Sunday, August 12, 2012

Justice and Mercy - the Great Plan of Redemption

I was studying the Gospel Doctrine Lesson (Lesson 30) for today and had several lights come on in my mind. DeAnne and I had just been in the Temple on Thursday and heard someone say, “If you punish me for doing the same thing that has been done” by someone else. I will cause all sorts of problems!

It reminded me how brazen and sly Satan is. He is always telling half truths. He makes that statement as though other people haven’t been punished by God for doing the same thing that he is doing. This is a one of Satan’s lies or if you prefer half truths.

Of course God recognizes his twisting of the truth right away. I suppose Father has become accustomed to Satan’s temper tantrums. I can imagine Him thinking, “Do you really think I’m going to fall for that?” God doesn’t give him any further chances to insult Godly intelligence. God doesn’t argue with those kinds of people. God simply tells Satan to leave, “Depart”. Satan knows he has been found out and foiled again.

I know God is a just God. He judges everyone the same way and the law of justice falls on everyone with exactness. His justice is precisely the same for everyone committing the same crime. If He didn’t judge with exactness, He would cease to be God. All of God’s children would lose faith in God if he gave a different punishment for those “doing the same thing”. We could no longer trust God and have unwavering faith in Him, and he would cease to be God. God is bound by eternal laws too.

Alma 42: 18 - Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of aconscience unto man.
13 Therefore, according to justice, the aplan of bredemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would ccease to be God.
22 - But there is a law given, and a apunishment affixed, and a brepentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the claw, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.
25 What, do ye suppose that amercy can rob bjustice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.

So here are a couple of things I learned:
1. Heavenly Father loves us so much He created a plan for our happiness and joy. He wants us to return to live with him. But he can’t play favorites with any of his children. Father has to come up with a plan to justly deal out punishment for sin. He came up with His plan to save us all. He can’t do it without help. He ordains his only begotten son, Jesus Christ to come to earth to help save the rest of us. Why can’t my Heavenly Father save me? Doesn’t he love me as much as my Eldest Brother Jesus Christ? Yes, He does! But there is that law of justice and punishment that he can’t break or He would cease to be God.

2. Jesus comes to earth, part mortal part God. He is a God, an Eternal God, the only one that can suffer an eternal pain, derogation, sorrow, misery and eternal atonement. Christ pays the price! The price for what? The price of all of our sins and sorrows. Because of the great injustice that Christ suffered while he was on this earth, mercy can now be given out from Heavenly Father. Christ and Heavenly Father are united as one in the plan of redemption. We need both of them. They are a team. They are one. Like Elder Holland said in one of his conference talks, “I can’t imagine Heavenly Father taking more joy in anything more than being able to show mercy.

3. I know the sons of perdition have received the eternal laws of God. They understand them. They have had the Holy Ghost and the spirit bear witness to them. They have used their agency. It has never been taken from them.

4. I now most of God’s children have received the eternal laws of God. They understand them. Many of them have had the Holy Ghost and the spirit bear witness to them. They have used their agency. It has never been taken from them. But they will not be sons of perdition. Why not? Because they have used their agency and choose to repent. They have asked for forgiveness and begged for mercy.

5. The only difference between the sons of perdition and the Sons and daughters of God is that they have used their agency differently and accepted Christ as their redeemer, repented and asked for forgiveness.

One last thing I noticed as I studied Alma 42. Justice and Mercy have gender given to them!

Alma 42:24 - For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also amercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.

What does that bring to your mind? Ponder about that for a little bit. I would appreciate anyone’s insight here. Here are a few things that DeAnne and I talked about:

1. Men are more inclined to demand justice. Women lean more towards mercy.
2. In order to have a perfect plan of redemption, plan of happiness, plan of salvation we need both justice and mercy. We need both “His” and “Her.”
3. In order to have a perfect “Eternal Marriage”, we need a man and a woman.
4. Justice and Mercy are eternally sealed together. We could compare that to marriage.
5. Justice cannot rob Mercy. (A man cannot create a family without his companion, mercy.)
6. Mercy cannot rob Justice. (A woman cannot create a family without he companion, justice.)
7. If we have both Justice and Mercy. Both of them are satisfied and God continues to be God.
8. None but the truly penitent are saved.
9. Are there other things that come to your mind?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Condo Trip May, 2012

Wish you were all here with us! Here is some of what we have seen in Yellowstone so far. . . Day one. . . Day two. . . Do you see the two bear cubs in the big tree? Day three. . . And, of course in Island Park. . .