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The atonement parable of boyd k. Packer


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Every Passover season I contemplate various talks given on the Atonement.  This
particular one was spoken by Boyd K. Packer in the April 1977 General Conference 
sermon entitled "The Mediator."

What follows is my interpretation of its implications.  Let me know what you think.

Numbers are applied to the italicized quote. It may be referenced later.


Although all people will be resurrected, only those who accept the Atonement will be 
saved from spiritual death (see Articles of Faith 1:3).  #1  

We accept Christ's Atonement by placing our faith in Him … this faith, we repent of our 
sins ... obey His commandments.  #2

President Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve gave the following illustration 
to show how Christ's Atonement makes it possible to be saved from sin if we do our 
part.  #3 

"There once was a man who wanted something very much. It seemed more important than 
anything else in his life. In order for him to have his desire, he incurred a great 
debt"  #4

"So he signed a contract. He would pay it off some time along the way."  #5

"'I cannot pay you, for I have not the power to do so,' he confessed."  #5a
 
"'Then,' said the creditor, 'we will exercise the contract, take your possessions, 
and you shall go to prison. You agreed to that. It was your choice. You signed the 
contract, and now it must be enforced.'  #5b

"As the creditor was pondering the offer, the mediator added, 'You demanded justice. 
Though he cannot pay you, I will do so. You will have been justly dealt with and can 
ask no more. It would not be just.'  #6

"The mediator turned then to the debtor. 'If I pay your debt, will you accept me as 
your creditor?'   #7

"'Oh yes, yes,' cried the debtor. 'You save me from prison and show mercy to me.'   #8

"'Then,' said the benefactor, 'you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. 
It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go 
to prison.'   #9

"And so it was that the creditor was paid in full. He had been justly dealt with. 
No contract had been broken.   #10

"The debtor, in turn, had been extended mercy. Both laws stood fulfilled. Because 
there was a mediator, justice had claimed its full share, and mercy was fully 
satisfied" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1977, 79–80; or Ensign, May 1977, 54–55).   #11

Our sins are our spiritual debts. Without Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Mediator, 
we would all pay for our sins by suffering spiritual death. But because of Him, if we 
will keep His terms, which are to repent and keep His commandments, we may return to 
live with our Heavenly Father.  #12

Some highlights of the General Conference sermon:

    • Redemption is possible from the second death (spiritual death), which is separation 
    from the presence of Heavenly Father. This redemption can come only to those who 
    are clean, for no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God.
    • Jesus arranged the terms for our redemption.
    • Mercy is on His terms.
    • Your spiritual account must be paid up (settled). You are weighed in the balance.
    • Spiritual death is a separation from Heavenly Father.

In Mr. Packer's parable, focus is placed on several key themes: debt, mercy, justice, 
prison, spiritual death, and living with Heavenly Father.  

    • Even though the contract has been fully paid, failing to pay the dues (agreeing 
    to all the terms of the new agreement with the mediator) results in a violation 
    of the agreement; the person loses all their possessions and they are cast into 
    prison. Reference #5a and 5b.
    • Justice has claim on the sinner because of a debt. Justice fell upon all in the 
    Fall (Alma 12:22). We are sinners due to inheriting a fallen nature – being carnal, 
    sensual, and devilish (Mosiah 16:3; Romans 5:19).
    • Jesus is the second creditor/benefactor/mediator. The debtor is the sinner.
    • The identity of the first creditor is either Heavenly Father or Satan.
    • The Atonement is available to all fallen mankind but only effective if one accepts 
    the terms. A person must do their part or the new agreement is broken.  It is not 
    effective if a person fails to do their part (meaning the punishment is exercised).
    • 'Saved from sin' means exaltation (returning to live with Heavenly Father).
    • Everyone who is not exalted goes to this prison – they are not in the presence of 
    Heavenly Father.  Mr. Packer referred to this as the second death (a spiritual 
    separation from Heavenly Father).
    • Prison is in opposition to living in God's kingdom.
    • The new agreement: abide by all the terms set by Christ. The terms (to pay the 
    debt to Jesus) are to obey all the commandments and thus avoid prison.
    • The failure in not repenting or keeping all the commandments (terms) causes a 
    violation of the agreement – the punishment is exercised (enforced – reference #5b). 
    The unclean cannot live in the presence of God – they suffer a spiritual death; 
    being separated from Heavenly Father (Matthew 21:28-32; 25:32-33; Luke 13:27-30; 
    Ephesians 5:5; 1 Nephi 10:21; Alma 11:41,44; 40:13-14,26; Mosiah 16:2; D&C 29:27-28).
    • The commandments (terms) are based on 'must obey' not 'try to obey'.
    • Repentance (mercy) is only possible in one's mortal probation otherwise God's 
    justice is destroyed.
      ◦ "Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, 
      the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his 
      own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth 
      fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable 
      fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever. And now I say unto you, that 
      mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to endure a never-
      ending torment" (Mosiah 2:38-39).
        ◦ "Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought 
        about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, 
        this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not 
        take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice 
        could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God" (Alma 42:13).


Thanks,
Jim

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I've always liked that parable, and the movie they made of it.  I find the one thing that it fails to be able to convey is the true cost to the mediator to pay his friend's debt.  It's a weak spot in the movie especially, which shows basically no cost other than monetary to the mediator, and a monetary cost that is easy for him to pay as it seems like he has plenty of money to spare.  

I don't mind the weakness of the story as it is a good reminder that analogies are always going to be deficient in some aspect and we should not attempt to use an imperfect analogy as a standard on what gospel truth or doctrine.  Its effectiveness is limited to the exact topic the creator is trying to teach.   

Elder Packer wasn't specifically trying to teach about the suffering the mediator had to undergo to pay the debt--that wasn't the point of the story--so the analogy isn't meant to be used to teach about that aspect of the Atonement.  I'm fine with that and still find it very useful.

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On 4/3/2021 at 10:52 AM, theplains said:

Every Passover season I contemplate various talks given on the Atonement.  This
particular one was spoken by Boyd K. Packer in the April 1977 General Conference 
sermon entitled "The Mediator."

What follows is my interpretation of its implications.  Let me know what you think.

Numbers are applied to the italicized quote. It may be referenced later.


Although all people will be resurrected, only those who accept the Atonement will be 
saved from spiritual death (see Articles of Faith 1:3).  #1  

We accept Christ's Atonement by placing our faith in Him … this faith, we repent of our 
sins ... obey His commandments.  #2

President Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve gave the following illustration 
to show how Christ's Atonement makes it possible to be saved from sin if we do our 
part.  #3 

"There once was a man who wanted something very much. It seemed more important than 
anything else in his life. In order for him to have his desire, he incurred a great 
debt"  #4

"So he signed a contract. He would pay it off some time along the way."  #5

"'I cannot pay you, for I have not the power to do so,' he confessed."  #5a
 
"'Then,' said the creditor, 'we will exercise the contract, take your possessions, 
and you shall go to prison. You agreed to that. It was your choice. You signed the 
contract, and now it must be enforced.'  #5b

"As the creditor was pondering the offer, the mediator added, 'You demanded justice. 
Though he cannot pay you, I will do so. You will have been justly dealt with and can 
ask no more. It would not be just.'  #6

"The mediator turned then to the debtor. 'If I pay your debt, will you accept me as 
your creditor?'   #7

"'Oh yes, yes,' cried the debtor. 'You save me from prison and show mercy to me.'   #8

"'Then,' said the benefactor, 'you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. 
It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go 
to prison.'   #9

"And so it was that the creditor was paid in full. He had been justly dealt with. 
No contract had been broken.   #10

"The debtor, in turn, had been extended mercy. Both laws stood fulfilled. Because 
there was a mediator, justice had claimed its full share, and mercy was fully 
satisfied" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1977, 79–80; or Ensign, May 1977, 54–55).   #11

Our sins are our spiritual debts. Without Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Mediator, 
we would all pay for our sins by suffering spiritual death. But because of Him, if we 
will keep His terms, which are to repent and keep His commandments, we may return to 
live with our Heavenly Father.  #12

Some highlights of the General Conference sermon:

    • Redemption is possible from the second death (spiritual death), which is separation 
    from the presence of Heavenly Father. This redemption can come only to those who 
    are clean, for no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God.
    • Jesus arranged the terms for our redemption.
    • Mercy is on His terms.
    • Your spiritual account must be paid up (settled). You are weighed in the balance.
    • Spiritual death is a separation from Heavenly Father.

In Mr. Packer's parable, focus is placed on several key themes: debt, mercy, justice, 
prison, spiritual death, and living with Heavenly Father.  

    • Even though the contract has been fully paid, failing to pay the dues (agreeing 
    to all the terms of the new agreement with the mediator) results in a violation 
    of the agreement; the person loses all their possessions and they are cast into 
    prison. Reference #5a and 5b.
    • Justice has claim on the sinner because of a debt. Justice fell upon all in the 
    Fall (Alma 12:22). We are sinners due to inheriting a fallen nature – being carnal, 
    sensual, and devilish (Mosiah 16:3; Romans 5:19).
    • Jesus is the second creditor/benefactor/mediator. The debtor is the sinner.
    • The identity of the first creditor is either Heavenly Father or Satan.
    • The Atonement is available to all fallen mankind but only effective if one accepts 
    the terms. A person must do their part or the new agreement is broken.  It is not 
    effective if a person fails to do their part (meaning the punishment is exercised).
    • 'Saved from sin' means exaltation (returning to live with Heavenly Father).
    • Everyone who is not exalted goes to this prison – they are not in the presence of 
    Heavenly Father.  Mr. Packer referred to this as the second death (a spiritual 
    separation from Heavenly Father).
    • Prison is in opposition to living in God's kingdom.
    • The new agreement: abide by all the terms set by Christ. The terms (to pay the 
    debt to Jesus) are to obey all the commandments and thus avoid prison.
    • The failure in not repenting or keeping all the commandments (terms) causes a 
    violation of the agreement – the punishment is exercised (enforced – reference #5b). 
    The unclean cannot live in the presence of God – they suffer a spiritual death; 
    being separated from Heavenly Father (Matthew 21:28-32; 25:32-33; Luke 13:27-30; 
    Ephesians 5:5; 1 Nephi 10:21; Alma 11:41,44; 40:13-14,26; Mosiah 16:2; D&C 29:27-28).
    • The commandments (terms) are based on 'must obey' not 'try to obey'.
    • Repentance (mercy) is only possible in one's mortal probation otherwise God's 
    justice is destroyed.
      ◦ "Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, 
      the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his 
      own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth 
      fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable 
      fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever. And now I say unto you, that 
      mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to endure a never-
      ending torment" (Mosiah 2:38-39).
        ◦ "Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought 
        about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, 
        this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not 
        take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice 
        could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God" (Alma 42:13).


Thanks,
Jim

If you have specific questions pertaining to Elder Packer’s parable, you’d likely get more response if you could let’s us know what those questions are?

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I think the Parable of the Mediator needs to be considered in light of the Parable of the Unjust Servant, the servant who, after his master forgave him a large debt was unwilling to forgive a comparatively-smaller debt that was owed to him.

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On 4/3/2021 at 10:52 AM, theplains said:

Every Passover season I contemplate various talks given on the Atonement.  This
particular one was spoken by Boyd K. Packer in the April 1977 General Conference 
sermon entitled "The Mediator."

What follows is my interpretation of its implications.  Let me know what you think.

I think you might first inform your interpretations by sorting out the meaning for the need for a Redeemer from "before the foundation of the world" from your other thread: Posted March 19

 

Edited by CV75
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On 4/3/2021 at 8:52 AM, theplains said:

Every Passover season I contemplate various talks given on the Atonement.  This particular one was spoken by Boyd K. Packer in the April 1977 General Conference sermon entitled "The Mediator."

Ah.  So you're not here to play gotcha with us over what our leaders say like you and your acolytes usually do, Eh, Sunny Jim?  Right.  I believe that.  And I've got a prime piece of beachfront property I'll sell you ... cheap! <_< :rolleyes: 

On 4/3/2021 at 8:52 AM, theplains said:

What follows is my interpretation of its implications.  Let me know what you think.

It is? :huh: :unknw: :unsure:  You're sure you didn't cut-and-paste this from somewhere else?  Mmm-kay.  I believe that, too. :unsure:   I hope you don't mind, if in my cynicism, I don't play.

 

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Minor Point: The Savior’s atonement does redeem everyone from Spiritual Death and undoes the Fall. Otherwise we could not return to the presence of God for judgement. Whether we stay there afterwards is another matter.

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I have to say that I don't much like Elder Packer's parable. I agree with @bluebell in that it doesn't adequately account for the extent of the payment the Savior's had to proffer.

Also, my feeling is that reducing the matter to a financial exchange of some kind cheapens the Atonement to a degree, but how is the ineffability and grandeur of the Atonement to be illustrated?  The Lord's sacrifice was an infinite atonement, and it is literally unfathomable to those who will benefit from it, since they are they who will not be called upon to suffer as He did in "payment" for their sins.

I once had a conversation about the Atonement with an acquaintance who at the time was a general authority (he is now deceased). He wrote:

"I believe there are many different, yet correct, ways to look at and think about the Atonement. Whenever I read any explanation of the Atonement, I am inclined to think of it as one more way of looking at and illuminating the Lord’s infinite and eternal sacrifice, which is like a jewel too vast for us to comprehend fully. Hence, each explanation looks at it from a different angle, and each has merit. I never feel that one is necessarily the best or final explanation."

So, as a result, even if I am not particularly edified by Elder Packer's parable, yet there may be others who will be. And I shouldn't complain.

Because any given parable or analogy designed to illustrate and teach the Atonement is necessarily imperfect, @theplains, one must be careful trying to dig out a deeper meaning than the parable or analogy is capable of giving. Elder Packer's parable suffers from the same limitations as any other parable.

As an example of how to misconstrue the meaning of a parable, consider the parable of the workers in the vineyard. All the workers are paid one denarius for the work they did, whether they worked for one hour or all day. Should we therefore construe that Jesus was teaching us to pay our own workers in our businesses the same way, that they all get a penny? Of course not. The upshot of that parable was that all who qualify for the grace of Christ are paid the same wage, which is salvation from sin. Whether we accept Him as our Savior in our youth, in old age, or post-mortally in the Spirit World, we are freed of sin and the consequences of sin.

And so I think you have dug too deep into Elder Packer's parable, and as a result have found some things that actually aren't there. And some of those things are also a result of your lack of understanding of the Gospel, or at least, the Gospel and Latter-day Saints should understand it. 

When you write:

  • Justice has claim on the sinner because of a debt.
    • Justice fell upon all in the Fall (Alma 12:22). We are sinners due to inheriting a fallen nature – being carnal, sensual, and devilish (Mosiah 16:3; Romans 5:19).

Yes to the first point, no to the second.

Alma 12:22 says:

"Now Alma said unto him: This is the thing which I was about to explain. Now we see that Adam did fall by the partaking of the forbidden fruit, according to the word of God; and thus we see, that by his fall, all mankind became a lost and fallen people."

We are not sinners because we inherited a fallen nature, but because we have sinned. We're a lost and fallen people because of the Fall, but until we actually sin we are not sinners. A newborn babe is not a sinner, for all that it is born into a lost and fallen world. The 2nd Article of Faith reads:

"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression."

Thus you have misunderstood Elder Packer's parable, since the debtor's debt was not laid on him by his birth or his existence, but by his contracting a debt he could not repay. The parable does not teach Original Sin.

When you write:

  • Jesus is the second creditor/benefactor/mediator. The debtor is the sinner.

Again, you are only partly right. The debtor is the sinner, all right, because he sinned. But the sinner does not owe anything to Jesus. He owes it to Justice, and Justice will collect, unless Jesus intervenes. Jesus's participation in the transaction is that, having never sinned Himself, He nevertheless paid the price of sin, which was the suffering He endured starting at Gethsemane and and continuing until He said "It is finished" while on the cross. And because of His sinless suffering, He has infinite power to extend mercy upon all whom He will extend it. His only requirement from us is faith, repentance, and baptism by water and spirit. 

All I am saying is that Elder Packer's parable is a teaching tool. It attempts, like Jesus's own parables, to teach certain Gospel principles. No parable is perfect, so it would be incorrect to extend it past its limitations.

Another thing about your misunderstanding (and many Saints misunderstand this, too), is that in teaching about the Atonement, the parable teaches only about Salvation, not Exaltation. Yet you conflate the two, as do others. But that's another topic.

You show misunderstanding (surely due to the parable's shortcomings) when you write:

    • The new agreement: abide by all the terms set by Christ. The terms (to pay the 
    debt to Jesus) are to obey all the commandments and thus avoid prison.
    • The failure in not repenting or keeping all the commandments (terms) causes a 
    violation of the agreement – the punishment is exercised (enforced – reference #5b). 
    The unclean cannot live in the presence of God – they suffer a spiritual death; 
    being separated from Heavenly Father (Matthew 21:28-32; 25:32-33; Luke 13:27-30; 
    Ephesians 5:5; 1 Nephi 10:21; Alma 11:41,44; 40:13-14,26; Mosiah 16:2; D&C 29:27-28).
    • The commandments (terms) are based on 'must obey' not 'try to obey'.
    • Repentance (mercy) is only possible in one's mortal probation otherwise God's 
    justice is destroyed.

I will grant you this: the parable does seem to militate towards all of this, where perfection in keeping the commandments is required. Another reason why the parable is imperfect.

It ought to be clear to anyone that having once sinned, it is too late to recover, and even our repentance will not save us. All of our work in achieving perfection in our keeping of the commandments avails us nothing in erasing that sin, because there is no time travel; the sin is still there.  It cannot be undone.  Even if we never ever sin again, we're doomed because we cannot change the past. But perfection, besides being impossible, is not required. Only striving to achieve perfection is required, and while it's not easy, that much we can do.  This is illustrated in the Book of Mormon, in 2 Ne 25:23:

"For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."

Too many opponents of the Church, and even many members, think that this verse says that it is our own efforts that save us. This is the infamous "Theory of the Gap". But that is incorrect, because the so-called Gap is infinitely wide, and nothing we can do will bridge it. Only Christ's Atonement can bridge it. And all He requires of us is faith in Him, repentance to the degree we are able, and the symbolic gesture of water and spirit baptism.

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I think the Parable of the Mediator needs to be considered in light of the Parable of the Unjust Servant, the servant who, after his master forgave him a large debt was unwilling to forgive a comparatively-smaller debt that was owed to him.

The problem with parables is that they can be taken too literally.  All parables must be taken in the context of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  If not, a parable can be used to destroy good principles rather than edifying us.

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Ah.  So you're not here to play gotcha with us over what our leaders say like you and your acolytes usually do, Eh, Sunny Jim?  Right.  I believe that.  And I've got a prime piece of beachfront property I'll sell you ... cheap! <_< :rolleyes:...................

Is that beachfront in Miami?  8)

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On 4/3/2021 at 9:19 AM, bluebell said:

I've always liked that parable, and the movie they made of it.  I find the one thing that it fails to be able to convey is the true cost to the mediator to pay his friend's debt.  It's a weak spot in the movie especially, which shows basically no cost other than monetary to the mediator, and a monetary cost that is easy for him to pay as it seems like he has plenty of money to spare.  

I don't mind the weakness of the story as it is a good reminder that analogies are always going to be deficient in some aspect and we should not attempt to use an imperfect analogy as a standard on what gospel truth or doctrine.  Its effectiveness is limited to the exact topic the creator is trying to teach.   

Elder Packer wasn't specifically trying to teach about the suffering the mediator had to undergo to pay the debt--that wasn't the point of the story--so the analogy isn't meant to be used to teach about that aspect of the Atonement.  I'm fine with that and still find it very useful.

If we need to expand the parable to include that concept, we can imagine the character of the Mediator as having at some time in the past endured untold suffering whereby he acquired the independent wealth to be able to pay the debts of others, such as his friend. 
 

But I believe the parable is sufficient as us to convey the intended message. 

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On 4/3/2021 at 10:52 AM, theplains said:

Every Passover season I contemplate various talks given on the Atonement.  This
particular one was spoken by Boyd K. Packer in the April 1977 General Conference 
sermon entitled "The Mediator."

What follows is my interpretation of its implications.  Let me know what you think.

Numbers are applied to the italicized quote. It may be referenced later.


Although all people will be resurrected, only those who accept the Atonement will be 
saved from spiritual death (see Articles of Faith 1:3).  #1  

We accept Christ's Atonement by placing our faith in Him … this faith, we repent of our 
sins ... obey His commandments.  #2

President Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve gave the following illustration 
to show how Christ's Atonement makes it possible to be saved from sin if we do our 
part.  #3 

"There once was a man who wanted something very much. It seemed more important than 
anything else in his life. In order for him to have his desire, he incurred a great 
debt"  #4

"So he signed a contract. He would pay it off some time along the way."  #5

"'I cannot pay you, for I have not the power to do so,' he confessed."  #5a
 
"'Then,' said the creditor, 'we will exercise the contract, take your possessions, 
and you shall go to prison. You agreed to that. It was your choice. You signed the 
contract, and now it must be enforced.'  #5b

"As the creditor was pondering the offer, the mediator added, 'You demanded justice. 
Though he cannot pay you, I will do so. You will have been justly dealt with and can 
ask no more. It would not be just.'  #6

"The mediator turned then to the debtor. 'If I pay your debt, will you accept me as 
your creditor?'   #7

"'Oh yes, yes,' cried the debtor. 'You save me from prison and show mercy to me.'   #8

"'Then,' said the benefactor, 'you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. 
It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go 
to prison.'   #9

"And so it was that the creditor was paid in full. He had been justly dealt with. 
No contract had been broken.   #10

"The debtor, in turn, had been extended mercy. Both laws stood fulfilled. Because 
there was a mediator, justice had claimed its full share, and mercy was fully 
satisfied" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1977, 79–80; or Ensign, May 1977, 54–55).   #11

Our sins are our spiritual debts. Without Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Mediator, 
we would all pay for our sins by suffering spiritual death. But because of Him, if we 
will keep His terms, which are to repent and keep His commandments, we may return to 
live with our Heavenly Father.  #12

Some highlights of the General Conference sermon:

    • Redemption is possible from the second death (spiritual death), which is separation 
    from the presence of Heavenly Father. This redemption can come only to those who 
    are clean, for no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God.
    • Jesus arranged the terms for our redemption.
    • Mercy is on His terms.
    • Your spiritual account must be paid up (settled). You are weighed in the balance.
    • Spiritual death is a separation from Heavenly Father.

In Mr. Packer's parable, focus is placed on several key themes: debt, mercy, justice, 
prison, spiritual death, and living with Heavenly Father.  

    • Even though the contract has been fully paid, failing to pay the dues (agreeing 
    to all the terms of the new agreement with the mediator) results in a violation 
    of the agreement; the person loses all their possessions and they are cast into 
    prison. Reference #5a and 5b.
    • Justice has claim on the sinner because of a debt. Justice fell upon all in the 
    Fall (Alma 12:22). We are sinners due to inheriting a fallen nature – being carnal, 
    sensual, and devilish (Mosiah 16:3; Romans 5:19).
    • Jesus is the second creditor/benefactor/mediator. The debtor is the sinner.
    • The identity of the first creditor is either Heavenly Father or Satan.
    • The Atonement is available to all fallen mankind but only effective if one accepts 
    the terms. A person must do their part or the new agreement is broken.  It is not 
    effective if a person fails to do their part (meaning the punishment is exercised).
    • 'Saved from sin' means exaltation (returning to live with Heavenly Father).
    • Everyone who is not exalted goes to this prison – they are not in the presence of 
    Heavenly Father.  Mr. Packer referred to this as the second death (a spiritual 
    separation from Heavenly Father).
    • Prison is in opposition to living in God's kingdom.
    • The new agreement: abide by all the terms set by Christ. The terms (to pay the 
    debt to Jesus) are to obey all the commandments and thus avoid prison.
    • The failure in not repenting or keeping all the commandments (terms) causes a 
    violation of the agreement – the punishment is exercised (enforced – reference #5b). 
    The unclean cannot live in the presence of God – they suffer a spiritual death; 
    being separated from Heavenly Father (Matthew 21:28-32; 25:32-33; Luke 13:27-30; 
    Ephesians 5:5; 1 Nephi 10:21; Alma 11:41,44; 40:13-14,26; Mosiah 16:2; D&C 29:27-28).
    • The commandments (terms) are based on 'must obey' not 'try to obey'.
    • Repentance (mercy) is only possible in one's mortal probation otherwise God's 
    justice is destroyed.
      ◦ "Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, 
      the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his 
      own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth 
      fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable 
      fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever. And now I say unto you, that 
      mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to endure a never-
      ending torment" (Mosiah 2:38-39).
        ◦ "Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought 
        about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, 
        this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not 
        take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice 
        could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God" (Alma 42:13).


Thanks,
Jim

Now that I’ve taken the time to read Boyd K Packer’s General Conference address, followed by reading and analyzing your post, I can say you seem to be way off on some of your conclusions. I’d be happy to point out all these errors if I thought my efforts weren’t going to end up being another exercise in futility.

I appears you think you’ve cleverly backed the Latter-Days Saints into a doctrinal “corner” for which there is no satisfactory answer that will square with the scriptures. But if this is what you suppose you are mistaken. If I’m correct in my assumption that you think you’ve finally “got us” this time, it’s only because nothing that’s ever been offered by way of clarification in the past lingers long enough in your mind for you to realize that the next time you try the same line of argumentation it’s only going to end up being an another polemical “dog” that ‘don’t hunt.

Even so, I’ll take the time to correct you on one point. A seeker after salvation doesn’t have to first “repay” the debt Christ paid for our sins by perfectly keeping all of his commandments before he can obtain salvation. Rather, what is required is to faithfully strive each day, through the empowerment of the Spirit, to become more and more like Christ in that merciful process of incremental spiritual growth the prophets call sanctification. 

 

Edited by teddyaware
Link to post
17 hours ago, teddyaware said:

Now that I’ve taken the time to read Boyd K Packer’s General Conference address, followed by reading and analyzing your post, I can say you seem to be way off on some of your conclusions. I’d be happy to point out all these errors if I thought my efforts weren’t going to end up being another exercise in futility.

I appears you think you’ve cleverly backed the Latter-Days Saints into a doctrinal “corner” for which there is no satisfactory answer that will square with the scriptures. But if this is what you suppose you are mistaken. If I’m correct in my assumption that you think you’ve finally “got us” this time, it’s only because nothing that’s ever been offered by way of clarification in the past lingers long enough in your mind for you to realize that the next time you try the same line of argumentation it’s only going to end up being an another polemical “dog” that ‘don’t hunt.

Even so, I’ll take the time to correct you on one point. A seeker after salvation doesn’t have to first “repay” the debt Christ paid for our sins by perfectly keeping all of his commandments before he can obtain salvation. Rather, what is required is to faithfully strive each day, through the empowerment of the Spirit, to become more and more like Christ in that merciful process of incremental spiritual growth the prophets call sanctification. 

 

I agree - we never make payment in full - we are just asked to give regular payments as we are able - an interest-free loan, where intent to pay is considered being up-to-date on the debt. My dad sold me a car once in a similar deal - sold it for far less than market value, or it was too much for me to buy, gave me a 'token' monthly payment that was silly low, and just said - keep paying that amount until I tell you to stop and we are all good.  It would take many years to pay off the full amount at that low payment, yet, as long as it was made, I owned the car.  And if I missed month,I would let him know and he just asked me to resume the following month .  Merciful, kind, and better than I deserved. 

  • Upvote 1
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On 4/5/2021 at 1:13 PM, Maestrophil said:

I agree - we never make payment in full - we are just asked to give regular payments as we are able - an interest-free loan, where intent to pay is considered being up-to-date on the debt. My dad sold me a car once in a similar deal - sold it for far less than market value, or it was too much for me to buy, gave me a 'token' monthly payment that was silly low, and just said - keep paying that amount until I tell you to stop and we are all good.  It would take many years to pay off the full amount at that low payment, yet, as long as it was made, I owned the car.  And if I missed month,I would let him know and he just asked me to resume the following month .  Merciful, kind, and better than I deserved. 

Cool!  We could call it "The Parable of the Below-Market Automobile"! ;):D

Link to post
On 4/4/2021 at 10:03 PM, teddyaware said:

Even so, I’ll take the time to correct you on one point. A seeker after salvation doesn’t have to first “repay” the debt Christ paid for our sins by perfectly keeping all of his commandments before he can obtain salvation. Rather, what is required is to faithfully strive each day, through the empowerment of the Spirit, to become more and more like Christ in that merciful process of incremental spiritual growth the prophets call sanctification. 

What is your interpretation of these parts?

"'Then,' said the benefactor, 'you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. 
It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go 
to prison.'   #9

Our sins are our spiritual debts. Without Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Mediator, 
we would all pay for our sins by suffering spiritual death. But because of Him, if we 
will keep His terms, which are to repent and keep His commandments, we may return to 
live with our Heavenly Father.  #12

The way I read this parable of Mr. Packer is that prison is opposite to living with Heavenly
Father.  From what I gather, returning to live with Heavenly Father is exaltation in the
highest kingdom.  Anything less means that the debtor did not satisfy all the terms.

Link to post
4 hours ago, theplains said:

What is your interpretation of these parts?

"'Then,' said the benefactor, 'you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. 
It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go 
to prison.'   #9

Our sins are our spiritual debts. Without Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Mediator, 
we would all pay for our sins by suffering spiritual death. But because of Him, if we 
will keep His terms, which are to repent and keep His commandments, we may return to 
live with our Heavenly Father.  #12

The way I read this parable of Mr. Packer is that prison is opposite to living with Heavenly
Father.  From what I gather, returning to live with Heavenly Father is exaltation in the
highest kingdom.  Anything less means that the debtor did not satisfy all the terms.

Those who inherit the telestial kingdom of glory will be forgiven and receive a telestial portion of eternal life; those who inherit the terrestrial kingdom of glory will be forgiven and receive a terrestrial portion of eternal life; those who inherit the celestial kingdom of glory will be forgiven and receive a celestial portion of eternal life; and those who inherit the highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom will receive the fulness of eternal life. For the saved it’s all eternal life, just different degrees of the same.

36 These are they (the sons of perdition) who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels—
37 And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power;
38 Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord ... (Doctrine and Covenants 76)

Edited by teddyaware
Link to post
On 4/8/2021 at 5:10 PM, teddyaware said:

For the saved it’s all eternal life, just different degrees of the same.

The LDS Church defines eternal life as exaltation.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/old-testament-seminary-teacher-manual/lessons-1-5/lesson-2-the-plan-of-salvation?lang=eng

What is immortality? (Living forever with a resurrected body.)   What is eternal life? (To become
like our Heavenly Father and to live as families eternally in His presence.)

Edited by theplains
Link to post
1 hour ago, theplains said:

The LDS Church defines eternal life as exaltation.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/old-testament-seminary-teacher-manual/lessons-1-5/lesson-2-the-plan-of-salvation?lang=eng

What is immortality? (Living forever with a resurrected body.)   What is eternal life? (To become
like our Heavenly Father and to live as families eternally in His presence.)

In the restored Church, eternal life means ‘God’s life,’ and the term salvation is considered to be synonymous with eternal life. Yet salvation, or immortal life in the presence of God, is manifested in three incremental degrees of heavenly glory.

Those who inherit the lowest degree of salvation will live in the divine presence of God the Holy Ghost; the inheritors of the next highest degree of salvation will live in the divine presence of God the Son; and the inheritors of the highest degree of salvation will live in the divine presence of God the Father. Nevertheless, even in the celestial kingdom there are three degrees of glory which necessarily means that not all who dwell in the celestial kingdom will receive the eternal fullness of God the Father’s power and glory. In other words, even many of the inheritors of the celestial glory will not receive the fulness of salvation. Nevertheless, any individual who obtains salvation in any of the three kingdoms of heavenly glory will receive a sufficient degree of divine light, life, power, glory, knowledge and wisdom to enable them to lives of godliness, inner peace and joy in the immediate presence of at least one of the members of the Godhead.

Another way to teach this point is in the that the Bible the Lord instructs us that all who receive him, prior to the resurrection and while yet dwelling in fallen mortal bodies, are promised they will be immediate recipients of eternal life after accepting Christ as their risen Lord. But how can such people possibly have eternal life when they haven’t even been resurrected and are still living in a fallen world in tabernacles of mortal clay? It’s because eternal life, or the kind of life God lives, can be manifested whenever and wherever an individual exercises genuine faith in Christ, repents of his sins, receives a remission of his sins through divine pardon, receives the gift Holy Ghost and endures to the end in faith. So even a fallen mortal can enjoy eternal life, howbeit not yet the fulness of eternal life.

I’m quite confident that one day the leaders of the Church will acknowledge that all recipients of salvation receive eternal life, while acknowledging that the blessings of eternal life can be enjoyed in varying degrees of fulness.

 

 

Edited by teddyaware
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