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Is The Atonement Finite Of Infinite?


Mudcat

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There are a number of Atonement threads about, I just thought, the more the merrier.

If you haven't taken the time to participate on an Atonement thread, here is your big chance. :P

I've done some thinking about the Atonement. I posted this on another thread, but thought I would modify it a smidge and throw it out in this one.

I think it was finitely sufficient for all the transgressions of mankind on Earth before the return of the King. For his atonement to be infinite, in all actuality would mean that sin would also be infinite. How does one cover an infinity with infinity?

I believe, Christ has covered every sin I will ever commit with his blood. But to intentionally sin, would be to add to his suffering, IMO. I understand these events transpired 2,000 years ago, but his suffering was for past, present and future sin, of which an omniscient God was fully aware of what those future sins would be. However, if I am to believe I have free-will (and I do), then sin is still a choice.

IOW even though he has suffered for all my transgressions...in the past tense..the amount of that suffering is determinative by all sin in the current tense and future tense as well.

I'd like you to consider a verse.

Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

As I look at LDS theology from the outside, I don't know that it could be perceived much differently. What I mean by that, is that Christ was doing what he had seen his Father do. This would mean at some point in the distant past, his Father was a Christ, or at the very least was redeemed by a Christ figure. Two sacrifices to cover Sin (one made in the past by/for the Father on another world and the one Christ made here), would imply that neither sacrifice could have been infinite. Granted that concept is an extrapolation of LDS doctrine, but an interesting one nonetheless.

I'm not completely nailed down on what I am saying here, but this gives me a good chance to think about it.

What do you think?

Mudcat

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[...]

I think it was finitely sufficient for all the transgressions of mankind on Earth before the return of the King. For his atonement to be infinite, in all actuality would mean that sin would also be infinite. How does one cover an infinity with infinity? [...]

My thoughts: Do not those who sin (at least outside of LDS doctrine on the topic) receive infinite punishment? Would a just G-d give an infinite punishment for something that is finite? If the punishment is infinite (read â??eternalâ?) would it not require that someone pay an infinite price in order for someone to avoid said punishment?

Man, I love paradox... :P

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My thoughts: Do not those who sin (at least outside of LDS doctrine on the topic) receive infinite punishment? Would a just G-d give an infinite punishment for something that is finite? If the punishment is infinite (read â??eternalâ?) would it not require that someone pay an infinite price in order for someone to avoid said punishment?

Man, I love paradox... :P

Wow Steuss! That was real mindblower. No kidding.

I guess I had that coming, anyways. *Thinks back to Friday*

My off the cuff response would be that, as eternal beings, rejection of the Grace of Christ has an eternal impact.

Now I'll just go have to back to the woodshed and rethink my theology. Thanks A Lot! ;)

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Wow Steuss! That was real mindblower. No kidding.

I guess I had that coming, anyways. *Thinks back to Friday*

Vengeance shall be mine!

My off the cuff response would be that, as eternal beings, rejection of the Grace of Christ has an eternal impact.

Now I'll just go have to back to the woodshed and rethink my theology. Thanks A Lot! :P

LOL!

In a way, I think that Calvinism bundles it up in the nicest â??bowâ? in regards to a finite atonement. But at the same time, many aspects of Calvinism just donâ??t sit right with me.

Even from an LDS perspective, it kind of causes a bit of a puzzle (at least from my understanding of things). LDS believe that the â??eternal punishmentâ? is â??G-dâ??s punishmentâ? (i.e. His name is â??Eternalâ?). This does not necessarily mean that every sinner will be punished infinitely for their actions; indeed is supposes that the punishment received will likely be finite. So, then we are left to wonder if the punishment is finite, why an infinite atonement (in regards to LDS scripture).

In the end though, I guess it can be seen as the effects of sin are eternal. If I sin against you, or someone else, the effects of said sin will potentially continue infinitely. Forgiveness though seems to often diminish (or sometimes erase) the wrongs which have been committed. Just think about how much freedom you have gained before when you have forgiven someone. Perhaps the same concept (yet modified and turned around somewhat) works with the Atonement.

Iâ??m just rambling at this pointâ?¦

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I think there is an infinite in regards to our mortal life here and anything outside of our mortal life doesn't have the same 'structure' set up. Meaning infinite and finite might not be terms used for those who are immortal, only us who are mortal.

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Easily the best work on this topic that I've read is Infinate Atonement, by Tad R. Callister. It spells out a number of misconceptions of creedal Christians and explains that seeing the creation and fall of man as a tragic, cosmic accident is a titanic blunder. Many such Christians assume, according to Callister:

1. Adam and Eve would have had children in the Garden of Eden if they had been allowed to remain.

2. Adam and Eve were not in a state of innocence in the Garden, but rather were experiencing unparalleled joy.

3. The fall was not part of God's master plan, but rather a tragic step backwards. It was a stumbling block, not a stepping-stone in man?s eternal journey.

4. If Adam had not fallen, all of Adam?s children would have been born in a state of bliss, to live "happily ever after" in Edenic conditions.

5. Because of the fall, all infants are tainted with original sin.

6. Grace alone can save (i.e., exalt) us, regardless of any works on our part.

7. The physical resurrection of the Savior was merely symbolic; we will be resurrected as spirits without the "limitations" of a physical body.

8. The Atonement does not have the power to transform us into gods; in fact, such a thought is blasphemous.

At least one of these sectarian Christians gave the book only one star because he or she apparently believes in the above. One must consider that if Christ came to negate the effects of the fall, then logically, the best we can hope for in the afterlife is an eternal life running around a garden naked. After all, that's what God's plan for us originally was, if we're to believe such people. But since our resurrection will be like Christ's, and since we'll be "like" Christ and "like" God, then we must assume that they have gardens, too.

To think that man was placed in a garden to find complete fulfillment is anathema to Latter-day Saints. That God would place two innocents in a garden with a malicious spirit to tempt them defies reason. In fact, if God is perfect and created Satan, who fell, and God created man, who fell, then how can God be perfect if he does not seem able to create perfect beings?

And of course the central question that goes begging is why an atonement was even necessary? If the great God of Heaven wanted to forgive us, why could he not say, "Thou art forgiven!" and make it so? What was it that forced God into sacrificing his only begotten Son? And if he was able to take the "bitter cup" away, then why didn't he? And what would have happened had Jesus not fulfilled his mission? What if he had walked away? What say the creedal Christians then? Latter-day Saints know the answers to both of these questions. Everything created would have been lost and Earth and everyone in it would have returned to the native elements from which he or she was derived. That's why I think this will be the eventual fate of Satan. Since the atonement does not cover him or the angels who sinned, I believe that they will eventually revert to what they were.

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I do think the Atonement is infinite, simply because of what happened. However, I think there is something we miss every time we talk about it.

My father brought this up to me before he gave a talk on the Atonement in Church, and given my soon to be father status, thought it would be a great idea.

We won't ever fully understand or appreciate the Atonement until we have done it. Seeing as none of us ever will, at least while in this life (another philosophical question for another thread), we simply cannot understand it completely. I, never being a father before, never understood what my father meant when he said that he would suffer anything for the children. In my simple child like mind, it just didn't make sense, try to run, keep every one safe, etc. But if it came down to it, if it had to be done, he would do it. Now I know what that means because I know the exact same feeling. For my wife, and soon my daughter, there is no pain I would not bear for them.

Christ did it for us, and in our finite, child like minds, we will never fully understand, appreciate, or comprehend the Atonement. Which is why I say it is infinite. Just my opinion though.

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One must consider that if Christ came to negate the effects of the fall, then logically, the best we can hope for in the afterlife is an eternal life running around a garden naked.

Heh, please think about that some more. Christ did come to negate the effects of the fall... while also giving us all of the benefits from it. We will be restored to that condition while still retaining our knowledge of good and evil, for example.

To think that man was placed in a garden to find complete fulfillment is anathema to Latter-day Saints.

No, it's not. Not that idea, itself. That's just not all there is to it. We will also place people in gardens, ourselves. :P

That God would place two innocents in a garden with a malicious spirit to tempt them defies reason.

That's what he did, if you define Satan as a malicious spirit, but it was for a purpose.

We are better people if we can overcome all that is evil while still having a knowledge of all that is evil, as well as a knowledge of all that is good.

In fact, if God is perfect and created Satan, who fell, and God created man, who fell, then how can God be perfect if he does not seem able to create perfect beings?

By overcoming evil, personally.

And of course the central question that goes begging is why an atonement was even necessary? If the great God of Heaven wanted to forgive us, why could he not say, "Thou art forgiven!" and make it so?

Heh, that is the way it can be and will be if we simply follow his program.

What was it that forced God into sacrificing his only begotten Son?

He wasn't forced. That was simply a part of his plan.

Let's just stick with the program without trying to change it, okay? It's very simple. Just do it.

And if he was able to take the "bitter cup" away, then why didn't he?

Because that wasn't a part of his plan.

And what would have happened had Jesus not fulfilled his mission?

We would have had nobody else appointed to fulfil our Father's plan. Jesus was it. The only one.

What if he had walked away?

Then even he would not have fulfilled our Father's plan.

What say the creedal Christians then?

That God had no choice. That God had to do it that way.

... while we (LDS) say God did have a choice and that God chose to do it that way.

Latter-day Saints know the answers to both of these questions. Everything created would have been lost and Earth and everyone in it would have returned to the native elements from which he or she was derived. That's why I think this will be the eventual fate of Satan. Since the atonement does not cover him or the angels who sinned, I believe that they will eventually revert to what they were.

I think so too, although I'm not totally sure about that. ;)

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Vengeance shall be mine!

Lets just call it duece, so the next time one us gets an advantage point. :P

In a way, I think that Calvinism bundles it up in the nicest â??bowâ? in regards to a finite atonement. But at the same time, many aspects of Calvinism just donâ??t sit right with me.

Agreed, I try not to ignore the verses that support pre-destination, but sometimes the are the proverbial square pegs in my roundish concept of free-will.

Even from an LDS perspective, it kind of causes a bit of a puzzle (at least from my understanding of things). LDS believe that the â??eternal punishmentâ? is â??G-dâ??s punishmentâ? (i.e. His name is â??Eternalâ?). This does not necessarily mean that every sinner will be punished infinitely for their actions; indeed is supposes that the punishment received will likely be finite. So, then we are left to wonder if the punishment is finite, why an infinite atonement (in regards to LDS scripture).

I hadn't really thought about it, but I suppose that would be a complete flip-flop of what I stated earlier. Interesting.

In the end though, I guess it can be seen as the effects of sin are eternal. If I sin against you, or someone else, the effects of said sin will potentially continue infinitely. Forgiveness though seems to often diminish (or sometimes erase) the wrongs which have been committed. Just think about how much freedom you have gained before when you have forgiven someone. Perhaps the same concept (yet modified and turned around somewhat) works with the Atonement.

So you are saying that sin, left unforgiven, will eternally remain sin? I think I could agree with you there.

Sin, that is forgiven, is eternally nullified, at least from a perspective of Christ, I would think. Obviously, wronging a brother and the process of forgiveness, is not always so immediate and final, in mortality. At best, we seem to even forgive others imperfectly.

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There are a number of Atonement threads about, I just thought, the more the merrier.

If you haven't taken the time to participate on an Atonement thread, here is your big chance. ;)

I've done some thinking about the Atonement. I posted this on another thread, but thought I would modify it a smidge and throw it out in this one.

I think it was finitely sufficient for all the transgressions of mankind on Earth before the return of the King. For his atonement to be infinite, in all actuality would mean that sin would also be infinite. How does one cover an infinity with infinity?

I believe, Christ has covered every sin I will ever commit with his blood. But to intentionally sin, would be to add to his suffering, IMO. I understand these events transpired 2,000 years ago, but his suffering was for past, present and future sin, of which an omniscient God was fully aware of what those future sins would be. However, if I am to believe I have free-will (and I do), then sin is still a choice.

IOW even though he has suffered for all my transgressions...in the past tense..the amount of that suffering is determinative by all sin in the current tense and future tense as well.

Since LDS have additional scripture, the Book of Mormon teaches that the atonement is infinite. 2 Ne. 9:7; 2 Ne. 25:16; Alma 34:10, 12, 14. The atonement not only covers our sins, but it makes the resurrection possible. The atonement also covers our infirmities and sicknesses of all. Alma 7:11â??12 Since our bodies are imperfect and will be made perfect in the resurrection, this to me is another reason why the atonement needs be infinite. Lastly, and which we've touched on in other threads, the atonement is infinite for the very reason that we often sin again and God forgives every time we repent. Mosiah 26:30â??31

I've not studied non-LDS doctines about the atonement to determine if they teach the breadth of its effect on all of God's children. I hear it applies to sin and that's it. I would be interested in knowing if other faiths believe as we do in that the atonement does much more than merely cover our sins.

I'd like you to consider a verse.

As I look at LDS theology from the outside, I don't know that it could be perceived much differently. What I mean by that, is that Christ was doing what he had seen his Father do. This would mean at some point in the distant past, his Father was a Christ, or at the very least was redeemed by a Christ figure. Two sacrifices to cover Sin (one made in the past by/for the Father on another world and the one Christ made here), would imply that neither sacrifice could have been infinite. Granted that concept is an extrapolation of LDS doctrine, but an interesting one nonetheless.

I'm not completely nailed down on what I am saying here, but this gives me a good chance to think about it.

What do you think?

Mudcat

Now you are into pure speculation. So I will add to your speculation as I have rationalized it. I think Christ did see the Father act out the Atonement for His generation. (If we can record events and preserve them for a finite time, I imagine God has His own sophisticated CVR, Celestial Video Recording, system.) If there was a first atonement by the Father, why needs there be a second atonement by the Son? This is where the concept of God has a Father before Him and He was the first born of his generation comes in. The Plan of Salvation was adopted then and He fulfilled its terms for His brothers and sisters.

After all were saved and resurrected, He started anew. This time for His own spirit children. Since we were not in existence during that first event, we never had the choice to accept or reject it, so the first atonement, though infinite as well, applied only to those who accepted the plan the first go around. Once the Plan of Salvation was presented to us, and because agency is key in the Plan of Salvation, we accepted it and the need for a Saviour. A second atonement would be necessary for us who now had the ability to accept or reject God's plan.

We know for certain that the atonement applies to all who accept it. The LDS doctrine is that we learned and accepted the Plan of Salvation and the need for an atoning Saviour in the pre-mortal existence. It doesn't seem just that God would force us in a mortal probation without explaining it to us and allowing us the choice to accept or reject it.

Is this how it really works between Celestial generations? I really don't know, but it might.

:P

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Of course I know that the atonement is infinite and eternal because that is exactly how it is described in the scriptures:

(2 Nephi 9:6-23) For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord. Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonementâ??save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more. O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness. O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit. And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave. And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel. O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect. Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness. And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God. And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end. O the greatness and the justice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled. But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever. O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it. And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; 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. And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day. And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God."
This lengthy quote explains why the atonement must be infinite and also it shows that it applies to all of the family of Adam. This possibly explains why the Lord refused to tell Moses of those other earths that have passed away and still stand and yet will be. We cannot comprehend or even begin to understand all the works of the Lord.

The word atonement has been described as an "AT-ONE-MENT" or reconciling us to God. In LDS theology the atonement is the key to our eternal progression, since we all have sinned to a greater or lesser degree we all are unworthy to enter into the Lord's Kingdom. The fall of Adam made mortality possible, thus it enabled us to be tested and to see if we would develop faith in the atonement and overcome the world through the merits of this atonement and also by keeping the commandments of God. Also the atonement made it possible to overcome the physical effects of the fall of Adam, death through the resurrection. He also made it possible to overcome the spiritual death we all suffer from being cut off from God's presence through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, and Baptism which is a covenant or token of our willingness to obey Christ in all things. As we live up to this covenant and renew it through the ordinance of the Sacrament we can further repent and improve our lives until we overcome all things through the atonement of Christ.

Another reason why this atonement must be infinite is because our spirits are also infinite and so it calls for an infinite sacrifice:

(Alma 34:9-16) "For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice. 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. 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. 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. And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal. And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption."
Christ was the only one who could provide an infinite and eternal sacrifice because His Father was God and His mother was a mortal. So thus He could die and also He could overcome death. This is the only way the atonement could be brought about.
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I think it was finitely sufficient for all the transgressions of mankind on Earth before the return of the King. For his atonement to be infinite, in all actuality would mean that sin would also be infinite. How does one cover an infinity with infinity?

∞ / ∞ reduces down until you are back at one. Hence, an infinite atonement.

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Heh, please think about that some more. Christ did come to negate the effects of the fall... while also giving us all of the benefits from it. We will be restored to that condition while still retaining our knowledge of good and evil, for example.

Christ did not come to restore us to the garden paradise, but to propel us far beyond it. Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. The garden was merely a launching pad. It contained no fulfillment for man, but an eternal dead end. With a knowledge of good and evil, the garden would have been a torture, with nothing to do, no progress to make. With knowledge, it wouldn't have been long before Adam and Eve would have been looking for ways to leave the garden to see what was outside. Even we mortals look to the stars, and we spend untold billions of dollars trying to figure out how to go into the depths of space.

That's what he did, if you define Satan as a malicious spirit, but it was for a purpose.

Of course. There was a purpose and God used Satan to bring about his own ends. Satan has been nothing but an accuser, a malicious spirit seeking only misery. I suspect that as we near the final days, that he's becoming a little more paranoid, and dangerous. But remember, a plan is a logical means to an end. If God could have forgiven us without an atonement, he would have done so. But for God to remain God, there are certain laws and principles that even he must abide in. Thus, every part of the plan has a purpose.

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Hi MormonPeasant,

I've not studied non-LDS doctines about the atonement to determine if they teach the breadth of its effect on all of God's children. I hear it applies to sin and that's it. I would be interested in knowing if other faiths believe as we do in that the atonement does much more than merely cover our sins.

I believe that Christ's Atonement covers sin, and also believe those justified by faith and those that are not justified will receive bodies. I do not believe that Christ took infirmities, injuries, etc.. upon himself. I suppose in a round about way, I could see how it could be extrapolated. Sickness, infirmity, etc.. IMO is a product of sin...an unholy fruit of the unrighteousness humanity, so to speak. I believe the elimination of sin takes care of the rest of it...in a post mortal existence of course.

Now you are into pure speculation. So I will add to your speculation as I have rationalized it. I think Christ did see the Father act out the Atonement for His generation. (If we can record events and preserve them for a finite time, I imagine God has His own sophisticated CVR, Celestial Video Recording, system.) If there was a first atonement by the Father, why needs there be a second atonement by the Son? This is where the concept of God has a Father before Him and He was the first born of his generation comes in. The Plan of Salvation was adopted then and He fulfilled its terms for His brothers and sisters.

After all were saved and resurrected, He started anew. This time for His own spirit children. Since we were not in existence during that first event, we never had the choice to accept or reject it, so the first atonement, though infinite as well, applied only to those who accepted the plan the first go around. Once the Plan of Salvation was presented to us, and because agency is key in the Plan of Salvation, we accepted it and the need for a Saviour. A second atonement would be necessary for us who now had the ability to accept or reject God's plan.

We know for certain that the atonement applies to all who accept it. The LDS doctrine is that we learned and accepted the Plan of Salvation and the need for an atoning Saviour in the pre-mortal existence. It doesn't seem just that God would force us in a mortal probation without explaining it to us and allowing us the choice to accept or reject it.

Is this how it really works between Celestial generations? I really don't know, but it might.

I appreciate anyone who is willing to "step outside the box" so to speak and take a look at whats in it. Your speculation is refreshing.

Though it begs the question, speculatively of course, do you feel that at some point another Christ will emerge from this generation, to die for another generation? Could it be a condition of exaltation?

Mudcat

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I believe that the atonement covers all the spirit children of Heavenly Father to come to this earth, and I believe that there are possibly eleven other similar worlds that are covered by it. I believe that it's infinite in its effects, since we are infinite and eternal beings and will (we assume) have an infinite number of offspring if exalted. I don't believe that Christ suffered for an infinite number of sins in a finite amount of time. I believe that he atoned for the fall of Adam, and that took care of or incorporated forgiveness for all of the resultant sin.

If we believe that there is only one eldest son and only one atonement for all of Heavenly Father's children that he will ever have, then with each new world, Christ's atonement would become increasingly distant in time and space. If we don't believe that, then we must believe that spirit children are grouped in "batches", with a firstborn chosen from each, OR believe in the same Savior becoming mortal over and over, performing an infinite number of atonements. I kind of favor the "batch" idea. I guess there is one more alternative, and that is that Heavenly Father might stop having children at some point, and just receive glory and increase through the increase of his children only.

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I believe that the atonement covers all the spirit children of Heavenly Father to come to this earth, and I believe that there are possibly eleven other similar worlds that are covered by it. I believe that it's infinite in its effects, since we are infinite and eternal beings and will (we assume) have an infinite number of offspring if exalted. I don't believe that Christ suffered for an infinite number of sins in a finite amount of time. I believe that he atoned for the fall of Adam, and that took care of or incorporated forgiveness for all of the resultant sin.

If we believe that there is only one eldest son and only one atonement for all of Heavenly Father's children that he will ever have, then with each new world, Christ's atonement would become increasingly distant in time and space. If we don't believe that, then we must believe that spirit children are grouped in 'batches", with a firstborn chosen from each, OR believe in the same Savior becoming mortal over and over, performing an infinite number of atonements. I kind of favor the "batch" idea. I guess there is one more alternative, and that is that Heavenly Father might stop having children at some point, and just receive glory and increase through the increase of his children only.

You know, Kamenraider, I was honestly thinking earlier today...."Where is Kamenraider."

The older I get, the more that "I think therefore I am." statement makes sense. :P

Though, I am not LDS, if I was, I would be a 'batcher' too.

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Hi MormonPeasant,

I believe that Christ's Atonement covers sin, and also believe those justified by faith and those that are not justified will receive bodies. I do not believe that Christ took infirmities, injuries, etc.. upon himself. I suppose in a round about way, I could see how it could be extrapolated. Sickness, infirmity, etc.. IMO is a product of sin...an unholy fruit of the unrighteousness humanity, so to speak. I believe the elimination of sin takes care of the rest of it...in a post mortal existence of course.

LDS scripture reveals this part of the Atonement. I think also that sin can cause physical and emotional illness, beyond the obvious sins that actually abuse the body, such as drugs. Thus, the Atonement would extend to cover all the effects of sin.

I appreciate anyone who is willing to "step outside the box" so to speak and take a look at whats in it. Your speculation is refreshing.

Though it begs the question, speculatively of course, do you feel that at some point another Christ will emerge from this generation, to die for another generation? Could it be a condition of exaltation?

Mudcat

I will make an assumption or two. The first is that the Universe is God's creation and He has populated other worlds with His children. All those sent to earths to gain bodies were in the pre-mortal existence and accepted the Plan of Salvation. I don't know if God stopped creating additional spirit children after the Plan of Salvation was proposed and accepted, but will assume most likely. With this assumption, I would say that Christ's Atonement is all that is needed for our Universe, at least for all of God's children of the same generation.

Any generation that comes after the Plan was first proposed needs to have the opportunity to accept it and thus a new Atonement would be required for that new generation.

I don't believe being a Saviour as Christ is is necessary for exaltation since the scriptures tell us that the Atonement is sufficient for all of us as this is God's Grace.

Again, this is my own theory that is pure speculation.

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Though it begs the question, speculatively of course, do you feel that at some point another Christ will emerge from this generation, to die for another generation? Could it be a condition of exaltation?

Mudcat

That reminds me of one more thing -- I believe (see D&C 132:26) that those that receive their second anointing, and have it sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, become responsible for their own sins and the effects of those sins, and have to atone for them themselves. I guess that sort of atonement is not exactly a condition we meet to enter exaltation, but a point we may reach on the way there.

I think that John D. Lee would be an example of this (if not Joseph Smith, etc.).

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