My question was based on the post. You said: the payment for my sins is not the greatest part of the atonement for me.
So perhaps my question should have been — what is the greatest part of the atonement for you? The thing you mention in the post (changing for the better) is a result of free agancy, not the atonement…]]>
If we don’t have agency then we can’t choose the benefits of the atonement. If we don’t have the atonement then what good is agency? (Even if you make good choices you’ll still fall short, and we don’t have the power of the resurrection.]]>
The war of heaven was fought over the principle of free agency. The plan of salvation (the atonement) was instituted as a ‘fail-safe/way-back’ BECAUSE we have our free agency. So, yes, it appears free agency triumphs.]]>
I think that the Atonement both:
1) inspires me to make changes in my life from the “inside” (ie, gives me an ideal towards which to exercise my own agency)
2) fundamentally changes me from the “outside”–removes burdens, purifies character, refines disposition, and alters tendencies.]]>
That’s that through his Atonement (or by some other mechanism) Christ has changed me. I’ve struggled to change certain things about my life, and been successful on my own, or with encouragement.
But I’ve also been changed by the outside force of what I take to be Christ’s Atonement. There have been specific times in my life where I know that I have been changed–where a noticeable change in me was effected and I was not the primary agent.
I hope I’m not talking at crosspurposes to you; just wanted to add my two cents.]]>
Not to sound ungrateful but the payment for my sins is not the greatest part of the atonement for me.
But in you last comment it sounds like that payment for sins is the basically all there is to the atonement (other than the resurrection). The question that we were sort of getting to over there is: If we do not need an atonement to become Christlike then would you say our free agency is greater and more valuable than the atonement?]]>
What would I say to someone who says changing for the better doesn’t require an atonement? First, “You’re right, it doesn’t.” And second, changing for the better doesn’t always mean I have commited a sin or done something to repent of. Changing for the better may be as simple as spending more time with my kids, or spending more time preparing my SS lesson.
The atonement allows someone else to satisfy the demands of justice for me if I meet the requirements. The requirements are for me to confess and forsake my sins. When I do that Christ steps in and I don’t have to suffer for what justice demands.
Suffering for our sins satisfies justice, it doesn’t necessarily change me and changing me is what it’s all about…becoming Chrislike.]]>