After reading the comments from my previous post and doing more pondering I wanted to make a further comment or two myself.
I don’t think that payment for my sins by Christ is the most important part of the atonement.
Payment only satisfies the demands of justice. I mentioned before that the process of changing and becoming more Christlike is more important to me. As the comments before showed, this change can be had through agency.
We know from D&C 19 that if we don’t repent then we get to pay for our own sins. At some time or another all of our sins will be paid for, either by Christ if we repent, or by us if we don’t. So what if they are paid for, if I don’t change then the payment has done nothing for me.
Our S.S. lesson sunday was on the 84th section, the oath and covenant of the Priesthood. There is states that if we don’t magnify the priesthood and break our covenant then we won’t find forgiveness. That got me thinking that along with D&C 98 where it says Christ will forgive who he wants to and we must forgive everyone, payment has very little if anything to do with forgiveness.
Just because my sins are paid for doesn’t mean they are forgiven. If they aren’t forgiven then I am still a "sinner" or in sin and am unworthy of exaltation.
Therefore I come back to my original point, the payment for my sins isn’t a big deal. What is a big deal is that Christ forgives me when I repent and I am clean…and as an added benefit He pays for it too.
Maybe this is such a simple principle everyone already knows this, but to me, I had to think about it.