Definition of Sin

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Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.

I understand how the atonement covers little children, those not mental accountable, etc, but I have to wonder if there’s more.

Certainly there are many throughout the world and history who have not had “the law” with which to govern their lives. Is Jacob suggesting their “wrong” actions are claimed by the Christ? If so, then what is the definition of sin? I had always thought it was wilful disobedience to God’s commandments.

If those unaware of His commandments are still delivered by the power of the atonement, what does that mean for the definition of sin?

5 thoughts on “Definition of Sin

  1. I guess sometimes sin isn’t always willful because one can be misinformed on a matter. Being misinformed may lead someone to commit a sin they would not have wanted to commit in the first place.

  2. Perhaps we all have the law given to us in varying degrees. People in Buddhist countries have some good moral guidelines and the light of Christ. People in Christian countries might have more access to the law. Latter-day saints may have even more access to law. The atonement may fill in the gaps between the demands of the law and our understanding of the law. We all have the light of Christ.

    Whether we have the law or not ultimately it is the Atonement of Jesus Christ that will allow any of us to return to the presence of the Father. No matter how hard we try we can not satisfy the demands of the law.

  3. True enough, but I wonder what Jacob means by “the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.”

    Why does he deliver them if they are not under condemnation?

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