atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

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hawkgrrrl
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atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

Post by hawkgrrrl » 25 Mar 2010, 16:07

I've been asked to speak in a couple weeks on this topic: The Atonement: Repentance. I would love to hear some thoughts on these topics from anyone out there that might trigger some thoughts for me as well. Are there any quotes related to the topic that you like (LDS or not)? How do you feel about atonement and repentance?

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Re: atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

Post by Curt Sunshine » 25 Mar 2010, 16:43

Rather than write a bunch, here are a few links to stuff I've written about the Atonement and repentence.

First, the Atonement:

"The Place of Grace in Repentance" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2010 ... tance.html)

"The Thorns of Our Flesh" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2009 ... flesh.html)

The title of this one is too long (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2009 ... ent-i.html)

"Communal At-One-Ment" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2008 ... -ment.html)

"Cast Thy Burden Upon the Lord" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2008 ... -feet.html)

Repentance:

"A Fresh View of Repentance" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2008 ... tance.html)

"A Deeper Look at True Repentance" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2009 ... tence.html)

"More Thoughts on Repentance" (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2008 ... tance.html)

That enough?! :shock:
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

Post by nightwalden » 25 Mar 2010, 23:28

My sacrament meeting on Sunday was on repentance and a few things were said that really irked me. I ended up walking out of sacrament meeting before it ended because I was annoyed by bad talks and they went over the scheduled time and I had had enough.

I would encourage you to stay positive about the topic and be personal. I am of the mindset that when we speak at church we should share our thoughts on the topic, not just regurgitate the thoughts of others. I'm sure you'll do great.

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Euhemerus
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Re: atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

Post by Euhemerus » 26 Mar 2010, 06:57

I just spoke in Sacrament meeting on Sunday. I always try to give good application for real life. I used to feel very strongly about the atonement (when I was TBM). I tend to focus on the conceptual goodness it brings me now. For me, at this point, rather than articulate, or speculate on the atonement itself, I would discuss its practical application in our lives. For example:
1. what does repentance give me? Spiritual peace, freedom, etc.
2. what does the atonement mean for me when deciding how I should treat others?
3. what does the atonement mean for me when I judge others?
4. what does the atonement mean for me when someone offends me?

Whether repentance is real and something required for some glory in the afterlife, or whether it's something we do to make ourselves feel better is irrelevant (for me) and hence I would avoid making definitive statements about it. I would rather focus on the consequences of the idea in my personal life. Oh, and whatever you do, please don't use the creditor/debtor/mediator analogy. Seriously, do we really need to view our personal choices as a default on a loan with an accompanying repayment program? Surely it's more than that!
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

Post by Curt Sunshine » 26 Mar 2010, 08:24

My own very quick summary is that "the Atonement" is what gives repentance real meaning. To explain:

"To repent" means "to change" - and there would be no reason to strive to change if there was no difference eternally in the outcome. To me, the phrase "having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof" points directly to the heart of repentance and the Atonement - that the "power of godliness" is the ability to take us and make us into "more than us" - to allow the change for which we strive but never fully master to be actualized in the end - to give us the hope that our efforts to change will have an eternal impact.

So, to me, the "Atonement" covers the entire span of eternity (as far as it concerns us). It is the eternal stages of life that take us from what we were and are to what we may become. It is God's governing grace that allows the process of eternal progression to occur.

WITHIN the Atonement, our part is repentance - a conscious effort to participate actively in the process of eternal growth.

That's why "easy grace" (don't worry about what you do; God will save you regardless) is so abhorrent to me. I don't believe we "earn" or "deserve" a reward, but I do believe we have to participate in the effort to grow - that we have to strive to change and become - that we have to "repent". I don't believe we will change totally and completely in this life, but I believe we have to be involved in the effort to become more than we currently are - and to "endure to the end" in that process.

Of the links I provided in my first comment, the most foundational ones to me are "Cast Thy Burdens Upon the Lord" and "A Fresh View of Repentance".
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

Post by SamBee » 26 Mar 2010, 09:39

hawkgrrrl wrote:How do you feel about atonement and repentance?
I have to admit, I've never been quite sure what repentance is. I know it's kind of regret, and not wanting to do something again, but I've long felt that it's not something that can be forced, particularly if the sin in question feels good at the time (and unfortunately many of them do). Many times I think I've repented, and find myself at it again.

Forgiveness is the same. I don't feel it can be forced.
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hawkgrrrl
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Re: atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

Post by hawkgrrrl » 26 Mar 2010, 10:17

Thanks to all for the great start here, and the links, Ray - lots of reading to do!

For me, I always think of the word atonement's meaning at-one-ment or becoming one with God. And repentance, rather than regret or remorse (which can trigger repentance I suppose) is turning toward God or changing to becoming more at one with God. I see it as a reconciliation with God, so for me repentance is more of a longing than it is remorse. We have drifted apart, we have allowed a rift to be created, and we "draw near unto Him" once again. To me, that's what repentance means.

And atonement puts Jesus in the role of friend and mediator, our advocate (not a word I love - same roots as "lawyer" in Latin). But if we think of Jesus as a friend who helps reconcile us with God, that's to me a more palatable way of looking at it. It's not that appealing to me to think of Jesus as judge or advocate, but more as friend and mentor.

Starting to have some thoughts crystallize on this. Keep em coming! Great ideas.

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Re: atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

Post by findingmyownfooting » 26 Mar 2010, 12:07

Euhemerus wrote:I tend to focus on the conceptual goodness it brings me now. For me, at this point, rather than articulate, or speculate on the atonement itself, I would discuss its practical application in our lives.
I would do the same. I would use caution with the word "sin". In the church there are so many things seen as "sinful" that are really just a matter of perception. Too often we are encouraged to constantly repent because since we aren't perfect we must always be making mistakes. I found this mindset destructive as a TBM. I would keep the talk positive saying things like how repentance can heal past hurts, mend strained relationship, encourage positive behaviour and thought etc... It isn't so much about "correcting our sin" as it is about trying to find happiness with-in ourselves and towards others.
Religion has the power to use the amazing abilities of our mind. When a person truly believes the act of practising something will bring them happiness then putting into practise that belief WILL bring them happiness.

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Orson
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Re: atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

Post by Orson » 26 Mar 2010, 12:22

Hawk, I think you already see things pretty much like I do. Repentance being the process of change to become more "one" with God. Thus I do see it like we hear in church: "Repentance enables atonement" It's all about personal growth, and seeking the divine.
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Euhemerus
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Re: atonement and Repentance: your thoughts

Post by Euhemerus » 27 Mar 2010, 13:36

Ray Degraw wrote:"To repent" means "to change" - and there would be no reason to strive to change if there was no difference eternally in the outcome.
I'm trying to understand what you mean here. Why would there be no reason to strive to change if there's no difference in eternal outcome? Don't the outcomes in this life mean just as much as the outcomes in eternity? Or are you not differentiating between outcomes in this life and outcomes after this life?

It seems to me that the best reason to change is exactly because it effects the outcomes in this life primarily. Can you explain?
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