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Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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Was Bro. Skousen officially or unofficially reprimanded for portions of this talk about "little intelligences"?
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Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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Reprimanded? Not that I know of, and he continued to talk about it and promote those ideas until the end of his life. He said that Elder John A. Widtsoe taught him most of it.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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When I was first given that talk in the 90s, I was told to enjoy it, but know that he was reprimanded for its contents that say "little intelligences" are the governing force, not God.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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1. The suggestion that God had to satisfy the intelligences is not correct.

Bro. Skousen seems to be saying that the Atonement works by getting the intelligences in matter to overlook justice because of their feelings of compassion for Christ. And because of what Christ went through, whatever Christ says and whomever Christ says should be saved will be saved. Bro. Skousen seems to be saying when Christ advocates for us a the final judgement He will be speaking to the intelligences of the Universe. And, Skousen says that if God saved a single soul without first satisfying the sense of justice in every intelligence, that God would loose His honor and cease to be God.

This is not a correct description of how the Atonement works. There are some interesting points in here about intelligence and matter and Quantum Physics with regard to obedience which I like. But applying this to the Atonement is not correct.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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That was the issue, I do not have a source, I was trying to verify something I was told back before the internet. Like davedan said, the talk can be construed in different ways, some that would appear to preach in contradiction to revealed doctrine.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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davedan wrote:1. The suggestion that God had to satisfy the intelligences is not correct.

This is not a correct description of how the Atonement works. There are some interesting points in here about intelligence and matter and Quantum Physics with regard to obedience which I like. But applying this to the Atonement is not correct.


+1
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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I have yet to hear a better explanation of how the Atonement DOES work.

Why does the willing sacrifice of one single perfect being meet the demands of justice against the sins of billions of imperfect beings? How does that satisfy justice?

Of course, somehow it does...but it must be in accordance with some eternal law, it doesn't just work "because God says so".

So my question is...if not as explained by Skousen...give me a nuts and bolts answer that shows how a single perfect being can atone for the sins of all?

Yes He took upon Himself all the sins in Gethsemane, and yet that didn't complete it or the crucifixion would not have been necessary...the suffering in Gethsemane would have satisfied justice, the price was paid - yet it is clear that is not the case, Gethsemane was only part of the equation, Golgotha was also necessary.

I'm sorry if I am coming of as a novice who hasn;t studied - I have - but I wonder why Skousen's explanation is so wrong, and if it is wrong, what do you replace it with?
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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Original Intent

I have yet to hear a better explanation of how the Atonement DOES work.

Why does the willing sacrifice of one single perfect being meet the demands of justice against the sins of billions of imperfect beings? How does that satisfy justice?

Of course, somehow it does...but it must be in accordance with some eternal law, it doesn't just work "because God says so".

So my question is...if not as explained by Skousen...give me a nuts and bolts answer that shows how a single perfect being can atone for the sins of all?

Yes He took upon Himself all the sins in Gethsemane, and yet that didn't complete it or the crucifixion would not have been necessary...the suffering in Gethsemane would have satisfied justice, the price was paid - yet it is clear that is not the case, Gethsemane was only part of the equation, Golgotha was also necessary.

I'm sorry if I am coming of as a novice who hasn;t studied - I have - but I wonder why Skousen's explanation is so wrong, and if it is wrong, what do you replace it with?


I agree 100%.

His talk is in the appendix of the "First Two Thousand Years" and has not been changed or edited since the first printing. I believe if Bro. Skousen was told it wasn’t correct doctrine by a GA he would have changed it. It was Elder John A. Widtsoe who taught him this principle. How can it be false?

I think it is just one of those many LDS myths/rumors we see from time to time.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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davedan wrote:1. The suggestion that God had to satisfy the intelligences is not correct.

Bro. Skousen seems to be saying that the Atonement works by getting the intelligences in matter to overlook justice because of their feelings of compassion for Christ. And because of what Christ went through, whatever Christ says and whomever Christ says should be saved will be saved. Bro. Skousen seems to be saying when Christ advocates for us a the final judgement He will be speaking to the intelligences of the Universe. And, Skousen says that if God saved a single soul without first satisfying the sense of justice in every intelligence, that God would loose His honor and cease to be God.

This is not a correct description of how the Atonement works. There are some interesting points in here about intelligence and matter and Quantum Physics with regard to obedience which I like. But applying this to the Atonement is not correct.

Care to actually explain specifically why you feel this is not the correct explanation for the Atonement? I love that talk by Skousen, but still exploring some of the details and would like to get your reasoning on this.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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In looking for any reprimand, if it existed, was to see if it was for being doctrinally inaccurate, or for throwing pearls before swine.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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His teachings on the Atonement are just an expansion of the doctrine taught in Alma 34. Cleon understood and taught true doctrine.

The exact opposite of what Speedracer is saying is true. The First Pres assigned Cleon to do church broadcasts and teach doctrine because they had total trust in his doctrinal understanding.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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davedan wrote:1. The suggestion that God had to satisfy the intelligences is not correct.

Bro. Skousen seems to be saying that the Atonement works by getting the intelligences in matter to overlook justice because of their feelings of compassion for Christ. And because of what Christ went through, whatever Christ says and whomever Christ says should be saved will be saved. Bro. Skousen seems to be saying when Christ advocates for us a the final judgement He will be speaking to the intelligences of the Universe. And, Skousen says that if God saved a single soul without first satisfying the sense of justice in every intelligence, that God would loose His honor and cease to be God.

This is not a correct description of how the Atonement works. There are some interesting points in here about intelligence and matter and Quantum Physics with regard to obedience which I like. But applying this to the Atonement is not correct.


What a shame that you have no understanding of either the Book of Mormon teachings on the atonement or Cleon's expounding of them
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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I have yet to read anything from anyone of church authority that supports Brother Skousen's theory. If anyone has any hard quotes, not hear-say and conjecture, I'd like to read them.

Supposedly what John A Widstoe taught Bro. Skousen?
John A Widstoe wrote on page 38 of his "Rational Theology as Taught by the Church of Jesus Crist of Latter-Day Saints":
"The creation of the earth, the details of which are not known, must have been marvelously and intensely appealing in its interest to the intelligent beings who, because of their exalted knowledge, had the necessary power over the elements and forces of the universe to accomplish the forming of the earth."

There's words directly from Bro. Widstoe stating that power over the elements comes from exalted knowledge.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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LukeAir2008 wrote:
davedan wrote:1. The suggestion that God had to satisfy the intelligences is not correct.

Bro. Skousen seems to be saying that the Atonement works by getting the intelligences in matter to overlook justice because of their feelings of compassion for Christ. And because of what Christ went through, whatever Christ says and whomever Christ says should be saved will be saved. Bro. Skousen seems to be saying when Christ advocates for us a the final judgement He will be speaking to the intelligences of the Universe. And, Skousen says that if God saved a single soul without first satisfying the sense of justice in every intelligence, that God would loose His honor and cease to be God.

This is not a correct description of how the Atonement works. There are some interesting points in here about intelligence and matter and Quantum Physics with regard to obedience which I like. But applying this to the Atonement is not correct.


What a shame that you have no understanding of either the Book of Mormon teachings on the atonement or Cleon's expounding of them




AirLuke,

FYI, The first statement I made, is me telling you exactly what my GA father-in-law told me is what the Apostles have said about this talk. The other part of my post is commentary.

It is incorrect to think that God has to satisfy intelligences, or has to satisfy Justice like Justice is some monster. The Book of Mormon talking about "God ceasing to be God" is their way to say that whatever they are talking about is an impossibility. The Book of Mormon is NOT saying God has some sort of requirements or conditions hanging over His head like the mythic Sword of Damocles.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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God's Justice is God doing exactly as He has said. "If you sin, you will die, and be cut off from the presence of God"
God's Mercy is God doing exactly as He has said. "if you accept Christ, repent and cease to sin you will be forgiving"
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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LukeAir2008 wrote:His teachings on the Atonement are just an expansion of the doctrine taught in Alma 34. Cleon understood and taught true doctrine.

The exact opposite of what Speedracer is saying is true. The First Pres assigned Cleon to do church broadcasts and teach doctrine because they had total trust in his doctrinal understanding.


I cannot trust your posts anymore because you cannot understand mine. Did you even read more than the first word of what I said, or just go on attack.

SpeedRacer: "Does a reprimand exist?"
Lukeair: "The exact opposite of what Speedracer is saying is true"

Observer: "Speedracer did not say anything. He asked a question. Does Lukeair understand sentance structure or make-up of a statement vs. a question? It does not appear so. In fact he brings the spirit of contention."

If you want to state that the talk he gave, specifically "the meaning of the atonement" was sanctioned by the brethren, then do so, and back it up. That is all I am aksing for. I enjoy the talk, I have pondered it. Like I said, when I got the talk as a missionary, I was given a verbal warning by more than one of the other elders that the talk was amid controversy, and to take it with a grain of salt. Now that we have the internet, I was attempting to do something like snopes.com and verify the warning. If it was third hand hersay, that is great, if it was true that is fine too. Either way, like many others, a nod in the affirmative or negative from a seated authority from the time of its delivery, or today would be awesome. If it does not exist, then I will continue on under the warning I was given, and continue to follow the spirit.
Faith, then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things; ... Without it there is no power...
(Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, Lecture First 24)
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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i have always have been of the belief that the earth and the elements therein, have always had some sort of built-in sense of justice.

i say this because of wicked cities that have been fully destroyed by nature. i think it is possible that for the cities of soddom that the lord didnt say, 'OK I am going to destroy these cities..' i think the earth has a builtin 'cleanse' mechanism that is triggered if an area has an abundance of wickedness.. and that the earth, still bound by justice, wouldnt cleanse an area if some righteous remained..
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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SpeedRacer wrote:
LukeAir2008 wrote:His teachings on the Atonement are just an expansion of the doctrine taught in Alma 34. Cleon understood and taught true doctrine.

The exact opposite of what Speedracer is saying is true. The First Pres assigned Cleon to do church broadcasts and teach doctrine because they had total trust in his doctrinal understanding.


I cannot trust your posts anymore because you cannot understand mine. Did you even read more than the first word of what I said, or just go on attack.

SpeedRacer: "Does a reprimand exist?"
Lukeair: "The exact opposite of what Speedracer is saying is true"

Observer: "Speedracer did not say anything. He asked a question. Does Lukeair understand sentance structure or make-up of a statement vs. a question? It does not appear so. In fact he brings the spirit of contention."

If you want to state that the talk he gave, specifically "the meaning of the atonement" was sanctioned by the brethren, then do so, and back it up. That is all I am aksing for. I enjoy the talk, I have pondered it. Like I said, when I got the talk as a missionary, I was given a verbal warning by more than one of the other elders that the talk was amid controversy, and to take it with a grain of salt. Now that we have the internet, I was attempting to do something like snopes.com and verify the warning. If it was third hand hersay, that is great, if it was true that is fine too. Either way, like many others, a nod in the affirmative or negative from a seated authority from the time of its delivery, or today would be awesome. If it does not exist, then I will continue on under the warning I was given, and continue to follow the spirit.


Speedracer, you make an unfounded claim about Cleon Skousen but don't like anyone refuting your nonsense. You remind me of a child. If anyone questions you or tells you that you are incorrect you cry contention.

I could say " I heard that Speedracer is a notorious thread hijacker, can anyone confirm that it is true?" Its called muckraking or stirring.

Do you know the difference between documented evidence and speculative rumor.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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As far as I know, Cleon Skousen was not Skousen officially or unofficially reprimanded for "Meaning of the Atonement". I read a quote that said that up to the time of his death, Cleon Skousen was proud that this talk had been distributed among the church and was translated in many languages (quoted in forward/front matter to "Cleansing of America")

However, officially, the GA's I have spoken with, have said the part about "satisfying the intelligences" is not correct.
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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davedan wrote:As far as I know, Cleon Skousen was not Skousen officially or unofficially reprimanded for "Meaning of the Atonement". I read a quote that said that up to the time of his death, Cleon Skousen was proud that this talk had been distributed among the church and was translated in many languages (quoted in forward/front matter to "Cleansing of America")

However, officially, the GA's I have spoken with, have said the part about "satisfying the intelligences" is not correct.


One has to ask oneself if the GAs that you have spoken with simply disagreed with it or were speaking "with authority". If they were speaking with authority, and there was something circulating from someone who ahd been authorized by the prophet at the time to write the things he did - it seems they should not be stating this among family members, it should be clearly stated that the teaching was not correct, and if possible the correct teaching given. So we are left with either they were expressing personal disagreement OR it was incorrect but for all intents and purposes it was a harmless error and we would have plenty of time in the eternities to get the right information. If it is a serious error then would you not agree it is their responsibility to correct it?
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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LukeAir2008 wrote:
SpeedRacer wrote:
LukeAir2008 wrote:His teachings on the Atonement are just an expansion of the doctrine taught in Alma 34. Cleon understood and taught true doctrine.

The exact opposite of what Speedracer is saying is true. The First Pres assigned Cleon to do church broadcasts and teach doctrine because they had total trust in his doctrinal understanding.


I cannot trust your posts anymore because you cannot understand mine. Did you even read more than the first word of what I said, or just go on attack.

SpeedRacer: "Does a reprimand exist?"
Lukeair: "The exact opposite of what Speedracer is saying is true"

Observer: "Speedracer did not say anything. He asked a question. Does Lukeair understand sentance structure or make-up of a statement vs. a question? It does not appear so. In fact he brings the spirit of contention."

If you want to state that the talk he gave, specifically "the meaning of the atonement" was sanctioned by the brethren, then do so, and back it up. That is all I am aksing for. I enjoy the talk, I have pondered it. Like I said, when I got the talk as a missionary, I was given a verbal warning by more than one of the other elders that the talk was amid controversy, and to take it with a grain of salt. Now that we have the internet, I was attempting to do something like snopes.com and verify the warning. If it was third hand hersay, that is great, if it was true that is fine too. Either way, like many others, a nod in the affirmative or negative from a seated authority from the time of its delivery, or today would be awesome. If it does not exist, then I will continue on under the warning I was given, and continue to follow the spirit.


Speedracer, you make an unfounded claim about Cleon Skousen but don't like anyone refuting your nonsense. You remind me of a child. If anyone questions you or tells you that you are incorrect you cry contention.

I could say " I heard that Speedracer is a notorious thread hijacker, can anyone confirm that it is true?" Its called muckraking or stirring.

Do you know the difference between documented evidence and speculative rumor.


SpeedRacer wrote:When I was first given that talk in the 90s, I was told to enjoy it, but know that he was reprimanded for its contents that say "little intelligences" are the governing force, not God.


Clearly I do. Clearly I was trying to either substantiate the speculative rumor in this instance, or debunk it. You on the other hand are so prone to go on attack that you cannot see such thing. Just to reiterate your extreme inability to read and write in English, when you use the word "do" at the beginning of a question, you use a question mark at the end, not a period.

After reading the productive replies on this board, I am inclined to believe that there was no formal reprimand. There might have been an informal one, but nothing that would lead me to believe that the tenants of the talk are promoting concepts in contention with revealed doctrine. This gives me great joy, and may continue to enjoy the talk, but on a more sure footing that I am not out in the weeds with it.
Faith, then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things; ... Without it there is no power...
(Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, Lecture First 24)
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Re: Cleon Skousen, the Meaning of the Atonement

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Forgive me if my response is limited, I am currently stuck to a mobile cell device which inhibits the speed at which I can make my full comment. That being said. I would like to make it condensed for the sake of my sanity on this rather small screen.

1. First off to clarify to all - being a third party and reading through all of these replys to one another, I would like to say all of you made points I can understand and can agree with.

2. Second, to answer the initial question: no I have never heard of Gospel Scholar Cleon W. Skousen being reprimanded or corrected officially or unofficial on any documented articles. That being said if that was how a individual was presented in a court room, the resolve would be innocent until proven guilty. Not guilty until proven innocent.

3. I have to say I can understand the opinion that some may have that God does not need to prove himself to the intellegences of the universe. - The is understandable especially in a community where we view God as being at the top ! Standing at the pinnacle of what we want to attain. I can understand a frustration from Latter Day Saints of that era to find themselves emotionally unsettled by the teachings of Skousen.

4. This is what I do know - that every man - even priesthood men like general authority's have the ability to make mistakes within the realm that the Lord allows them. Some examples of corrected Brethren both General Authorities and others have been chastised for many various reasons. Elder McConkie was told to edit in his book Mormon Doctrine where he openly initially referred specifically to the Catholic Church as the great and abominable church foretold in revelations and referred to in the book of mormon. The current understanding held of that declaration is that any religion who teaches contrary or strays others away from the True Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it is part of the "collective" great and abominable church. There have been other times that revisions on other teachings have been done to further clarify what were not 100% correct.

5. ^ Speaking of what it means to be 100% correct, I am under the impression that all men, including the prophet have room for error, that is part of the human existence. We are here to learn to become perfect like God. - which none of us currently are. That being said, we have the best clarity when receiving information from the Prophet himself, however the twelve are also seers and revelators.

6. What I do know about Cleon W. Skousen is that his mission president helped council him through many years even long after his mission. This is the President Widstoe whom they have referred to. His teachings do not contradict anything which Skousen spoke of and both were in contact often as Skousen was compiling the information in his book The First 2000 Years. Skousen also used this analogy of God having power over the elements - they obeyed him as he spoke. "Water, I need wine, and the elements within the glass and outside of the glass rearranged in a manner that wine became the new substance contained in the cup." - If ye had the faith as the grain of a mustard seed, you could say to the mountain, remove and it would hence remove. - Joseph Smith taught the true original text of the bible did not infer to create as the English word denotes. In the King Follett Discourse he spoke of the Hebrew word Baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing, it means to organize materials, and build the earth, and man would organize materials to build a ship. This was not something the scholar Skousen forgot about. He further commented on the intellegences contained in that material, and said that without His position as God - or without the Honor that being God provides him, that the elements would cease to obey him. Similarly we create a combustion engine through applying force, he simply spoke to the cells of the blind man and said "in your places please" and he was obeyed immediately. There is no contradiction in his teachings that of his or any other prophet which I have read from.

7. Lastly, Cleon Skousen did many church asigned "callings" which were important instructor positions, he taught at BYU university for a number of years, and did a ton of work between the church and the jews abroad in jerusalem. They are looking for religious prophesies to be fulfilled and many of them our church also knows must be fufilled, so we have made efforts to guide them in the correct manner.

Lastly, the lds people as a whole have changed over a long period of time in how they percieve and accept revelation. My mothers and fathers generation got by on faith and common gospel principles, in todays world things are so cut and dry its reaching a all time boiling point between the church and the rest of the world. The members who stay strong either grasp the gospel tightly in all its depth, or get slammed from every which angle from bombarding worldly messages. It is now the house on the rock against the raging floods, the houses on the sand were washed away a long time ago. If people have spoken out against Skousen in your mission or otherwise, perhaps their personal opinion was not the same as skousens, but in any case it was opinion. In my mission the missionaries who heard or read from him or other prophet or apostle teachings had no reason to think Skousen wrong and until I came upon this forum, I had never heard him openly questioned. - to finish this long long mobile phone post.... No one is perfect, our scriptures that we refer to as canonized doctrine can have error, and like the introduction explains, - "if there be error, they be the errors of man, therefore, condemn not the things of God."
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