Faith to forgive grievous harm: Accepting the Atonement as restitution


In the defense of what is fair, a lawyer often debates issues of fair use and fair judgement, and this Tuesday he will discuss the ultimate justice found in the Atonement.

In the upcoming devotional, James Rasband, Dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, intends to highlight the importance, not of

[/media-credit] Dean James Rasband of J. Reuben Clark Law School to address students at Tuesday’s devotional.
legal law, but of the supreme and eternal principles of healing and forgiveness.

Rasband, who joined the BYU faculty in 1995, following a successful career as a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals, selected the topic after much personal reflection of the injustices many experience in this lifetime.

“Those who have suffered harm or abuse sometimes struggle with how the Atonement can heal them for the misdeeds and cruelty of others,” Rasband said. “I have wrestled with how best to explain the Savior’s admonition that forgiveness is required even for such cruel harms. The devotional represents my effort to think about how to overcome barriers to forgiveness and how to have greater faith in the Atonement’s power to heal us from the harms we suffer at others’ hands.”

Rasband’s concern and effort to follow the Savior’s admonitions is manifest not only in his addresses, but also in his professional career. Professor David Dominguez, of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, identified Rasband as a true disciple and friend to many.

“Dean Rasband’s leadership at the law school is truly Christlike,” Dominguez said. “He exemplifies Emmaus companionship, going out of his way to walk alongside and listen carefully to your story, helping you to see how you can change directions and find the best path for excellent teaching, scholarship, and citizenship.”

In several interviews with other faculty members, professors overwhelmingly identified Rasband as an intelligent force for good with a comittment to excellence and genuine concern for both students and colleagues.

Under his direction, the law school passed several accreditations and continues to become an exemplary and nationally ranked school. According to U.S. Businessweek, the J. Reuben Clark Law School is now one of the top 40 most prestigious law schools in the nation.

Kevin Worthen, BYU Advancement Vice President, and Hugh W. Colton, Professor of Law, noted some of the contributions Rasband has made.

“Dean Rasband has worked tirelessly to bring more light to the law school during his tenure, both literally through substantial improvements to the building, and, more importantly, intellectually and spiritually through hiring outstanding faculty and bringing accomplished visitors to the school,” Worthen said.  “The law school is a much better place because of his outstanding leadership.”

Rasband will address students and faculty Tuesday, October 23, 2012, in the Marriott Center at 11:05 a.m.


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