Someone close to me shared this article about the Atonement, which is a step up, IMO, from how many view the atonement. However, I wanted to apply my own personal analysis by contrasting Wilcox's perspective with that of spiritual teachers like Eckhart Tolle. You can either read any of Tolle's books, or look up some of his talks on Spotify (free) if you would like to decide for yourself if I'm interpreting him properly.
Below I have a few quotes from Wilcox, followed by some of my commentary (infused with Tolle).
[Ok. I hope so, but it's hypothetical, and what good does claiming to know this do right now?]We will all be resurrected.
[Isn't "God's presence" something we teach we can experience now, especially in the temple?]We will all go back to God’s presence.
[This is again hypothetical. It sounds like, "If you don't want to miss out, you better do what we say." The same logic makes men fly planes into buildings. I'm at a point in my life where claims like these just don't mean much to me. It just misses the mark completely.]What is left to be determined by our obedience is what kind of body we plan on being resurrected with and how comfortable we plan to be in God’s presence and how long we plan to stay there.
[There are multiple ways to look at the Atonement, obviously. One is Wilcox's view. We are fallen, we deserve to be punished, but the Atonement is beautiful because Christ took that punishment for us. We just have to decide how big of a pat on the back we want for our realizing this and following his teachings. I think we can see, through Brigham Young's teachings of "Blood Atonement," that this viewpoint can lead to a very barbaric view of existence, with fear and guilt at its root. God had to punish Christ beyond anything we can imagine, for something he didn't do, just to give us hope.Justice requires immediate perfection or a punishment when we fall short.
Another view is that of Eckhart Tolle. We are all naturally "at-one" with divinity. We already ARE who we are supposed to be, yet there is an ego (natural man, an attribute of this existence usually taking root in the mind, call it Satan if you will) that develops in each person, clouding the peaceful truth of our existence. Christ's purpose was to show us this, "the way, the truth, and the life," and he did it beautifully. When we are in alignment with our natural state and not the ego, we ARE Love, just as "God is Love". We are charitable, just as Christ is. We don't WANT to do anything to harm ourselves or others. We see this divinity within ourselves, and we realize, "If it's in me, it must be in everyone else." In this way, we start to see ourselves in others. It's no longer a world of sinners and saints, us and them, righteous and wicked. A Muslim won't see an infidel, they'll see a person, much like themselves. The Mormon won't see an Anti-Mormon and vice versa, they'll see a person much like themselves. The arguments become pointless, because they only feed the ego. Why is the second great commandment like unto the first? Because it actually becomes equivalent to it when we realize there is divinity in ourselves and others! As King Benjamin taught, we serve God when we serve others.]
I could probably do more, but I suppose that's good for now.