Preparing for Exaltation Lesson 4: The Atonement of Jesus Christ

Testing the words of LDS leaders with Biblical Truth:

January 2012

Preparing for Exaltation Teacher’s Manual

* How is Jesus different than us? (page 18):

• How was Jesus’ existence on earth different from everyone else’s? Why are these differences important? Answers may vary, but bring out that Jesus was the Only Begotten Son of Heavenly Father (Heavenly Father was the father of Jesus’ physical body as well as his spirit) and that he was the only person to lead a sinless life on earth. Explain that these two qualities—his Godhood and his sinlessness—were necessary to enable Christ to atone for our sins and be our Savior.

Test these LDS Words with Biblical Truth:

The true difference between us and Jesus is lost on Mormons. The reason this happens is because of the false LDS belief that everyone existed as Spirit Children in a Preexistence (Jesus included).

The truth is that before God created the world, the only thing in existence was God Himself: the Father, Son and Spirit. God has existed for all time, with no beginning and no end. The Prophet Isaiah testifies of this truth:

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” Isaiah 43:10-11

“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6

Jesus, who has always been God, took upon Himself human flesh to save humans. He lowered Himself and become a man to save sinful man:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-2, 14

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man… 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” Heb 2:5-18

If you would like to learn about the God of love, go to this blog Post: “Do You Find it Difficult to Forgive Others?” written January 29, 2010; or, Click here: https://latterdaysaintwoman.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/ _____________________________________________________________________________

* Definition of Atonement (pages 18-19):

• What does the word atone mean? (As used in the scriptures, to atone is to “correct or overcome the consequences of sin” and make “at one” people who have been separated [see “Atonement,” Bible Dictionary, 617].) How does Jesus Christ’s Atonement help us become “at one” with Heavenly Father?
…Explain that eternal law, or justice, requires that whoever violates a law must be punished. Through his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and his death on the cross, Jesus Christ took upon himself the punishment for the sins of everyone who ever lived on the earth. Because of this Atonement, we can repent of our sins, be freed from guilt, and be worthy to dwell with Heavenly Father again.

Test these LDS Words with Biblical Truth:

If the word “atone” really does mean to “correct or overcome the consequences of sin” then why doesn’t the LDS Church believe it? Has Christ’s Atonement overcome the consequences of sin, or not? Did Christ actually accomplish His mission to Atone for the sins of the world, or not? Did Jesus accomplish His mission and return to His Father with honour?

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes! Every single sin you will ever commit was paid for at the cross, when Christ died. Jesus paid for every sin with His life’s blood, as the perfect sacrifice. Justice has been paid and mercy reigns! You have been made worthy to dwell in Heavenly Father’s presence. Believe and receive it! Only those who don’t believe in Christ, reject what was done for them.

The Apostle Paul testified to the Corinthians:

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5).

In these words we see the fact that reconciliation is an accomplished fact through Christ’s Atonement!

To read more about what Christ accomplished through His Atonement, go to this blog Post: “Through Christ’s Atonement You Have Been Reconciled To God!” written on April 17, 2009; or, Click here:
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* Christ’s role, his purpose and mission in the LDS Church was to pay for humanities debt of sin. Once He did so, He demanded to be repaid for His efforts. Basically, the Christ of Mormonism merely refinanced your debt of sin. Here we see His role as our Creditor: (pages 18-22):

“Let me tell you a story—a parable. “There once was a man who wanted something very much. It seemed more important than anything else in his life. In order for him to have his desire, he incurred a great debt. “He had been warned about going into that much debt, and particularly about his creditor. But it seemed so important for him to do what he wanted to do and to have what he wanted right now. He was sure he could pay for it later. “So he signed a contract. He would pay it off some time along the way. He didn’t worry too much about it, for the due date seemed such a long time away. He had what he wanted now, and that was what seemed important. “The creditor was always somewhere in the back of his mind, and he made token payments now and again, thinking somehow that the day of reckoning really would never come. “But as it always does, the day came, and the contract fell due. The debt had not been fully paid. His creditor appeared and demanded payment in full. Only then did he realize that his creditor not only had the power to repossess all that he owned, but the power to cast him into prison as well. “ ‘I cannot pay you, for I have not the power to do so,’ he confessed. “ ‘Then,’ said the creditor, ‘we will exercise the contract, take your possessions, and you shall go to prison. You agreed to that. It was your choice. You signed the contract, and now it must be enforced.’ “ ‘Can you not extend the time or forgive the debt?’ the debtor begged. ‘Arrange some way for me to keep what I have and not go to prison. Surely you believe in mercy? Will you not show mercy?’ “The creditor replied, ‘Mercy is always so one-sided. It would serve only you. If I show mercy to you, it will leave me unpaid. It is justice I demand. Do you believe in justice?’ “ ‘I believed in justice when I signed the contract,’ the debtor said. ‘It was on my side then, for I thought it would protect me. I did not need mercy then, nor think I should need it ever. Justice, I thought, would serve both of us equally as well.’ “ ‘It is justice that demands that you pay the contract or suffer the penalty,’ the creditor replied. ‘That is the law. You have agreed to it and that is the way it must be. Mercy cannot rob justice.’
“There they were: One meting out justice, the other pleading for mercy. Neither could prevail except at the expense of the other. “ ‘If you do not forgive the debt there will be no mercy,’ the debtor pleaded. “ ‘If I do, there will be no justice,’ was the reply. “Both laws, it seemed, could not be served. They are two eternal ideals that appear to contradict one another. Is there no way for justice to be fully served, and mercy also? “There is a way! The law of justice can be fully satisfied and mercy can be fully extended—but it takes someone else. And so it happened this time. “The debtor had a friend. He came to help. He knew the debtor well. He knew him to be shortsighted. He thought him foolish to have gotten himself into such a predicament. Nevertheless, he wanted to help because he loved him. He stepped between them, faced the creditor, and made this offer.
“ ‘I will pay the debt if you will free the debtor from his contract so that he may keep his possessions and not go to prison.’ “As the creditor was pondering the offer, the mediator added, ‘You demanded justice. Though he cannot pay you, I will do so. You will have been justly dealt with and can ask no more. It would not be just.’ “And so the creditor agreed.
“The mediator turned then to the debtor. ‘If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor?’ “ ‘Oh yes, yes,’ cried the debtor. ‘You save me from prison and show mercy to me.’ “ ‘Then,’ said the benefactor, ‘you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go to prison.’ “And so it was that the creditor was paid in full. He had been justly dealt with. No contract had been broken. “The debtor, in turn, had been extended mercy. Both laws stood fulfilled. Because there was a mediator, justice had claimed its full share, and mercy was fully satisfied” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1977, 79–80; or Ensign, May 1977, 54–55).

(Taken from page 19, explaining this LDS parable):
Show the video segment “The Mediator.” If the videocassette is not available, read or tell the story in the fourth enrichment activity. Before you start the video or tell the story, you may need to explain that a debtor is someone who borrows or owes money, and a creditor is someone who lends money. After you have shown the video or shared the story, explain that this story is a parable symbolizing our relationship with our Savior.
• Who does the debtor represent? (Each of us.)
• What does the creditor represent? (The laws of justice.)
• Who does the debtor’s friend represent? (Jesus Christ.)
Explain that when we agreed to come to earth and receive bodies, we knew that we would sometimes make wrong decisions. Our sins are like the debt of the man in the story. The laws of justice demand that our sins be paid for if we are to return to live with Heavenly Father again. Because Jesus was sinless and the Only Begotten Son of Heavenly Father, he was the only one who could atone for our sins and satisfy justice.
• In the story, the mediator (the debtor’s friend) said he would become the debtor’s new creditor. The debt would be repaid on his terms. What terms has Christ set for us? In other words, what must we do to receive all the blessings of Christ’s Atonement? To help class members find the answer, have three class members each read aloud one of the following scriptures: John 3:16, 2 Nephi 9:21–22, and Doctrine and Covenants 19:16. Explain that because of Christ’s Atonement for us, we are unconditionally saved from physical death. Everyone will be resurrected. But in order to be saved from spiritual death and be with Heavenly Father again, we must believe in Christ, follow and obey him, and repent of our sins.
• What will happen to us if we do not repent of our sins? (See D&C 19:17–18; we will have to suffer for our own sins.)
• What would have happened to the debtor in the story if his friend had not offered to help him? (He would have gone to prison and had all his possessions taken away.) What would happen to us if Jesus Christ had not atoned for us? (See 2 Nephi 9:7–9; we would not be resurrected, and our sins in this life would keep us out of the presence of Heavenly Father forever.)

Test these LDS Words with Biblical Truth:

This LDS parable is fundamental to understanding LDS teachings. This parable shows just what the LDS Christ did for you. He paid your debt to sin (which you could not pay). In doing so, Jesus merely “refinanced” your debt to sin. Now, Heavenly Father is no longer your Creditor, Jesus is. You now owe your debt to Jesus and you must pay Him back. You do that through your works and by keeping God’s commandments.

To read the true mission of the Christ, go to this blog Post, “Is Jesus your “Creditor” or your Savior?” written January 6th, 2009; or, Click here:

Link to LDS Lesson: https://www.lds.org/manual/preparing-for-exaltation-teachers-manual/lesson-4-the-atonement-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng

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