211 2.GOOD NEWS - CHAPTER 2: GOOD NEWS (Page numbers are...

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CHAPTER 2: GOOD NEWS (Page numbers are bolded) Chapter Two 7 GOOD NEWS 7 The answer of all the prophets and all the scriptures to the question of the Great Dilemma is a resounding "YES! Imperfect people can be reconciled to a perfect God and be allowed to dwell in his presence." And even as he answers our question, and by the very means with which he answers it, God assures us that no son or daughter has ever been loved by a mortal father more than we are loved by him. In fact the solution to the Great Dilemma, to the alienation of imperfect humans from their perfect God, is precisely what all the scriptures bear witness of in one way or another. And that solution is called the atonement of Jesus Christ. 7 Atonement means taking two things that have become separated, estranged, or incompatible, like a perfect God and an imperfect me or you, and bringing them together again, thus making the two be "at one." The word itself derives historically from two smaller words and a suffix at-one-ment (to make at one), and the Greek word for atone is often translated "to reconcile." Thus, to the two harsh realities mentioned above and recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 1:31 and Romans 3:23 , Jesus Christ adds a third reality—the Atonement, the reconciliation, the "good news" of the gospel 1 —that though separated from God, there is a way we can become one with him again. 8 I am particularly fond of the way the Lord says this in Isaiah 1:18 : "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." I would like to expand upon this scripture just a little bit to make sure that the significance of it doesn't get past us. What the Lord is saying here is this: "It doesn't matter what you did. Whatever it was, no matter how horrible or vile, is not the issue. The issue here is that whatever your sin was or is, I can erase it, I can clean you up and make you innocent, pure, and worthy, and I can do it today; I can do it now ." 8 BELIEVING CHRIST 8 Unfortunately, there are many members of the Church who simply do not believe this. Though they claim to have testimonies of Christ and of his gospel, they reject the witness of the scriptures and of the prophets about the good news of Christ's atonement. Often these people naively hold on to mutually contradictory propositions without even realizing the nature of the contradiction. For example, they may believe that the Church is true, that Jesus is the Christ, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, while at the same time refusing to accept the possibility of their own complete forgiveness and eventual exaltation in the kingdom of God. They believe in Christ, but they do not believe Christ. He says, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. I can make you pure and worthy and celestial," and they answer back, "No, you can't. The gospel only works for other people; it won't work
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2011 for the course REL C 211 taught by Professor Keithwilson during the Winter '11 term at BYU.

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211 2.GOOD NEWS - CHAPTER 2: GOOD NEWS (Page numbers are...

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