Fairness and the Atonement

I already wrote one blog post about Elder  Reunland’s phenomenal talk from this conference, but I wanted to focus on a different aspect of it. Elder Reunland has a lot to say about our understanding of fairness and our willingness to anger at our feelings of aggravation or unfairness. Ultimately, Elder Reunland suggests to us that the closer we are to God, the more we will understand that the vicissitudes of life are in the long run part of God’s plan. 

We encounter much unfairness in life. Differences in birth, parentage, health, and ability are widespread. It seems deeply unfair that some are born into relative wealth while others are born into poverty. And this might translate into a desire for highly redistributive policies seeking to maximize equality.  Moreover, this can lead to resentment and loss of faith in God:

 “The more we distance ourselves from Them, the more entitled we feel. We begin to think that we deserve grace and are owed blessings. We are more prone to look around, identify inequities, and feel aggrieved–even offended–by the unfairness we perceive. While the unfairness can range from trivial to gut- wrenching, when we are distant from God, even small inequities loom large. We feel that God has an obligation to fix things–and fix them right now!”

But in life, we will not be able to guarantee perfect equality. Life isn’t meant to be fair. But eternally, fairness is guaranteed through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Knowing the Gospel, we recognize that “life would be the most unfair for Jesus Christ. Though absolutely innocent, the Savior would suffer the most.” Moreover, without this unfairness, we could never be redeemed:  “If life were truly fair, you and I would never be resurrected; you and I would never be able to stand clean before God. 

And so, we can realize that many of our challanges are given to us for ultimately redemptive purposes. And those that are not, can still be transformed through Christ. It is not our circumstances but our faithfulness that allows our experiences to gain meaning.

“At the same time, I can emphatically state that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, ultimately, in the eternal scheme of things, there will be no unfairness. “All that is unfair about life can be made right.” Our present circumstances may not change, but through God’s compassion, kindness, and love, we will all receive more than we deserve, more than we can ever earn, and more than we can ever hope for.”

I likewise testify that through God’s plan temporary and eternal injustice can be remedied. Christ truly bore all the unfairness and will redeem us all.


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