By titling this episode, “Living Atonement,” LDF host Dan Wotherspoon signals that the discussion herein focuses on Atonement as a process instead of “The Atonement” as an event, and how “at-one-ment” is a life stance for transformation rather than a name for something Jesus performed/did/completed that we somehow “take advantage of” should we “qualify” for its benefits. The very thoughtful Bob Sonntag joins Dan for this conversation and frames atonement in really thought-provoking ways, with language and a heart that cannot help but inspire and draw us in.
His views about what atonement means draws us into discussions of this time of pandemic, facing our fears and the yawning abyss we are ultimately called to look into, and he also frames our weaknesses and distance from God in very matter-of-fact but also ennobling way. His primary emphasis vis-a-vis atonement is on relationships, along with gathering, and healing the separations and tragic woundedness inherent in all lives. His scriptural and historical study has led him to understand Jesus and his mission, as well as what Joseph Smith was actually teaching, much differently from when he was younger and his lenses were very much church/organizational focused and that by age 28 left him feeling “dried up.” What he centers in now feels true and whole and inspiring. You will be very glad you spent an hour with Bob!