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  #1  
Old Mar 13, '11, 1:09 pm
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Default LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

It has been brought up in another thread that Catholics and Mormons differ so much on what the Atonement of Christ is and what it achieves that these differences cannot be bridged.

If that is so, this is very important, since that doctrine forms the core of Christianity. It seems that an understanding of Christ's Atonemnt should bear directly on one's status as a Christian.

That makes this a topic worth discussing.
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  #2  
Old Mar 13, '11, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

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Originally Posted by Peter John View Post
It has been brought up in another thread that Catholics and Mormons differ so much on what the Atonement of Christ is and what it achieves that these differences cannot be bridged.

If that is so, this is very important, since that doctrine forms the core of Christianity. It seems that an understanding of Christ's Atonemnt should bear directly on one's status as a Christian.

That makes this a topic worth discussing.
I could not agree more. When all else is stripped away, it really comes down to this issue. I'm not sure I have ever seen this topic singled out and brought into focus. Thanks for this thread.
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  #3  
Old Mar 13, '11, 11:54 pm
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

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Originally Posted by SteveVH View Post
I could not agree more. When all else is stripped away, it really comes down to this issue. I'm not sure I have ever seen this topic singled out and brought into focus. Thanks for this thread.
At worst it will be an interesting exercise. I think as we proceed we need to proactively define terms, and refresh these from time to time for people who may join late. This is not intended as an argumentative or oppositional thread. The objective is to recognize the things upon which we can agree to disagree.

Having experienced both sides of this dialogue, i do not wish to describe either to start out. I can affirm that my essential understanding of the essential issues did not change becoming Catholic. I expect we will find more in common than different on the two basic questions.

A few guidelines I think appropriate, if anyone else agrees to them: Non-biblical sources are acceptable for quoting for the purpose of expression, but not to cite as authority. That is probably a good one to start with.

Another one is that expressions have to be honest. They can't be manipulative or geared toward some secondary purpose. No private messages. THis is an open discussion, not a confrontation.

This is not an attempt to expose LDS members as non-Christian. Whatever in my life made me Christian, i learned as a Mormon.

If nobody else posts their views on the topic questions in a couple of days, then I will post something to get the ball rolling, but my preference on this topic would be to let others discuss and serve as a kind of referee .

Mormons will understand the point that follows best, and they are the ones I want most to assure: I grew up in Vermont, and I still note the passing of July 24 and April 6 every year. I cannot help it.

For Catholics: Almost everything I understood in the first few weeks after converting to Catholicism was accurate. I only had to be taught a couple of things, and these were mainly tweaks in my perspective. These have to do with the common values and priorities among the two faiths.

I have described the two faiths as being like different sides of the same tapestry. It is because there are so many values and priorites that Mormonism and Catholicism share in common, all that differs are interpretations that hinge on a couple of questions. These interpretations primarily involve the pre-existence of spirits other than Jesus, the nature of the Godhead/Trinity, and the nature and terms of Apostolic succession.

The latter need not even be an issue. This thread is not about the organizations, but about our common Savior. On the other issues we should not get sidetracked in discussion, but just consider how the different frameworks for interpretation alter each of our understandings of the same basic principles. Doing this we will see what those basic principles are upon which we agree. We must, because both perspectives coexist within my thinking, and inform my personal Christology (likely an unfamiliar term to LDS) and my values.

So what say you? What think ye of Christ? What is the Atonement, and what did it achieve?
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  #4  
Old Mar 14, '11, 10:32 am
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

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Originally Posted by Peter John View Post
At worst it will be an interesting exercise. I think as we proceed we need to proactively define terms, and refresh these from time to time for people who may join late. This is not intended as an argumentative or oppositional thread. The objective is to recognize the things upon which we can agree to disagree.

Having experienced both sides of this dialogue, i do not wish to describe either to start out. I can affirm that my essential understanding of the essential issues did not change becoming Catholic. I expect we will find more in common than different on the two basic questions.

A few guidelines I think appropriate, if anyone else agrees to them: Non-biblical sources are acceptable for quoting for the purpose of expression, but not to cite as authority. That is probably a good one to start with.

Another one is that expressions have to be honest. They can't be manipulative or geared toward some secondary purpose. No private messages. THis is an open discussion, not a confrontation.

This is not an attempt to expose LDS members as non-Christian. Whatever in my life made me Christian, i learned as a Mormon.

If nobody else posts their views on the topic questions in a couple of days, then I will post something to get the ball rolling, but my preference on this topic would be to let others discuss and serve as a kind of referee .

Mormons will understand the point that follows best, and they are the ones I want most to assure: I grew up in Vermont, and I still note the passing of July 24 and April 6 every year. I cannot help it.

For Catholics: Almost everything I understood in the first few weeks after converting to Catholicism was accurate. I only had to be taught a couple of things, and these were mainly tweaks in my perspective. These have to do with the common values and priorities among the two faiths.

I have described the two faiths as being like different sides of the same tapestry. It is because there are so many values and priorites that Mormonism and Catholicism share in common, all that differs are interpretations that hinge on a couple of questions. These interpretations primarily involve the pre-existence of spirits other than Jesus, the nature of the Godhead/Trinity, and the nature and terms of Apostolic succession.

The latter need not even be an issue. This thread is not about the organizations, but about our common Savior. On the other issues we should not get sidetracked in discussion, but just consider how the different frameworks for interpretation alter each of our understandings of the same basic principles. Doing this we will see what those basic principles are upon which we agree. We must, because both perspectives coexist within my thinking, and inform my personal Christology (likely an unfamiliar term to LDS) and my values.

So what say you? What think ye of Christ? What is the Atonement, and what did it achieve?
Sounds fair enough.
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  #5  
Old Mar 14, '11, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

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Originally Posted by SteveVH View Post
I could not agree more. When all else is stripped away, it really comes down to this issue. I'm not sure I have ever seen this topic singled out and brought into focus. Thanks for this thread.
SteveVH,

I suppose that I'll give a fairly brief explanation about the LDS view (from my perspective) of "what is the atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve," although it certainly won't be exhaustive (meaning cover the full scope of the subject). One desiring to study this topic in depth can easily do an lds.org search on the topic and find many articles, plus book references such as James E Talmage's Jesus the Christ, John Taylor's Mediation and Atonement, and other books that are more recent.

I like using the primary scriptural sources, and although the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price give greater clarity about this subject on certain points, the major doctrinal points are readily found in the Bible and those will be the sources for this brief explanation:


1) Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God the Father, is the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Revelation 13:8) Thus, His atoning sacrifice was fore-planned, foreordained, and He voluntarily offered Himself as that great and last sacrifice (which was to be completed on this earth during His life on earth as Immanuel and the Promised Messiah) for the sins of the world. He offered Himself during a council meeting in Heaven, which was followed by a War in Heaven wherein Satan rebelled against the plan of God and the voluntary offering of Jesus Christ. (See Revelation 12:7)

2) He is the "lamb without blemish" (see Exodus 12:5), meaning that He had no personal sins and also was God in the flesh and thus could indeed be the great and last sacrifice without the need for any pre-cursor offering to cleanse the officiator (priest) such as occurred under the law of Moses with animal sacrifice.

3) He "hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4) in such a personal way that He knows all of those intimately and can indeed succor us in our hour of need because He suffered those exact pains, sicknesses, sorrows, griefs and turmoils. This is why He can "bind up the brokenhearted", "comfort all that mourn", and "give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;" (Isaiah 61:2, 3) it is also why in the resurrection we will have perfect bodies through the grace of His great and last sacrifice.

4) "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5) He makes intercession for us, the transgressors. (v. 12) He and the law of justice and mercy require that we "make His soul an offering for sin" (v. 10) in order for His atoning sacrifice to be fully efficacious for us.

5) He desires to offer unto us the "sure mercies of David" through our completing an "everlasting covenant" which He offers to make with each of us. (Isaiah 55:3)

6) The "key of the house of David" is laid "upon His shoulder"; "so He shall open, and none shall shut; and He shall shut, and none shall open." (Isaiah 22:22) He was fastened as a "nail in a sure place". (v. 23)

7) His atonement began in Gethsemane when He prayed while great drops of blood came from every pore, continued during the false trial and the agony of His crucifixion, and was completed with His resurrection when He became the first fruits of them that slept and showed that our resurrection will be possible through His atonement and resurrection.

(To be completed later)
  #6  
Old Mar 14, '11, 7:11 pm
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

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Originally Posted by ParkerD View Post
SteveVH,

I suppose that I'll give a fairly brief explanation about the LDS view (from my perspective) of "what is the atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve," although it certainly won't be exhaustive (meaning cover the full scope of the subject). One desiring to study this topic in depth can easily do an lds.org search on the topic and find many articles, plus book references such as James E Talmage's Jesus the Christ, John Taylor's Mediation and Atonement, and other books that are more recent.

I like using the primary scriptural sources, and although the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price give greater clarity about this subject on certain points, the major doctrinal points are readily found in the Bible and those will be the sources for this brief explanation:


1) Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God the Father, is the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Revelation 13:8) Thus, His atoning sacrifice was fore-planned, foreordained, and He voluntarily offered Himself as that great and last sacrifice (which was to be completed on this earth during His life on earth as Immanuel and the Promised Messiah) for the sins of the world. He offered Himself during a council meeting in Heaven, which was followed by a War in Heaven wherein Satan rebelled against the plan of God and the voluntary offering of Jesus Christ. (See Revelation 12:7)

2) He is the "lamb without blemish" (see Exodus 12:5), meaning that He had no personal sins and also was God in the flesh and thus could indeed be the great and last sacrifice without the need for any pre-cursor offering to cleanse the officiator (priest) such as occurred under the law of Moses with animal sacrifice.

3) He "hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4) in such a personal way that He knows all of those intimately and can indeed succor us in our hour of need because He suffered those exact pains, sicknesses, sorrows, griefs and turmoils. This is why He can "bind up the brokenhearted", "comfort all that mourn", and "give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;" (Isaiah 61:2, 3) it is also why in the resurrection we will have perfect bodies through the grace of His great and last sacrifice.

4) "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5) He makes intercession for us, the transgressors. (v. 12) He and the law of justice and mercy require that we "make His soul an offering for sin" (v. 10) in order for His atoning sacrifice to be fully efficacious for us.

5) He desires to offer unto us the "sure mercies of David" through our completing an "everlasting covenant" which He offers to make with each of us. (Isaiah 55:3)

6) The "key of the house of David" is laid "upon His shoulder"; "so He shall open, and none shall shut; and He shall shut, and none shall open." (Isaiah 22:22) He was fastened as a "nail in a sure place". (v. 23)

7) His atonement began in Gethsemane when He prayed while great drops of blood came from every pore, continued during the false trial and the agony of His crucifixion, and was completed with His resurrection when He became the first fruits of them that slept and showed that our resurrection will be possible through His atonement and resurrection.

(To be completed later)
Continuation:

8) The agony of His pains during that period of completion of His atoning sacrifice were infinitely greater than any mortal person could have endured. Only He, the Son of God who was Immanuel, could have endured those pains and lived through it.

9) He voluntarily gave His life and died, giving up the ghost, from whence His spirit went to the spirit world where He "proclaim[ed] liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" (Isaiah 61:1) and "preached unto the spirits in prison;" (1 Peter 3:19) so that they could be "judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Peter 4:6)

They will be judged according to the promise that "unto [Him] every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear." "In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." (Isaiah 45:23, 24)

10) His earnest desire is that "all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." (John 17:10) Also, "That they may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:...And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:...that they may be made perfect in one;...that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." (See John 17:21-26)

11) His atonement and offer to bring us to God through His redeeming blood of reconciliation apply to all mankind, old and young, bond and free, of all nationalities and regardless of their religion through each person's free will choice, so long as they are willing to allow Him to Shepherd them through their covenants made and covenants kept, and willingly accept His gospel whereby He can enable the full efficacy of the plan of salvation in their behalf. Those who died before an age of personal accountability are reconciled to God through His redeeming blood through their own personal innocence from sin and through His atoning grace.
  #7  
Old Mar 14, '11, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

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He offered Himself during a council meeting in Heaven, which was followed by a War in Heaven wherein Satan rebelled against the plan of God and the voluntary offering of Jesus Christ. (See Revelation 12:7)
A very detailed exlanation, The sentence I have quoted is the only one that -- without straining a gnats -- might bring any contention. While Catholics do believe in the War in Heaven where Satan rebelled against God, we do not beleive in the LDS details of a Council. , or that there was any other than Jehovah himself would be the redeemer. But that this role was determined before the foundation of the world, we completely agree with.

I mention this only so that we do not get caught up in arguing about it. It seems given the immensity of the other themes involved an incredibly small thing to dispute over, when there is so much in what ParkerD has written upon which we can agree.

The mention of it starting in Gethsemane is significant. Mormons actually give this higher weight than the Cross itself. That is why LDS Scholar Andrew M. Skinner's classic discourse, "Christ in Gethsemane", is one of the most useful resources for non-LDS to appreciate the LDS belief about the Atonement. "The Agony of Gethsemane" is the first of our "Sorrowful Mysteries" in the Rosary meditiation, so I find nothing contradictory to Catholicism to say the Atonement started there.

It looks like there is plenty we have to share in this discussion without arguing about.
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  #8  
Old Mar 14, '11, 9:21 pm
gurneyhalleck1 gurneyhalleck1 is offline
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

Having started some and participated in many threads on the Atonement, in my experience, Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox aren't even in agreement about Christ's Atonement on the Cross. I didn't realize the differences between East and West until I ran into the Atonement discussions. I realized there's no way I could go Orthodox after reading them! So if Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox can't come to agreement, sure as shootin' Mormons and Catholics aren't!
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Old Mar 14, '11, 9:31 pm
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

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Having started some and participated in many threads on the Atonement, in my experience, Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox aren't even in agreement about Christ's Atonement on the Cross. I didn't realize the differences between East and West until I ran into the Atonement discussions. I realized there's no way I could go Orthodox after reading them! So if Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox can't come to agreement, sure as shootin' Mormons and Catholics aren't!
Well, you know, if there were nothing to agree on, I would still be Mormon. Maybe it just means that Mormons and Catholics have more in common than seems apparent. Your optimism inspires me.
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Old Mar 14, '11, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

I'm not trying to be pessimistic, P.J. I'm simply stating an observation. The Atonement is the tip of the iceberg with Mormon-Catholic disagreements. The entire premise of Mormonism is a million light years (probably literally with Kolob!) from Catholicism. The Atonement is one of many issues. There are some commonalities in all religions. I would say Catholicism has FAR more in common with Protestants than Mormons any day of the week. I'm glad you were inspired LOL

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Well, you know, if there were nothing to agree on, I would still be Mormon. Maybe it just means that Mormons and Catholics have more in common than seems apparent. Your optimism inspires me.
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Old Mar 14, '11, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

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I'm not trying to be pessimistic, P.J. I'm simply stating an observation. The Atonement is the tip of the iceberg with Mormon-Catholic disagreements. The entire premise of Mormonism is a million light years (probably literally with Kolob!) from Catholicism. The Atonement is one of many issues. There are some commonalities in all religions. I would say Catholicism has FAR more in common with Protestants than Mormons any day of the week. I'm glad you were inspired LOL
My observation in my conversion from Mormonism to Catholicism was that a few key points of doctrine differed, and these points dictated differing interpreatation of otherwise consistent basic assumptions. I found this most reinforced by how much strictly Catholic dogma is in the Book of Mormon, but within Mormonism interpreted differently from sources outside the book and the Bible. It comes out like two different sides of the same tapestry.


LDS and Catholicism share more basic priorities of belief in common than most other denominations share with either of us. The single biggest obstacle I see to a dialogue is those who believe what they have been taught each of us believe, despite what we express ourselves. The second is manipulative semantics with the intent to persuade or attack rather than communicate. I have done that too much in these forums myself, and starting this thread is a sort of penance.

I have chosen a topic that we both hold sacred enough that following these guidelines we should be able to place such tendencies on a shelf. IU believe that both Mormons and Catholics recognize the pact of the atonement as something so sacred and the perception of it so personnel that we will be able to respect each other's views without belittling or assault. As long as each of us understand that non-Biblical sources will be considered as lterature, not as authoritiative claims, we should be okay. That also means if someone finds a poem by Kipling or Frost, or a song for that matter, expresses their own understanding they are free to share it.

These is not about how the Lord reaches our intellect. It is about how he reaches our hearts. I am going to begin by suggesting that the most important song to my spirituality is "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" by the Moody Blues because it expresses as much what God feels about bringing us back into communion with Him as it does about how much we long for that communion -- and His longing is really greater, "And if you wake up wondering in the darkness, I'll be there/My arms will close around you, and protect you with the truth. ... I know you're out there somewhere"

Except that what keeps God from finding us is our own willfulness. As much as we hunger for communion with god, he hungers for it even more, so much we can't imagine. Here is the one around whose throne angels praise, who submits to grow in the body of a mortal woman, and take on mortal flesh, and accept the penalty for all of our actions that separate us from him.

One thing we all agree on is that whatever rules may generally apply to this, we cannot tell God what to do. Only He sees into the hearts of men, and knows the reasons and motivations for actions, or for lack of them. In the end God decides who he accepts, and whatever we may think, we do not tell Him what to do.

To begin with, see how many things in ParkerD's post on his view of the Atonement with which Catholicism agrees. If you want to start a thread about the differences between Mormonism and Catholicism, feel free. Arguments are not the point of this thread.
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  #12  
Old Mar 15, '11, 12:02 am
gurneyhalleck1 gurneyhalleck1 is offline
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

I'm not interested in arguments either. Just an observation, Peter John. Mormonism to Catholicism isn't even my baby really. I'm more interested in Anglicanism and Lutheranism in relationship to Catholicism. God bless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter John View Post
My observation in my conversion from Mormonism to Catholicism was that a few key points of doctrine differed, and these points dictated differing interpreatation of otherwise consistent basic assumptions. I found this most reinforced by how much strictly Catholic dogma is in the Book of Mormon, but within Mormonism interpreted differently from sources outside the book and the Bible. It comes out like two different sides of the same tapestry.


LDS and Catholicism share more basic priorities of belief in common than most other denominations share with either of us. The single biggest obstacle I see to a dialogue is those who believe what they have been taught each of us believe, despite what we express ourselves. The second is manipulative semantics with the intent to persuade or attack rather than communicate. I have done that too much in these forums myself, and starting this thread is a sort of penance.

I have chosen a topic that we both hold sacred enough that following these guidelines we should be able to place such tendencies on a shelf. IU believe that both Mormons and Catholics recognize the pact of the atonement as something so sacred and the perception of it so personnel that we will be able to respect each other's views without belittling or assault. As long as each of us understand that non-Biblical sources will be considered as lterature, not as authoritiative claims, we should be okay. That also means if someone finds a poem by Kipling or Frost, or a song for that matter, expresses their own understanding they are free to share it.

These is not about how the Lord reaches our intellect. It is about how he reaches our hearts. I am going to begin by suggesting that the most important song to my spirituality is "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" by the Moody Blues because it expresses as much what God feels about bringing us back into communion with Him as it does about how much we long for that communion -- and His longing is really greater, "And if you wake up wondering in the darkness, I'll be there/My arms will close around you, and protect you with the truth. ... I know you're out there somewhere"

Except that what keeps God from finding us is our own willfulness. As much as we hunger for communion with god, he hungers for it even more, so much we can't imagine. Here is the one around whose throne angels praise, who submits to grow in the body of a mortal woman, and take on mortal flesh, and accept the penalty for all of our actions that separate us from him.

One thing we all agree on is that whatever rules may generally apply to this, we cannot tell God what to do. Only He sees into the hearts of men, and knows the reasons and motivations for actions, or for lack of them. In the end God decides who he accepts, and whatever we may think, we do not tell Him what to do.

To begin with, see how many things in ParkerD's post on his view of the Atonement with which Catholicism agrees. If you want to start a thread about the differences between Mormonism and Catholicism, feel free. Arguments are not the point of this thread.
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Old Mar 15, '11, 12:39 am
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

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Originally Posted by Peter John View Post
My observation in my conversion from Mormonism to Catholicism was that a few key points of doctrine differed, and these points dictated differing interpreatation of otherwise consistent basic assumptions. I found this most reinforced by how much strictly Catholic dogma is in the Book of Mormon, but within Mormonism interpreted differently from sources outside the book and the Bible. It comes out like two different sides of the same tapestry.

To begin with, see how many things in ParkerD's post on his view of the Atonement with which Catholicism agrees. If you want to start a thread about the differences between Mormonism and Catholicism, feel free. Arguments are not the point of this thread.
Peter John, I appreciate your post. It has always been my interest to find out how much we have in common with others than to find what seperates us. As was already said, when we look we can find similarities between all religions, for which I think there is a reason...all truth comes from God.

Like you I see a lot of similarities between Mormonism and Catholicism; emphasis on specific doctrines is often the same.

Regardless, thank you for being so kind. His Peace be with you alway,
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Old Mar 15, '11, 12:42 am
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurneyhalleck1 View Post
I'm not interested in arguments either. Just an observation, Peter John. Mormonism to Catholicism isn't even my baby really. I'm more interested in Anglicanism and Lutheranism in relationship to Catholicism. God bless.
Personally, I think you have a more difficult mission than I do -- but I would welcome any Anglican, Lutheran, Episcopal, or even general protestant expressions on this question. What does the atonement of Christ mean personally to each of us? Perhaps it means nothing more to some than believing in living forever, but personally I think most people believe it goes deeper than that.

My personal theology and choices in worship are based on experience. I know that I believe what I do because of the experiences I have had, and this includes spiritual as well as physiacl experience. These experiences cannot be forced. I cannot expect that anyone will believe exactly the same as myself without similar experiences.

I'm watching the news about the Japan disaster right now. While I know that Japan has very different cultural paradigms from my own, I notice that a mother reuntied with her child cries the same way there as here. Despite the diverse religious experience we all have, and the differences in the details, some things will be common, and that is what I seek with this thread. For anyone who can call themselves a Christian, there has to be a common well of living water from which to draw.

Thank you for affording me the opportunity to express this.
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  #15  
Old Mar 15, '11, 12:42 am
pinay pinay is offline
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Default Re: LDS: Dialogue-What is the Atonement of Christ, and what did it achieve?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter John View Post
A very detailed exlanation, The sentence I have quoted is the only one that -- without straining a gnats -- might bring any contention. While Catholics do believe in the War in Heaven where Satan rebelled against God, we do not beleive in the LDS details of a Council. , or that there was any other than Jehovah himself would be the redeemer. But that this role was determined before the foundation of the world, we completely agree with.

I mention this only so that we do not get caught up in arguing about it. It seems given the immensity of the other themes involved an incredibly small thing to dispute over, when there is so much in what ParkerD has written upon which we can agree.

The mention of it starting in Gethsemane is significant. Mormons actually give this higher weight than the Cross itself. That is why LDS Scholar Andrew M. Skinner's classic discourse, "Christ in Gethsemane", is one of the most useful resources for non-LDS to appreciate the LDS belief about the Atonement. "The Agony of Gethsemane" is the first of our "Sorrowful Mysteries" in the Rosary meditiation, so I find nothing contradictory to Catholicism to say the Atonement started there.

It looks like there is plenty we have to share in this discussion without arguing about.
Being a Catholic gone LDS, I really don't see the "vast differences" between Catholics and Mormons on the topic of the Atonement. That's why we, the LDS, continually say that the Book of Mormon is not a "different gospel". It is a testament of Jesus Christ and his Atoning Sacrifice.

The mention of Gethsemane is not even as significant as you imply. Mormons do not give this a "higher weight" than the cross itself. Rather, it gives it equal importance - because the Atonement is not just Jesus' death on the cross. The Atonement started in Gethsemane when Jesus accepted the sacrifice in His prayer to the Heavenly Father. Both Catholics and LDS share this belief. Catholics show this importance through the observance of Holy Thursday which is as complex as the Easter Virgil - not only remembering the Last Supper but also the events at Gethsemane.

Therefore, when LDS think Atonement - they think Gethsemane all the way to the Resurrection with emphasis on the Resurrection, because of the gospel that "He Lives!". Whereas when Catholics think Atonement - they, culturally, accept the death on the cross as the most prominent - or the climax - of the sacrifice with the Atonement often symbolized by the cross.

This is really not a doctrinal difference at all. More like a difference in culture or "practice".

Hope this is value added to the discussion.
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