TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.

Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?

Yes
24
89%
No
3
11%
 
Total votes: 27

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wayfarer
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TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Post by wayfarer » 06 Jul 2012, 04:19

2. Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?

My answer is a confident and personal "YES".

Where the first question included whether I have "faith in" something, this question simply asks if I have a testimony of the atonement and Jesus role as Savior and Redeemer. I think that's an interesting omission. I would have thought that faith in the atonement is the most basic and important place to have faith...

I do not believe the standard definition of Atonement: the concept that God is so hung up on justice that Jesus had to be tortured and killed in order to satisfy his thirst for vengeance for our sins. All the stories told in the church to try to explain this concept simply have failed to convince me that this makes any sense.

I'm also not a big fan of fallen man and the original sin concept. Yet at this point I'm not sure that matters. LDS Doctrine is that Christ's atonement has saved us (past tense) from the fall and therefore man is free. Since all this has already happened, the concept of original sin and fallen man is now moot: we are free agents, and I believe this deeply. The symbolism, however, of fallen man and redemption is very important.

As humans, we seemed to be easily estranged from ourselves, from each other, and from whatever God may be defined as being. The Atonement is an amazing principle: we are forgiven already, so stop feeling guilty and get on with living. Oh, and be One with your self, with god, and with each other. At-one-ment means just that.

To me, atonement is best explained in the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. When Jesus asked where her accusers were, she didn't see any. Then he said, "Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more." He forgave her, releasing her from the bondage of her sexual addiction, then charged her to live her life in harmony with the gospel (as it were).

My testimony of the Atonement is a personal one. I was once addicted to alcohol, mainly because of the guilt I felt when I took a drink. I could never drink moderately, because I felt that I had already sinned, so I might as well enjoy it. It became an obsession -- i simply could not stop. I went into AA, because frankly, all church repentence processes, including going to bishop after bishop, failed to work. At the point that I 'turned my will and my life over' to a higher power, whom I felt was 'christ', I had a complete removal of even the desire to drink at all. ever. I did not have to go through a period of "repentance" and proving myself worthy, although when I did go to the bishop after this release from addiction through the atonement, I had to go through church discipline hell. (given the power of my atonement experience, I have an un-testimony of CD as a result of this). I came to the deep realization that atonement is absolutely real and tangible. I attribute this personal miracle to Christ. While this release from addiction could have been a result of releasing myself from church-imposed guilt, I don't know, nor do I care. The personal, spiritual experience I had from this release was very tangible to me.

Now I really don't know whether Jesus Christ will serve as my judge someday in the eternities as part of an entrance examination in the the CK per the 'standard definition' -- to me, he already has judged me and found me to be acceptable to him. Completely and totally. The arms of his love completely encircled me and he has stood by my side since. So to me, Jesus atoned for me, and is my personal Savior and Redeemer.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

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Heber13
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Post by Heber13 » 06 Jul 2012, 05:21

I accept Jesus as my redeemer, and the way to be At One with God through repentance.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

bc_pg
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Post by bc_pg » 06 Jul 2012, 05:59

No

My comments are redundant with the ones I made concerning Christ in the previous question

Nephite

Re: TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Post by Nephite » 06 Jul 2012, 06:17

Yes, I believe that Jesus somehow felt everyone's pain and anguish and is the Savior.

Minyan Man
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Post by Minyan Man » 06 Jul 2012, 06:38

Yes, as stated before, I don't understand why he did that. (Save & Redeem.)

Mike from Milton.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Post by Curt Sunshine » 06 Jul 2012, 07:41

Everything about this question can be literal or figurative, and I love the meanings and implications either way.

I want to add something from my own perspective:

I think perhaps the biggest theological "failure" in the Church is that too many members have bought into the idea that the Atonement is an event (or the time period between two events): Gethsemane through Golgotha. I see the concept much more expansively than that. I see it as the entire core of Mormon theology - the idea that God can take something that is not "like God" (intelligence - whatever that means) and recreate God from it. The Atonement is the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning through the end. It's taking us from a state of not being "at-one" and, through a creative process, making us "at-one". It's "eternal life" - from start to finish. It's the entire purpose of creation and existence.

With that foundation, I accept totally Jesus of Nazareth's role as Savior and Redeemer - again, since I can view it in any way that makes sense to me. The view of "atonement" I described above is too expansive to be contained within one interpretive model; it bursts the bonds of that sort of intellectual constraint, if you will, and can be described by differing people with differing experiences and differing paradigms. The concept itself can be the core of multiple world religions, with just the details differing (including the detail in question here - the identity of the central figure in it all).

The Mormon view of the atonement is a fascinating mixture of Christian terminology and East Asian myticism and ultimate destination. It's not one or two events to which centuries of Christian dogma limited it. I can accept it totally, particularly since it still amazes me sometimes when I get a glimpse of something new now and again.
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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wayfarer
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Post by wayfarer » 06 Jul 2012, 08:16

Ray Degraw wrote:The Atonement is the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning through the end. It's taking us from a state of not being "at-one" and, through a creative process, making us "at-one". It's "eternal life" - from start to finish. It's the entire purpose of creation and existence.

The Mormon view of the atonement is a fascinating mixture of Christian terminology and East Asian myticism and ultimate destination. It's not one or two events to which centuries of Christian dogma limited it. I can accept it totally, particularly since it still amazes me sometimes when I get a glimpse of something new now and again.
Ray, I simply want to say, "AMEN", meaning "so be it and I agree completely". Your post brought tears to my eyes.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

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SilentDawning
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Post by SilentDawning » 06 Jul 2012, 08:23

I have an intellectual testimony of the atonement. As a person who is typically very hard on himself, I haven't ever really felt forgiven by a divine power -- even after retiring to a forest for a day to pray and after a lot of fasting. Enos's sudden break into peace and forgiveness never happened for me.

For me, forgivness comes from within totally, and usually only after a long passage of time.

However, the concept of a Redeemer, and the hope that after this life is over the things that divine forgiveness will be mine if I have truly changed is something that is simply "good to believe".

So, on the basis of these thoughts, I would answer "yes" to the atonement question.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Shawn
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Post by Shawn » 06 Jul 2012, 08:43

I'm not sure why the Plan of Salvation has panned out this way, why Jesus needed to come down and suffer for us. I don't know exactly how it works, but I know the Atonement is real. Surely He hath borne my griefs, and carried my sorrows. He was wounded for my transgressions, he was bruised for my iniquities, and with his stripes I am healed.

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Brian Johnston
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 2: Atonement

Post by Brian Johnston » 06 Jul 2012, 08:46

wayfarer wrote:As humans, we seemed to be easily estranged from ourselves, from each other, and from whatever God may be defined as being. The Atonement is an amazing principle: we are forgiven already, so stop feeling guilty and get on with living. Oh, and be One with your self, with god, and with each other. At-one-ment means just that.
+1. Amen to that Wayfarer.


2. Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?

First off, I tend to separate the name Jesus (the historical person) from the title Christ (the religious title = "anointed one," Greek word for "messiah"). I am NOT trying to say that Jesus was not the Christ. I accept the possibility that Jesus was an "anointed one." All this is a too-brief qualification for an important distinction to me: "Christ" is a symbolic religious title and idealized archetype.

I find it useful to think of the story constructed about Jesus as a template for a heroic Christ-quest of an idealized person who conquers the "world" (our animal nature), and was exalted and enlightened. I think LDS ritual and theology is saturated with this theme, especially at the Temple Mormonism level. We are the Christ. We are to follow this idealized example (even if we fail). We are to conquer the world, experience our own passion narrative of spiritual death and rebirth, our own struggle against the powers in our own self that would hold us back -- mock and crucify us.

I have a testimony of experiencing occasional glimpses into this potential. I have gotten to the point in my life where I finally realized I am good enough. I am OK. I will be OK. I am not perfect, and that is OK. This question only asks about The "Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer." Yes. I think the pursuit of emulating this idealized archetypal hero concept is a "saving" and "redeeming" Atonement process (quest).
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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