strtoupper('“I')f There Should Be No Atonement Made”

Without the grace and mercy of the infinite atonement, all mankind would be lost—all would have been doomed to suffer with the devil and his angels, our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery (2Ne 9:9).

Because of this infinite atonement, almost all the wicked will eventually be redeemed from hell. To be resurrected with a telestial body constitutes redemption from hell. A soul redeemed from hell has, in this sense, been saved. It is the sons of Perdition which, although they will be resurrected, will not be resurrected with any glory whatsoever. Of these the scriptures say, the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power; Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord after the sufferings of his wrath. For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb (DC 76:37-39). This scripture does not mean that the sons of Perdition will not be resurrected, only that they will not be redeemed (inherit a kingdom of glory). They are the only ones who are truly and completely "lost." Were it not for the atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind would be forced to suffer the same fate, only without the benefit of the resurrection.

Show Me a Sign

Ironically, those who seek for a sign are actually giving a sign. They are showing the world that they are evil and adulterous. This can be proven with the words of the Savior and Joseph Smith.

"Jesus taught that it is an 'evil and adulterous generation that seeketh after a sign' (Matthew 12:39). Joseph Smith added that this principle 'is eternal, undeviating, and firm as the pillars of heaven; for whenever you see a man seeking after a sign, you may set it down that he is an adulterous man' (TPJS 157; compare 278).
"Why is this so? How does a disposition to seek after signs relate to seeking after carnal pleasures? Simply stated, those who have given themselves up to their lusts, who desire that which will satiate the flesh, who have exhausted their passions in their search for the sensual-also seek for physical manifestations of spiritual sensations. They demand proof! Unable to recognize and acknowledge eternal certainties, they insist that the truths associated with the area with which they are least familiar -- the spiritual -- be manifest and translated into that realm they have come to know more surely than any other--the fanciful and the physical. The adulterous are those who worship at the altar of appetite, whose thresholds for gratification are ever rising, and who thereby demand something extraordinary to establish the truthfulness of a claim. Ironically, this claim may only be verified by the quiet and unobtrusive whisperings of the Spirit. Spiritual blindness and the spirit of adultery are thus common companions. Of this fascinating but pathetic phenomenon, Elder Neal A. Maxwell has written:
"First of all, the people of the world cannot presume to command God to provide them with signs. A person can neither be a disciple and command the Master nor can he require 'perpetual renewal of absolute proof.' Some behave, however, as if they would set forth the conditions under which they will believe--complete with specifications; they then invite God to 'bid' on their specifications! ... Sign seekers, like adulterers, often do have a clear preference for repeated sensation. Those who do not understand why adultery is intrinsically wrong will also fail to understand why faith is a justified requirement laid upon us by God. We are to walk by faith and to overcome by faith (see D&C 76:53).... By contrast, the faithful, who are intellectually honest but are confronted with new and present challenges, sing of the Lord, 'We've proved Him in days that are past.' . . . Those who are adulterous have also a strong preference for 'now' rather than for eternity. Impatience and incontinence quite naturally, team up.
"Such erring individuals or generations also have a strong preference for meeting the needs of 'me' over attending to others, a lifestyle which speeds selfishness on its endless, empty journey.
"By making demands of God, the proud would attach conditions to their discipleship. But discipleship requires of us unconditional surrender to the Lord. Hence the proud neither understand nor really love God. Therefore they violate the first commandment by seeing God as a sign provider upon request; as a function, not a tutoring Father (58-59).
"Sign seekers have one thing going for them when it comes to convincing an audience-the servants of the Lord will not stoop to cheap theatrics to win the hearts of observers. In fact, 'faith cometh not by signs but signs follow those that believe. Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God' (D&C 63:9-10)." (Robert L. Millett, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 181-2)
Bryan Richards -

Bryan Richards