Once upon a time there was a boy named Ever Y. Mann. He was constantly worried. His over riding fear was that he knew that he was going to be punished for something he had done. He didn't know when, or whether it would be tomorrow or not for decades yet, but he knew that he was going to be punished sooner or later. This worried him a lot because he also knew that the punishment was going to be terrible. He wasn't exactly sure what he had done that was so terrible, but he knew that he wasn't perfect, and therefore punishment awaited him. He had also been told by his parents that one of the main reasons he had to be punished was that his sister had done something really bad before he was even born and that his parents were super angry about it. The only reason that they had even had children was so that the children would love them and obey them always. But now, since Ever's older sister had messed up, punishment was going to be handed out and in abundance too. That is why Ever was so worried.
What had Ever's older sister done that was so bad? She had eaten a piece of fruit out of the refrigerator that her father had specifically forbidden her to eat. I know. A terrible transgression that deserves the ultimate price to be paid. (DinoJesus knows that if one of my kids eats the left over pizza that I put away for lunch the next day, punishment will be swift and there will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth.)
So, there Ever sits. Waiting for the punishment to happen. He is worried. But then a miracle happens. Ever's parents come to him and tell him of the actions they took to get him out of this terrible bind that his sister has caused him. You see, because Ever's parents love him so much, they took his older brother, who was a middle child and tortured him. This was before Ever was born also. They took him and they tortured him with unspeakable tortures. For three days they had him in a closet and he was made to suffer terribly. At the end of three days, they took him out of the closet and he was never seen again. (Although a bed sheet that may or may not have an image on it and some fluid was found and hung on a wall in Turin.) Ever's parents told him that they had done this for him so that they wouldn't have to punish him for his sister's mistakes and any that he might have made also. It was a big, all encompassing punishment to end all punishments. The only thing that Ever has to do is accept this punishment that was done on his behalf and all would be as it should be. Oh, and he had to try to be good and worth the sacrifice that his brother had paid for him and his sister. What a great plan.
Can you imagine if we tried to emulate this type of plan in our own justice system? Do you think anyone would find it satisfactory? "I'm sorry sir, I understand that you are the designated driver, but since your friend there got himself intoxicated and unable to drive, we are going to take you to jail to pay for his intoxication." "Well Ma'am, I can certainly tell that you are abused by your husband, and he admitted to us that he has beaten you tonight, so we took the dog outside and shot it. That should pay the price for your husbands transgressions against you." Why were we so happy when Osama Bin Ladin was finally killed? Shouldn't we have been satisfied by any innocent civilian collateral damage that might have taken place during the almost 10 years of looking for him? No. Justice demanded that the person who committed the offense pay for it. Of course, mercy can come in to play also. If an individual is nice enough or Christian enough or Dinosaurian enough, they could forgive the person who committed a trespass against them. In the modern day parlance, "No victim, no crime." If someone will forgive the person who hurt them, there is no further need of retribution.
So, have you guessed the one thing that God can't do? He can't forgive. The Mormon Scripture of D&C 64:10 says
"I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."This scripture is misleading. It implies that if God wants to he will forgive you. That is of course not true. You see, evidently God can not simply forgive ANYONE without SOMEONE paying a price for it. So maybe he will forgive you your sins, but only if you agree to the sacrifice that he already had done for an innocent to pay the price for your sins. God is incapable of simple forgiveness for mercy's sake alone. He needed blood for him to be able to do it. I guess God isn't Omnipotent after all. What next? Am I going to find out that a tree falling in the forest with no witnesses really doesn't make a sound?