He explained that there was no human penance for my sins. No way I could ever atone for all the things I had done. But... there was someone else who could atone. Who could wipe the past away and give new life. Heal all the wounds - my own and those I had inflicted on so many others through the years.
Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them. You would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the Kingdom of God. I would at once do so, in such a case; and under the circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands.... There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it.
Jesus isn't suffering day after day for your sin. He sits triumphantly at the right hand of God and has won the final and decisive victory for you. If constant lamenting over your sin could actually help you atone for it, then it would be a noble act. However, since there is nothing to be added to your salvation and your agony contributes nothing to your salvation or sanctification, then you are free to walk through life with confidence in your forgiveness. Godly sorrow for sin does not lead to self-condemnation and attempts to atone for your sins through acts of penance. Godly sorrow leads to repentance, which leads us to the cross. There we see, once again, the beautiful sufficiency of our marvelous Savior. Godly sorrow leads us on to a big party, another glorious celebration of the truth of the gospel.
Barbara R. Duguid
It has been said that a country's greatness can be measured by what it does for its unfortunates. By that criterion Canada certainly does not stand in the forefront of the nations of the world although there are signs that we are becoming conscious of our deficiencies and are determined to atone for lost time.
The best definition I've heard is that guilt is about what you've done, shame is about who you are. If something's out of my control, I don't feel shame about it, because what could I have done? If you're guilty, you can at least try to atone for it or make it better or not do it again. If it's who you are, you can't do much about it except change yourself, and that's pretty hard.
I judge a man by his actions with men, much more than by his declarations Godwards -- When I find him to be envious, carping, spiteful, hating the successes of others, and complaining that the world has never done enough for him, I am apt to doubt whether his humility before God will atone for his want of manliness.
O the anguish of that thought that we can never atone to our dead for the stinted affection we gave them, for the light answers we returned to their plaints or their pleadings, for the little reverence we showed to that sacred human soul that lived so close to us, and was the divinest thing God had given us to know!
He understood that in walking to atone for the mistakes he had made, it was his journey to accept the strangeness of others. As a passerby, he was in a place where everything, not only the land, was open. People would feel free to talk, and he was free to listen. To carry a little of them as he went.
I cannot be a materialist - but Oh, how is it possible that a God who speaks to all hearts can let Belgravia go laughing to a vicious luxury, and Whitechapel cursing to a filthy debauchery - such suffering, such dreadful suffering - and shall the short years of Christ's mission atone for it all?
D. H. Lawrence
When it was proposed to me to go abroad, rub oft some rust, and better my condition in a worldly sense, I fear lest my life will lose some of its homeliness. If these fields and streams and woods, the phenomena of nature here, and the simple occupations of the inhabitants should cease to interest and inspire me, no culture or wealth would atone for the loss.
Henry David Thoreau
Lovely & too charming Fair one, notwithstanding your forbidding Squint, your greazy tresses & your swelling Back, which are more frightful than imagination can paint or pen describe, I cannot refrain from expressing my raptures, at the engaging Qualities of your Mind, which so amply atone for the Horror, with which your first appearance must ever inspire the unwary visitor.
It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic, and sub-atomic, and galacticstructure of things today. And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature! And you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?
Poor Nico di Angelo. The god's voice was tinged with disappointment. Do you know what you want, much less what I want? My beloved Psyche risked everything in the name of Love. It was the only way for her to atone for her lack of faith. And you- what have you risked in my name? "I've been to Tartarus and back, " Nico snarled. "You don't scare me." I scare you very, very much. Face me. Be honest.
He who has once stood beside the grave, to look back upon the companionship which has been forever closed, feeling how impotent there are the wild love, or the keen sorrow, to give one instant's pleasure to the pulseless heart, or atone in the lowest measure to the departed spirit for the hour of unkindness, will scarcely for the future incur that debt to the heart which can only be discharged to the dust.
Perhaps the most difficult task for us to perform is to rely on God's grace and God's grace alone for our celebration. It is difficult for our pride to rest on grace. Grace is for other people""for beggars. We don't want to live by a heavenly welfare system. We want to earn our own way and atone for our own sins. We like to think that we will go to heaven because we deserve to be there.
R. C. Sproul
No erudition, no purity of diction, no width of mental outlook, no flowers of eloquence, no grace of person can atone for lack of fire. Prayer ascends by fire. Flame gives prayer access as well as wings, acceptance as well as energy. There is no incense without fire; no prayer without flame.
Edward McKendree Bounds
O you who believe! do not kill game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. Whoever of you kills any intentionally, its penalty shall be a domestic animal comparable to what he killed, as determined by two honest persons among you-an offering delivered to the Kaabah. Or he may atone by feeding the needy, or its equivalent in fasting, so that he may taste the consequences of his conduct. Allah forgives what is past. But whoever repeats, Allah will take revenge on him. Allah is Almighty, Avenger.
Do you realize this? That if you were to somehow purpose to, from this day on, perfectly please God and succeed in doing it, that that perfect obedience, from this moment, would not acquire in the remainder of your life, enough merit to atone for one past sin, because God exacts and God demands perfect obedience and there's no merit for giving him the minimal requirement.
There have been many times when I have been so entirely sickened of life it was very hard to work to keep on, a half dozen times I have been tempted to suicide, but I am glad I did not give way, for I have always felt that the last half of my life would somehow atone for the first half, and I still think it may ... It is not possible to live in this world without suffering unless one is a born stone. But it is also possible to have a great deal of happiness in spite of the suffering.
Katherine Anne Porter
The plan of salvation could not be brought about without an atonement... The atoning sacrifice had to be carried out by the sinless Son of God, for fallen man could not atone for his own sins. The Atonement had to be infinite and eternal to cover all men throughout all eternity. Through His suffering and death, the Savior atoned for the sins of all men. His Atonement began in Gethsemane and continued on the cross and culminated with the Resurrection.
C. Scott Grow
When we hold onto the negative in ourselves it comes with endless guilt. We hold onto a lifetime of floating visions and regrets about what we should have done or should have become. Conscience recognizes wrong and tries to atone. But guilt turns into resentment. Conscience brings us closer to each other; guilt drives us apart. Create a new feeling. Every time guilt settles in your stomach, write "I forgive" on a piece of paper. Send it up the chimney, tear it up and flush it, put it in the garbage. Don't eat it.
This doctrine of forgiveness of sin is a premium on crime. 'Forgive us our sins' means "Let us continue in our iniquity." It is one of the most pernicious of doctrines, and one of the most fruitful sources of immorality. It has been the chief cause of making Christian nations the most immoral of nations. In teaching this doctrine Christ committed a sin for which his death did not atone, and which can never be forgiven. There is no forgiveness of sin. Every cause has its effect; every sinner must suffer the consequences of his sins.
We laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we love, we live. And then we die. ... And dead we would remain but for one Man and His mission, even Jesus of Nazareth. ... With all my heart and the fervency of my soul, I lift up my voice in testimony as a special witness and declare that God does live. Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is our Redeemer; He is our Mediator with the Father. He it was who died on the cross to atone for our sins. He became the firstfruits of the Resurrection. Because He died, all shall live again.
Thomas S. Monson
Yes, and words are not deeds, Solanka allowed, moving off fretfully. Though words can become deeds. If said in the right place and at the right time, they can move mountains and change the world. Also, uh-huh, not knowing what you're doing - separating deeds from the words that define them - was apparently becoming an acceptable excuse. To say "I didn't mean it" was to erase meaning from your misdeeds, at least in the opinion of the Beloved ALis of the world. Could that be so? Obviously, no. No, it simply could not. Many people would say that even a genuine act of repentance could not atone for a crime, much less this unexplained blankness - an infinitely lesser excuse, a mere assertion of ignorance that wouldn't even register on any scale of regret.
You cannot mend the chromosome, quell the earthquake, or stanch the flood. You cannot atone for the dead tyrants' murders and you alone cannot stop living tyrants. As Martin Buber saw it, the world of ordinary days 'affords' us that precise association with god that redeems both us and our speck of world. God entrusts and allots to everyone an area to redeem: this creased and feeble life, 'the world in which you live, just as it is, and not otherwise.' 'Insofar as he cultivates and enjoys them in holiness, he frees their souls... he who prays and sings in holiness, eats and speaks in holiness... through him the sparks which have fallen will be uplifted, and the worlds which have fallen will be delivered and renewed.
Love makes us wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose and a flow of creative ideas. Love floods our nervous system with positive energy, making us far more attractive to prospective employers, clients, and creative partners. Love fills us with powerful charisma, enabling us to produce new ideas and new projects, even within circumstances that seem to be limited. Love leads us to atone for our errors and clean up the mess when we've made mistakes. Love leads us to act with impeccability, integrity, and excellence. Love leads us to serve, to forgive, and to hope. Those things are the opposite of a poverty consciousness; they're the stuff of spiritual wealth creation.
I was now blinded by a flood of light, but when I realised how many countless numbers of angels were imprisoned in Bardo's dismal prison, it took my breath away. 'Gabriel!' I shouted to my leader with all my might, but he gave no sign of hearing me. 'Gabriel!' I said, trying again, and it seemed that the handsome face reacted just a little. At that moment, a band of goblins reached the hall with a terrible ruckus. I had to flee. I grabbed the chains binding Gabriel and cried one last time. 'Gabriel!' ... the angel's emerald green eyes looked up. He gazed deep into my eyes, . 'Please forgive me, ' I whispered. My chest felt like it would burst with pain from the guilt burning inside me. 'I swear I'll atone for my sin and get you out of here!'. Gabriel gave no reply, but just looked at me sadly. I would have been less tortured if he had screamed at me or come at me, but he simply let me sink into my guilt.
There is no doubt that the United States has much to atone for, both domestically and abroad... To produce this horrible confection at home, start with our genocidal treatment of the Native Americans, add a couple hundred years of slavery, along with our denial of entry to Jewish refugees fleeing the death camps of the Third Reich, stir in our collusion with a long list of modern despots and our subsequent disregard for their appalling human rights records, add our bombing of Cambodia and the Pentagon Papers to taste, and then top with our recent refusals to sign the Kyoto protocol for greenhouse emissions, to support any ban on land mines, and to submit ourselves to the rulings of the International Criminal Court. The result should smell of death, hypocrisy, and fresh brimstone.
The heart of the difference between cheap-grace doctrines of guilt-free existence and the Christian gospel is this: Modern chauvinism desperately avoids the message of guilt by treating it as a regrettable symptom. Christianity listens to the message of guilt by conscientious self-examination. Hedonism winks at sin. Christianity earnestly confesses sin. Secularism assumes it can extricate itself from gross misdeeds. Christianity looks to grace for divine forgiveness. Modern consciousness is its own fumbling attorney before the bar of conscience. Christianity rejoices that God himself has become our attorney. Modernity sees no reason to atone for or make reparation for wrongs. Christianity knows that unatoned sin brings on misery of conscience. Modern naturalism sees no meed for God. Christianity celebrates God's willingness to suffer four our sins and redeem us from guilt.
Thomas C. Oden
We not only do not believe that man is punished for his 'sins, ' but emphatically state that there is no such thing as sin. There are wrongs and injustices, but no sin. Sin, like purgatory and hell, was invented by priests, first to frighten, and then to rob the living. We do not fear these myths and curses, and that is why we devote our time and energies to help our fellow man. That is why we build educational institutions and seek, by a slow and painful process, to teach man the true nature of the universe and a proper understanding of his place as a member in society. At the same time we try to fortify his mind with courage to withstand the rebuffs, the trials and tribulations of life. That it is a difficult and arduous task no one can deny because we cannot correct all of 'God's mistakes' in one life time. As Ingersoll so succinctly states: 'Nature cannot pardon.' Remember this: You are not a depraved human being. You have no sins to atone for. There is no need for fear. There are no ghosts-holy or otherwise. Stop making yourself miserable for 'the love of God.' Drive this monster of tyrannic fear from your mind, and enjoy the inestimable freedom of an emancipated human being.
The following year the house was substantially remodeled, and the conservatory removed. As the walls of the now crumbling wall were being torn down, one of the workmen chanced upon a small leatherbound book that had apparently been concealed behind a loose brick or in a crevice in the wall. By this time Emily Dickinson was a household name in Amherst. It happened that this carpenter was a lover of poetry- and hers in particular- and when he opened the little book and realized that that he had found her diary, he was 'seized with a violent trembling, ' as he later told his grandson. Both electrified and terrified by the discovery, he hid the book in his lunch bucket until the workday ended and then took it home. He told himself that after he had read and savored every page, he would turn the diary over to someone who would know how to best share it with the public. But as he read, he fell more and more deeply under the poet's spell and began to imagine that he was her confidant. He convinced himself that in his new role he was no longer obliged to give up the diary. Finally, having brushed away the light taps of conscience, he hid the book at the back of an oak chest in his bedroom, from which he would draw it out periodically over the course of the next sixty-four years until he had virtually memorized its contents. Even his family never knew of its existence. Shortly before his death in 1980 at the age of eighty-nine, the old man finally showed his most prized possession to his grandson (his only son having preceded him in death), confessing that his delight in it had always been tempered by a nagging guilt and asking that the young man now attempt to atone for his grandfather's sin. The grandson, however, having inherited both the old man's passion for poetry and his tendency towards paralysis of conscience, and he readily succumbed to the temptation to hold onto the diary indefinitely while trying to decide what ought to be done with it.
Alone, [Chamcha] all at once remembered that he and Pamela had once disagreed, as they disagreed on everything, on a short-story they'd both read, whose theme was precisely the nature of the unforgivable. Title and author eluded him, but the story came back vividly. A man and a woman had been intimate friends (never lovers) for all their adult lives. On his twenty-first birthday (they were both poor at the time) she had given him, as a joke, the most horrible, cheap glass vase she could find, in colours a garish parody of Venetian gaiety. Twenty years later, when they were both successful and greying, she visited his home and quarrelled with him over his treatment of a mutual friend. In the course of the quarrel her eye fell upon the old vase, which he still kept in pride of place on his sitting-room mantelpiece, and, without pausing in her tirade, she swept it to the floor, crushing it beyond hope of repair. He never spoke to her again; when she died, half a century later, he refused to visit her deathbed or attend her funeral, even though messengers were sent to tell him that these were her dearest wishes. 'Tell her, ' he said to the emissaries, 'that she never knew how much I valued what she broke.' The emissaries argued, pleaded, raged. If she had not known how much meaning he had invested in the trifle, how could she in all fairness be blamed? And had she not made countless attempts, over the years, to apologize and atone? And she was dying, for heaven's sake; could not this ancient, childish rift be healed at last? They had lost a lifetime's friendship; could they not even say goodbye? 'No, ' said the unforgiving man. - 'Really because of the vase? Or are you concealing some other, darker matter?' - 'It was the vase, ' he answered, 'the vase, and nothing but.' Pamela thought the man petty and cruel, but Chamcha had even then appreciated the curious privacy, the inexplicable inwardness of the issue. 'Nobody can judge an internal injury, ' he had said, 'by the size of the superficial wound, of the hole.
There was no Disney World then, just rows of orange trees. Millions of them. Stretching for miles And somewhere near the middle was the Citrus Tower, which the tourists climbed to see even more orange trees. Every month an eighty-year-old couple became lost in the groves, driving up and down identical rows for days until they were spotted by helicopter or another tourist on top of the Citrus Tower. They had lived on nothing but oranges and come out of the trees drilled on vitamin C and checked into the honeymoon suite at the nearest bed-and-breakfast. "The Miami Seaquarium put in a monorail and rockets started going off at Cape Canaveral, making us feel like we were on the frontier of the future. Disney bought up everything north of Lake Okeechobee, preparing to shove the future down our throats sideways. "Things evolved rapidly! Missile silos in Cuba. Bales on the beach. Alligators are almost extinct and then they aren't. Juntas hanging shingles in Boca Raton. Richard Nixon and Bebe Rebozo skinny-dipping off Key Biscayne. We atone for atrocities against the INdians by playing Bingo. Shark fetuses in formaldehyde jars, roadside gecko farms, tourists waddling around waffle houses like flocks of flightless birds. And before we know it, we have The New Florida, underplanned, overbuilt and ripe for a killer hurricane that'll knock that giant geodesic dome at Epcot down the trunpike like a golf ball, a solid one-wood by Buckminster Fuller. "I am the native and this is my home. Faded pastels, and Spanish tiles constantly slipping off roofs, shattering on the sidewalk. Dogs with mange and skateboard punks with mange roaming through yards, knocking over garbage cans. Lunatics wandering the streets at night, talking about spaceships. Bail bondsmen wake me up at three A.M. looking for the last tenant. Next door, a mail-order bride is clubbed by a smelly ma in a mechanic's shirt. Cats violently mate under my windows and rats break-dance in the drop ceiling. And I'm lying in bed with a broken air conditioner, sweating and sipping lemonade through a straw. And I'm thinking, geez, this used to be a great state. "You wanna come to Florida? You get a discount on theme-park tickets and find out you just bough a time share. Or maybe you end up at Cape Canaveral, sitting in a field for a week as a space shuttle launch is canceled six times. And suddenly vacation is over, you have to catch a plane, and you see the shuttle take off on TV at the airport. But you keep coming back, year after year, and one day you find you're eighty years old driving through an orange grove.
The English word Atonement comes from the ancient Hebrew word kaphar, which means to cover. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and discovered their nakedness in the Garden of Eden, God sent Jesus to make coats of skins to cover them. Coats of skins don't grow on trees. They had to be made from an animal, which meant an animal had to be killed. Perhaps that was the very first animal sacrifice. Because of that sacrifice, Adam and Eve were covered physically. In the same way, through Jesus' sacrifice we are also covered emotionally and spiritually. When Adam and Eve left the garden, the only things they could take to remind them of Eden were the coats of skins. The one physical thing we take with us out of the temple to remind us of that heavenly place is a similar covering. The garment reminds us of our covenants, protects us, and even promotes modesty. However, it is also a powerful and personal symbol of the Atonement-a continuous reminder both night and day that because of Jesus' sacrifice, we are covered. (I am indebted to Guinevere Woolstenhulme, a religion teacher at BYU, for insights about kaphar.) Jesus covers us (see Alma 7) when we feel worthless and inadequate. Christ referred to himself as 'Alpha and Omega' (3 Nephi 9:18). Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ is surely the beginning and the end. Those who study statistics learn that the letter alpha is used to represent the level of significance in a research study. Jesus is also the one who gives value and significance to everything. Robert L. Millet writes, 'In a world that offers flimsy and fleeting remedies for mortal despair, Jesus comes to us in our moments of need with a 'more excellent hope' (Ether 12:32)' (Grace Works, 62). Jesus covers us when we feel lost and discouraged. Christ referred to Himself as the 'light' (3 Nephi 18:16). He doesn't always clear the path, but He does illuminate it. Along with being the light, He also lightens our loads. 'For my yoke is easy, ' He said, 'and my burden is light' (Matthew 11:30). He doesn't always take burdens away from us, but He strengthens us for the task of carrying them and promises they will be for our good. Jesus covers us when we feel abused and hurt. Joseph Smith taught that because Christ met the demands of justice, all injustices will be made right for the faithful in the eternal scheme of things (see Teachings, 296). Marie K. Hafen has said, 'The gospel of Jesus Christ was not given us to prevent our pain. The gospel was given us to heal our pain' ('Eve Heard All These Things, ' 27). Jesus covers us when we feel defenseless and abandoned. Christ referred to Himself as our 'advocate' (D&C 29:5): one who believes in us and stands up to defend us. We read, 'The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler' (Psalm 18:2). A buckler is a shield used to divert blows. Jesus doesn't always protect us from unpleasant consequences of illness or the choices of others, since they are all part of what we are here on earth to experience. However, He does shield us from fear in those dark times and delivers us from having to face those difficulties alone... We've already learned that the Hebrew word that is translated into English as Atonement means 'to cover.' In Arabic or Aramaic, the verb meaning to atone is kafat, which means 'to embrace.' Not only can we be covered, helped, and comforted by the Savior, but we can be 'encircled about eternally in the arms of his love' (2 Nephi 1:15). We can be 'clasped in the arms of Jesus' (Mormon 5:11). In our day the Savior has said, 'Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love' (D&C 6:20). (Brad Wilcox, The Continuous Atonement, pp. 47-49, 60).