ ever did truly doubt he couldnt be the Savior, he would cease to be God as he would not be perfect.

Read Psalms 22:24 very carefully-

"24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard."

Separation from God is God turning his face from us, not hearing us. Compare Isaiah 59-

"2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear".

Its obvious that Psalms make it clear, by Old Testament principles of separation doctrine that the Father was connected to the Son and never left him alone on the cross.

First of all, I don't think Christ did what he did and said what he said to fulfill prophesy. Rather, it was revealed to David what Christ would do and say and David recorded it. IMHO.

Secondly, I don't think this was an expression of doubt but rather surprise. Not every aspect of the atonement was made known to Christ prior to it taking place. In the garden he was amazed at the magnitude of suffering required of him. He had not expected it then and he did not expect the Father withdrawing his presence while on the cross.

Thirdly, for Christ to descend below all things and to suffer all the things we suffer because of our sins, Christ needed to experience just what it felt like to be cut off from the presence of God because of our sins. If it did not happen he could not fully empathize with our situation.

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1 hour ago, person0 said:

This is almost exactly what the Skousen theory teaches.  Christ suffered, and we are pardoned rather than a payment being made.  He actually uses the example of Lincoln pardoning the military deserting son of a widow for the sake of the widow and the suffering she had endured through the war.  The man was pardoned not because payment had been made for his crime, but because the available mercy toward the mother overcame the required punishment of her child.

That said, my interpretation was not intended to move away from this, or to exclude this line of thinking, and I think they both mesh, just depends on the paradigm you are trying to cater to in an explanation.  As I mentioned from the very beginning, I do not believe Christ's suffering was on an individual sin-punishment level for each person.

The punishment for all sin is exactly the same, eternal damnation and separation from light and truth, i.e. outer darkness.  This is the same punishment for the 'smallest' to the 'largest' sins.  The only reason we are able to designate some sins as smaller and others as larger is because it is Christ, who is our advocate, who determines what our requirement is or will be in order to have Him advocate for us on the basis of the atonement He completed.  Therefore because He is the 'middle-man', the sins we commit and the repentance required is established by Him, as he enabled our agency via the atonement.  Otherwise, just the fruit alone would have caused us all to literally be evil and experience outer darkness.

Bringing that full swing.  When Christ fulfilled the atonement, he only really had to suffer for one thing, 'imperfection of any kind', of which there are infinite kinds, but all of them have the exact same result.

 

The problem I have with this thinking is that it does not account for the anguish and pain one has for their their own individual transgression.  It seems to me you are only accounting for the punishment required for any sin.  If my individuals sins are not redeemed – How can I be free of them?

 

The Traveler

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19 minutes ago, laronius said:

First of all, I don't think Christ did what he did and said what he said to fulfill prophesy. Rather, it was revealed to David what Christ would do and say and David recorded it. IMHO.

Secondly, I don't think this was an expression of doubt but rather surprise. Not every aspect of the atonement was made known to Christ prior to it taking place. In the garden he was amazed at the magnitude of suffering required of him. He had not expected it then and he did not expect the Father withdrawing his presence while on the cross.

Thirdly, for Christ to descend below all things and to suffer all the things we suffer because of our sins, Christ needed to experience just what it felt like to be cut off from the presence of God because of our sins. If it did not happen he could not fully empathize with our situation.

I disagree. The true feeling of dread only comes upon a sinner who actually committ the sin.  Christ suffered death as result of punishment for sin yet never experienced sin itself and the dread that comes with it. Neither did Christ go into hell to suffer as we know that upon his death he went to paradise. 

Let me bring up another set of verses to show Christ prophesying his ordeal on the cross. In these verses Christ first ecplains that when they raise him on the cross then will they shortly know he is the Savior. Then he also explains in the next verse that the Father will not leave him alone on that cross but will be with him as they will erroneously believe the Father will leave him.-

"28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
            29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him"

 

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2 hours ago, person0 said:

This is almost exactly what the Skousen theory teaches.  Christ suffered, and we are pardoned rather than a payment being made.  He actually uses the example of Lincoln pardoning the military deserting son of a widow for the sake of the widow and the suffering she had endured through the war.  The man was pardoned not because payment had been made for his crime, but because the available mercy toward the mother overcame the required punishment of her child.

That said, my interpretation was not intended to move away from this, or to exclude this line of thinking, and I think they both mesh, just depends on the paradigm you are trying to cater to in an explanation.  As I mentioned from the very beginning, I do not believe Christ's suffering was on an individual sin-punishment level for each person.

The punishment for all sin is exactly the same, eternal damnation and separation from light and truth, i.e. outer darkness.  This is the same punishment for the 'smallest' to the 'largest' sins.  The only reason we are able to designate some sins as smaller and others as larger is because it is Christ, who is our advocate, who determines what our requirement is or will be in order to have Him advocate for us on the basis of the atonement He completed.  Therefore because He is the 'middle-man', the sins we commit and the repentance required is established by Him, as he enabled our agency via the atonement.  Otherwise, just the fruit alone would have caused us all to literally be evil and experience outer darkness.

Bringing that full swing.  When Christ fulfilled the atonement, he only really had to suffer for one thing, 'imperfection of any kind', of which there are infinite kinds, but all of them have the exact same result.

There are glaring distinctions in what Skousen taught and this. After a fashion it is similar to what Skousen taught, except where Skousen errs is in the nature of how it is that Christ earned the privilege of extending the pardon.  In  his explanation he has the other intelligence's allowing mercy to be extended.  Ostensibly because they see their creator suffering and can bear no longer to see him suffer they permit him to exercise mercy and allow mankind to return to our Father in Heaven.  This places God the Father and his son Jesus Christ Subject to all of creation.  That is the greatest error in his explanation as God is subject to none of his creations in a direct sense such as that.  He is subject to act as a King and to provide for his citizenry in a way that protects the laws of the celestial kingdom in which he resides and presides.  Thus, and I provide much more detail in my earlier posts, God and His Son have a plan to permit The Father to allow our return on the proper considerations of the principles of justice and mercy juxtaposed to provide for a conditional consideration. 
The Quote I provided by President Eyring is completely undermining the Skousen philosophy and places the authorization for Christ to extend mercy or a pardon, if you will, squarely back into the Law Givers hands - God the Father.  It was his law breached and only he can allow any deviations to how his judgement will be administered.   

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

 

The problem I have with this thinking is that it does not account for the anguish and pain one has for their their own individual transgression.  It seems to me you are only accounting for the punishment required for any sin.  If my individuals sins are not redeemed – How can I be free of them?

 

The Traveler

If an infinite being is willing to pay the price to mend an broken law and that price is a process of suffering which justice demands must be addressed then Christ garners privilege.  Observe how he appeals to the Father for the right to forgive sins.  He cites what has earned him the privilege of making this request first. 

Quote

Doctrine and Covenants 45:2-5

2 And again I say, hearken unto my voice, lest death shall overtake you; in an hour when ye think not the summer shall be past, and the harvest ended, and your souls not saved.

3 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him

4 Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;

5 Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.

"The sufferings and death of him who did no sin"  are condition's of consideration for his request of the Father.  So the Father, just as President Eyring states, recognizes the suffering and also knows that justice demands that undeserved suffering be recompensed, and on these grounds extends the right to forgive the sins of mankind upon conditions.  Thus you are forgiven and it is as simple as that, if you meet the conditions for forgiveness of your sins.

The theme is found several times in scripture:

Quote

D & C 38:4

4 I am the same which have taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom; and verily, I say, even as many as have believed in my name, for I am Christ, and in mine own name, by the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I pleaded before the Father for them. 

 

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2 hours ago, Rob Osborn said:

Why is it the testimony of scripture never settles with you?

And, more testimony from scripture I give you, not that of opinions of men-

John 16:32 testifies that Christ will suffer the atonement without any mortal man to help him out but that even though all mortals would leave him alone he would not be alone because the Father is always with him. Christ was bringing those who heard him in remembrance of prophecy from David that he was the very Christ to be crucified by quoting Psalms 22. It may first appear that Christ is saying he is alone but this is only the perception from the psalmists view which quickly turns to show that in fact it is not true but in reality that the Father does hear and is not forsaking him. Here-

"24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard."

Its interesting here that Christ knows the psalm from beginning to end and knows that the Father has not hid his face from him. The recital of the psalm on the cross reinforces to those whom here that he is reciting this prophecy that it is the very person whom it is referring to and that the Father isnt indeed far from his roars and hearing and that indeed the Father has not hid his face from him or forsaken him but not only hears him but comes to his aid and delivers him.

 

Eloi Eloi Lama sabachthani.  Christ own words - there is no getting around that.

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

If you understand any other legal way someone (anyone) can be held accountable for someone else’s damages – I would welcome and be open to consider your idea and logic to explain how such a thing could be true and actual justice.  This is the only way that I have conceived that Jesus can justly pay for and suffer for our sins - Like I have said - If you have a better understanding of justice and how this could be - I am all ears.

 

The Traveler

You are so close it hurts...you are saying precisely what Alma stated:

Quote

 

Alma 34:11-13

11 Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay.

12 But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered; therefore there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world.

13 Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice, and then shall there be, or it is expedient there should be, a stop to the shedding of blood; then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled; yea, it shall be all fulfilled, every jot and tittle, and none shall have passed away.

 

Note it is not a just act, therefore a violation of justice, to have someone else suffer for another's sins.  So there has to be something that is accomplished in a fashion different from an actual accounting of each individual sin and the amount of suffering required for each - that is a finite consideration and expressly not what the atonement did.  The atonement went beyond that type of requirement to a requirement that covered any sin, by anyone, in any quantity, except Sons of Perdition.  

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

This is the only way that I have conceived that Jesus can justly pay for and suffer for our sins - Like I have said - If you have a better understanding of justice and how this could be - I am all ears.

The Traveler

Here is a better understanding of how justice and mercy work.

There is a required paradigm shift.  Do not look at this as mankind see's justice as a tool to come after him and beat him up.  Look at how and what justice is to Jesus Christ and how he uses it to get an entirely different perspective and an entirely different result.  You have to see this as God sees this to grasp it.

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