That Elder Holland had taught that Heavenly Father had hidden in the dark corners of the Universe while Jesus was crucified:
With all the conviction of my soul I testify that HeÂ didÂ please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father didÂ notÂ forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christâ€™s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required; indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankindâ€”us, all of usâ€”would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.
Yeah, it was 10 years ago, but neener neener neener.
On a more serious note, Elder Holland points to the “aloneness” of Christ as a central component of the atonement, so that he could learn what he needed to know to help us when we are seperated from God by sin, and thus also spiritually alone.Â
I can say I felt the spirit very strongly while Elder Holland spoke, but am still thinking through what if any theological implications this may have on the compassionate royal infussion exemplar judge theory of the atonement. Â lately, I have sort of been drawn toward this crucifixion being a single instant in an infinite process of atonement where Jesus and Heavenly Father are continually suffering us. Â But this aloneness would not be an infinite and eternal aloneness, so there seem to be definite aspects of the atonement which, atleast in terms of time, have a definite beginning and end.Â
In 1980, Elder Holland quoted Melvin J. Ballard (see comment #1 below for the quote) here.
Is this a change in doctrine for the church? (doctrine with a lower case d, that is)
In any case, sorry for the neeners, you were right, but things have changed…