Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Question

 

Gramps,

Discuss how understanding the Fall changes the way a person understands the need for Jesus Christ in His role as Savior and Redeemer?

Meliza

 

Answer

 

Meliza,

What you have touched on are The Three Pillars of Eternity which cannot be summarized easily or concisely.  But here are a few links for your private research.

The Atonement

Book of Mormon 2020 Come, Follow Me

Gospel Principles – The Atonement

The Purifying Power of Gethsemane

Since the site is about giving my own take on the subjects rather than simply giving references, I need to at least partially address your question on such a complex topic.

I would first point out that prior to the Restoration, the common doctrine of all Christianity was the belief in “Original Sin.”  This apostate belief essentially said that the fall was a major wrench in God’s works.  It was never supposed to happen. And because of that fall, all mankind are born with the taint of sin already on our souls because of the fall.

This doctrine varied greatly in the extremity of how sinful we are.  Some (like St. Augustine) went so far as to say that we no longer have free will because of the fall.  So, according to that doctrine, without the Atonement we simply don’t have the ability to choose good.

Can we really be held responsible (punished) for simply choosing the only choice before us?  If we literally have no other choice, then why are we punished for that choice?

The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches almost the opposite, or at least the converse of this doctrine.  We learn the following doctrines:

  • The Fall was not some grandiose frustration of God’s plan.  Instead, we believe it was a very important part of God’s plan to begin with.
  • It was in the garden that we had no agency.

… having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.  2 Ne 2:23

Just as I mentioned that we can’t be held responsible for a sin if that was literally the only choice we had, likewise, we can’t be blessed for good if that is the only choice we have.

  • Because of that condition the fall was NECESSARY.
  • This is how we recognize how important agency was in that plan.
  • And because of agency (which includes the agency to sin) then the Atonement is also necessary.

The meaning of the Atonement, then, is not about washing away Adam’s taint off of us, but to wash the taint of our own sins off of us.

This is such a simple concept that it seems second nature to us.  But the fact is — to back it up doctrinally — we must get away from the doctrine of original sin as was commonly understood around the time of the Restoration. Thus we understand the importance of the Fall, The Atonement, and the Resurrection in the Plan of our Heavenly Father.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

Copyright © 2020 Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit churchofjesuschrist.org or comeuntochrist.org.

Pin It on Pinterest