Atonement and God's Grace - Buys Time Or Fixes Broken Souls?

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Atonement and God's Grace - Buys Time Or Fixes Broken Souls?

Post by intothelight » 31 Jul 2014, 16:31

A question that's been on my mind a lot lately. Rather than explain it, I'll give an example which I imagine has happened, and may be easier.

Let's say a girl was sexually and emotionally abused as a very young child. Due to the trauma, she becomes a drug addict, thief, and liar. She knows she's doing wrong and actually tries in a sick and sad way to be a good person despite everything. Maybe she has kids that she loves and tries to care for. The pain from her life becomes so intense that she commits suicide.

What will happen to her soul? Obviously, her soul is completely ripped up - her mind is confused and poisoned. Will God's atonement take her and heal her completely? Make her a happy, well adjusted being in heaven? Or will God's atonement only buy her time in heaven and force her to either recover her poisoned mind - either that or stay in hell (aka remain as the person she was when she took her own life).

I believe that if God is allowed to fix her, he would. But the question is, can he?

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Re: Atonement and God's Grace - Buys Time Or Fixes Broken So

Post by Curt Sunshine » 31 Jul 2014, 17:06

Personally, I don't believe God "fixes" anyone - largely because of the terrible way that concept has been applied throughout history. I think time heals all wounds - just not here in mortality in some cases. If "God is love," I think when 1 Corinthians 13 says charity is long-suffering, it means God has much, much longer to wait for us to develop than we realize.

Therefore, I see the Atonement as the symbolic representation of having "time and all eternity" for us to get to where we want to go / become whom we want to become. I think God will embrace that woman and not hold her life against her - and that the next stage of her development will start in a way that allows "all those things to give her experience and be for her good".

There is no other way I have been able to frame the vastly different life experiences people have that makes any kind of sense in the context of eternal progression, in which I believe deeply.
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 God's Grace - Buys Time Or Fixes Broken So

Post by Called to Serve » 31 Jul 2014, 17:25

I believe God can heal anyone. I don't think he would be God if he couldn't. We tend to want to look at people like the one in your example and believe that she can't be saved. And yet that defies the laws of love. We can understand people being overcome by horrible circumstances and not being able to make good choices in life. So why wouldn't God also be able to understand and to fix the problem?

If Jesus has the power to save us, he has the power to save all of us. Period. Either he has that ability or he doesn't. I believe he does.

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Re: Atonement and God's Grace - Buys Time Or Fixes Broken So

Post by nibbler » 31 Jul 2014, 18:53

I don't fully understand the value of the quick fix scenario. If something is done for someone I think that it short circuits their ability to learn and grow.

Like a kid with untied shoes. A child can get frustrated in their attempts to tie their shoes. An adult can tie the child's shoes for them, it solves an immediate need but the shoes will eventually become untied again. Initially the adult needs to tie the shoes for the child but eventually the child will be ready and the adult will then teach the child how to tie shoes on their own. The child becomes self sufficient and untied shoes cease to be a point of frustration.

I see the atonement in a similar light. The woman in the example will likely need to be lifted up and fixed again and again and again, each time making it a little further until such a time where she is ready and has the ability to start learning how to lift herself up. After she learns how to lift herself up what can make her stay down when she falls? Who would she need? No one, so she becomes like god.

I guess I'd say that the "fix" is the process of helping the woman get to a place where her spirits are raised enough to make another go of it... but ultimately it is her that needs to make the changes she wants to make. It's the struggle that facilitates true learning. Exaltation is obtained by willing yourself to make another attempt at it despite past failures.

Or maybe that's me projecting the parameters of this life onto some form of afterlife. It's tough for me to see it any other way though. If there truly is no temporal law, only spiritual, how might this reconcile with the teaching that the universe wasn't created ex nihilo; the universe being created via working upon unorganized matter. If the universe wasn't created ex nihilo then similarly I find it hard to wrap my head around being gifted lessons learned about a principle without putting in the required effort.

So there you go. Buys time or fixes broken souls. I usually come to this conclusion nowadays: why not both?

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