Bruce Charlton is thinking deeply about the Atonement. He is working out alternatives to the customary belief that Christ took on the punitive consequences of sin for us and to the customary liberal notion that the atonement was fundamentally an act of symbolic engineering to excise our retrograde belief in sin and guilt. Charlton thinks he’s found one. (more…)
Bruce Charlton has a wonderful post on the paradox of Christianity–how Christ converts the news that we are sinful failures into good news, because it means we are destined for something better than our current selves.
Our Cub Scouts went caroling to an old folks home. The elderly people there were moved. It is remarkable, the power we have to affect each other. (more…)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: atonement, child, children, choice and accountability, Christ, fathers, LDS, love, Mormon, Mormonism, parents, we are Mary
As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever. (more…)
Bruce Charlton has written an essay that I regard as an instant classic. It treats what Mormonism reveals about the true depths and temptations of evil. It is the best kind of theology: deep without being difficult–fundamental–plain–simple. (more…)
On the sweetness of Mormon life.
Easter Morning. You take family pictures under the Bradford Pear. Then you take more pictures after you remember to remove the hanging mosquito trap.
You go to church. You take the sacrament. A girl receives the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal.
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: atonement, council in heaven, free agency, Freedom, LDS, liberty, Mormon, Mormonism, pre-existence, Satan's plan, sorrow, war in heaven
When Free Will looks in the mirror, it sees the pitiless face of Justice.
Our ward Primary President introduced the singing of “Silent Night” this way: (more…)
Being a Mormon Christian is hard. No one is very good at it. (more…)
After the requisite soul-searching and angst and all that, Nephi cut off Laban’s head, snicker-snack. He probably did not know at the time that he was setting up a type of Christ. (more…)
Worth repeating: a comment by Silver Rain:
Justice isn’t ours. In fact, the very essence of forgiveness is handing our need for justice over to the Lord. Just as the Savior atoned for our sins and errors, He also atoned for the sins and errors of others. If we truly trust Him, we will find a way to allow Him to repay us whatever others owe us. Rather than expecting the Church to exact justice, which will only extend the misery this man has inflicted on your friend, taking advantage of the Atonement will free your friend from the shackles of this man’s sin. […]
If there are Church courts where justice is being exacted, I submit the men ministering those courts do not understand their purpose. Excommunication and disfellowshipping are not exacted under the law of justice, but of mercy. If people are not keeping the covenants they made, it is mercy which requires they be released from those covenants until and unless they have repented to the point where they are prepared to make them again.
Excommunication and disfellowshipping may feel like punishment (or justice, depending on perspective) but that is not their purpose. In my understanding, courts are instructed to refrain from exacting those consequences unless the Spirit confirms it is necessary for the individual to truly repent.
As far as watching an ex-spouse be sealed in the temple when an individual cannot, I can certainly understand the pain that would cause. But that loops back to trusting Jesus Christ, Alpha and Omega, to exact the amount of justice necessary and no more or no less. Demanding He judge in a certain way means that you do no[t] truly trust His wisdom and love for the perpetrator AND FOR YOU. I have full confidence that if my ex is ever welcomed back into the family of God, it will only be once he acknowledges the damage he has done and repented for it. Who can justly ask for more than that? My ex cannot undo the pain he has caused me, nor the damage he has done to my life. But that isn’t his job, even though he was the one who committed the sin in the first place. It is the Savior’s job, and I rely on Him to “pay” me what I am owed: to make it all right again.
Fortunately for us, the Savior rarely simply pays us back. In my experience, when He pays someone’s debts for them, it comes with more interest than I would have ever thought to ask for.
Square Two has a response to Taylor Petrey’s attempt to imagine a Mormonism without the central Mormon doctrines of eternal marriage, descent, and ancestry. (more…)