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Home Scripture Jesus A broken heart and a contrite spirit.

A broken heart and a contrite spirit.

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The doctrine of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, connected with atonement is a special doctrine of the Book of Mormon. In the Bible is spoken  regarding repentance like base to wash our sins in the blood of the Lamb, but it is in the book of Mormon that it is clearly explained the principle and the symbolism of this concept.. Not only mankind should use this but like we will see the whole creation. When Jesus was on the cross this was a  feeling that invade not only who loved Him tenderly like His mother to who is written that her heart was broken from a sword  but even the Temple  in its heart was rent.

Matthew 27:45,51

Matthew 27:45
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

Matthew 27:51
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
In the Book of Mormon this idea of the creation that was suffering the same feelings is showed in an incredible way.

Helaman 14:20-23

Helaman 14:20
20 But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead.

Helaman 14:21
21 Yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake  and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;

Helaman 14:22
22 Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.

Helaman 14:23
23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

1 nephi 19:12

1 Nephi 19:12
12 And all these things must surely come, saith the prophet Zenos. And the rocks of the earth must rend; and because of the groanings of the  earth, many of the kings of the isles of the sea shall be wrought upon by the Spirit of God, to exclaim: The God of nature suffers.

Moses 7:55-56

Moses 7:55
55 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Look, and he looked and beheld the Son of Man lifted up on the cross, after the manner of men;

Moses 7:56
56 And he heard a loud voice; and the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent; and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory;

This is the exact opposite of what happened when He was born.

Even Jesus in the last moment had a broken heart and a contrite spirit. This is required for several reasons, first of all because only who he has the  spirit of the repenter can be exalted. It was Jesus who taught that those that  lower himself will be lifted up. We have to keep in mind that the  doctrine of repentance is the natural fulfillment of the atonement. In order to be exalted in the kingdom of God, Master what   have I to do to  obtain the eternal life? Obey the commandments. The apostles observed "it is impossible" but Jesus replied" Nothing is impossible for God". We have  all the means to overcome all the challenges, we have just to follow the path and use the means. It won' t be easy but it is possible by the mercy of  God, And atonement is based on mercy not on Justice The fall is offspring of justice but mercy is the daughter of atonement, balance is balance.  Repentance is the core of  mercy. It is the only thing that makes mercy  work, and mercy makes the atonement  work, for this reason those who don't forgive can't be forgiven because He nullify the atonement and that is not allowed to a believer. If you take away  repentance the blood of  Jesus will resurrect you but it can't  save you in your sin. Further a broken heart and a contrite spirit, in a small part, are in some way sufferings that put us in the shoes of the Lord. If we analyze what happened in the Ghetsemany and on the cross, we can see that He had indeed the broken and the contrite spirit. Elder Talmage wrote:" While it is written that only He could lay down His life (John 1:4 5:26 10:15018) there was a necessity of a  direct physical cause that should bring death to His body, when He cried and after He bowed His head and "gave His spirit". When these details are  considered togheter with other details found in the scriptures, we can understand that His heart was broken physically: Great mental distress, great  emotions of pain and great spiritual fight are among the causes more frequent for the death of broken heart. The psalmist quoted 69:20

Psalms 69:20
20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked [for some] to take pity, but [there was] none; and for comforters, but I found none.

Was not He abandoned from all of his disciples? Was not He denied from Peter too? Was not judged for nothing? was not He laught at and punched? Many people maintain that His death was caused for the suffering both moral and physical. Didn't He have a   contrite spirit when He asked "Abba Father if you can remove this cup" He was supposed to drink something and endure a penalty that he never deserved. So at least for these reasons the true follower of Christ must feel these feelings to be compared, even though in small part, with who had opened the way to salvation 3 Nephi 9:20

3 Nephi 9:20
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost,

D&C 59:8
8 Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

In this regard (the sufferings of Christ) we have to consider also another important thing. God can't tolerate the sin in any way. It is interesting to note that when Jesus took the sin of the world He cried on the cross: "God, God why thou hast abandoned My?" Maybe the sins on His shoulder made the Spirit of God to be retired like consequence? Mosia 2:36

Mosiah 2:36
36 And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom's paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved--

Proverbs 15:29

Proverbs 15:29
29 ¶ The LORD [is] far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

It is true that Jesus was not guilty for this, but maybe it was  just a natural consequence of eternal laws. The divine spirit can't be togheter with sin and in that moment He had all the sins of the world on His shoulder. The burden of Jesus in that moment was so terrible because He was innocent and DIVINE,  His perfect life like God, and he was suffering something that the Spirit of God didn't want. D&A 19:15-18

D&C 19:15
15 Therefore I command you to repent--repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore--how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

D&C 19:16
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

D&C 19:17
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

D&C 19:18
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit--and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink--

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said :"Jesus knew what He was facing, but He NEVER did such experience, personally before, so His knowledge was just like that of a scientist that knows the formula but until he tests it, it is a correct formula but not tested by direct experience. Indeed even for His this experience was shocking, His fear before doing   it was something  like a presage  and His words in D&A are illuminating

Other topics related to the atonement are.

What is the resurrection?

We have seen that death is separation of the body from the spirit, then the resurrection is the reunion of the body with the spirit. We were spirit in the presence of God and when Adam was created Genesis 2:7
Genesis 2:7
7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (spirit); and man became a living soul.

Then in the beginning was body and spirit. He was immortal, He could eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and this represents the Love of God, in fact God is love.

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

When the forbidden fruit was eaten it happened to change mankind, they became carnal devilish and an enemy of God, and blood took the place of the spirit like life's agent

1 Corinthians 15:42-50

1 Corinthians 15:42
42 So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

1 Corinthians 15:43
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

1 Corinthians 15:44
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15:45
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:46
46 Howbeit that [was] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

1 Corinthians 15:47
47 The first man [is] of the earth, earthy: the second man [is] the Lord from heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:48
48 As [is] the earthy, such [are] they also that are earthy: and as [is] the heavenly, such [are] they also that are heavenly.

1 Corinthians 15:49
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

1 Corinthians 15:50
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

In conclusion

Alma 34:14
14 And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal.

Alma 34:15
15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.

The whole law was concerning this topic, Paul taught that he was preaching  of Jesus and Him being crucified. This is the core of salvation: "overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance."

Elder Bruce R. Mc Conkie taught: "As justice is the daugther of fallen, mercy is the daughter of atonement."

Atonement is a ruling power. Gospel is the plan given to mankind to be rescued. The Gospel  clearly explains that laws should be observed, but there is space for mercy when repentance is proven. Atonement represent for mankind as fall was, one man gave death to mankind, another one gave life, that is perfectly fair. In this life we are subject to justice, by laws but we know by the Gospel that mercy is  a gospel teaching when associated with repentance. Atonement is the ultimate power to purify, is the way in which mankind can have the mercy that fall didn't have, fall was just justice, and was for that reason that God introduce  it.

2 Nephi 2:21
21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.

The only way to fix the broken law was. :'For he gave commandment that all men must repent;" to show that mankind could rescue themselves by the atonement and   repentance.

Atonement is the mantel of charity mentioned by Joseph Smith, for this reason   hewho will not forgive his fellow man can't be forgiven, He can't be gain the power of Jesus (atonement) and become himself a judge, the Judge should be perfect and the sinner it was just forgiven, so he had to learn this principle and apply to other Jesus taught this principle many times in the scriptures ( the king and his servants and the publican and the believer), forgiveness, connected with repentance is another important thing

2 Nephi 2:5
5 And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.

2 Nephi 2:6
6 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.

2 Nephi 2:7
7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

2 Nephi 2:8
8 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.

Atonement is the core of the revealed religion because it is the only means by which everything else will work itself out. Atonement is so incredible for our minds that we could continue to think about it, and write about it and never be able to comprehend totally. We could say:

3 Nephi 19:32
32 And tongue cannot speak the words which he prayed, neither can be written by man the words which he prayed.

Symbolically speaking I like this. The great salt lake in Utah and the Dead Sea in Palestine represent the fallen, the Jordan river (where Christ was baptized)  join these two lakes to a sweet water lake. It shows us symbolically that by the atonement (baptism) we could purify the salt water and convert it in sweet water. In the salt lake and dead sea there is not life. It is interesting to note that the dead sea and the salt lake receive the water but never give it back, and for that reason they are polluted, while the lakes of sweet water receive and give it back and this expresses the concept of sharing, which is a pivotal point of the Gospel. A nice story explains better this concept. A person was invited to visit the hell and he was surprised to see that the tables of hell were well prepared for a great banquet. He was wondering why they had such a great blessing and finally when the people came to eat they received  very long cutlery  and they should use  to eat, and they should be taken in hand from the end. The problem was insolvable they couldn't eat anything. After this, this person had the opportunity to visit the Kingdom of God, and he was more surprised because he found the same scenario, so he was awaiting for the lunch thinking: what is going on here?" When the people came in a  he was so satisfied to see that the people who lived the Gospel during their life had found the solution, instead to be selfish they were giving the food to the person next to them and viceversa. The stupidity  in   hell is, what seemed to be a curse, was the best expression of the Gospel in heaven "Love one another". Practically all the people in hell were damned by   their stupidity by just a bad habit egotism the same problem that Satan had.

to start the whole thing from the very beginning "The atonement of Jesus."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 October 2010 11:57  

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