“‘Hearken unto my voice. Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him…that [you] may come unto me and have everlasting life.’

“What, exactly, is meant by this verse? We are happy to know we have an advocate, but we would hope our Father is not in need of heart softening. It may be that we misunderstand the term advocate the way it is being used here…We see that Christ as the atoning one — the mediator — is not our defender from God’s justice, but the collaborator in and minister of our Heavenly Father’s plan.”