Monday, July 14, 2014

The Redemption of the Dead: Part of God's Perfect Plan

Doctrine and Covenants, Section 138, verses 57-60
Received by the prophet Joseph F. Smith, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on October 3, 1918

57 I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.
 58 The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
 59 And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.
 60 Thus was the vision of the redemption of the dead revealed to me, and I bear record, and I know that this record is true, through the blessing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, even so. Amen.

Teachings from this vision and some things they imply:

1.  Prophets can see into the spirit world and tell us what goes on there; reveal things that are otherwise hidden to us.  How wonderful it is to have prophets in these latter days!

2.  The spirits of the dead have access to repentance.  The effects of sin are not permanent for those who choose to accept Christ and repent.

3.  Temple ordinances are a requirement for those who wish to repent.  Which is why we do temple work. If they have already performed those ordinances during their mortal life (and are not in a state of rebellion against God, I'm assuming), they have access to repentance.

4.  They have to pay a penalty of some kind; perhaps experience grief or sorrow for what they did, perhaps do some sort of service for others to right wrongs or to just act like Christ, be obedient to his commandments.

5.  People who die with unresolved sin, but repent, are washed clean!  The guilt is gone!

6.  After they have repented, they receive a reward!  Most likely: happiness, joy, the presence of God our loving Heavenly Father, joining the missionary ranks, becoming more like Christ!

7.  Salvation is fully available!  True and complete repentance makes it as though the person had never committed the sin.  There is no lasting stain.  There is no lasting memory of guilt.  They are on equal ground with everyone else who has repented and qualified for salvation, including the sinless Savior, Jesus Christ, himself.

Christ the Consoler, Carl Bloch

It is amazing, wonderful, incredible, fantastic, and joyous!  This is what Jesus died for.  This is what he submitted for in the Garden of Gethsemane, what he submitted for when he was spit on and whipped, what he submitted for when he was nailed to pieces of wood and lifted up for all to see.  This is what he allowed his spirit to leave his body for, and then commanded it to return for on the third day.

The plan of salvation is so complete that there are no loop-holes, no flaws, no misses, no mistakes, no one overlooked.  It can work perfectly for anyone who submits, just as the Savior did.  Submission to the plan of God is not weakness, but ultimate power because it infuses us with God's power, which is the only power that Satan cannot compare or stand up to.  We can crush him through our obedience to God's perfect and beautiful plan.  We are mightiest when we are meekest before God.
I have no fear for the future; everything will be made right.  Christ succors his people in their time of need because he bought that role with his own suffering.  He earned it with his blood.  He knows pain. Intimately.  He knows healing.  Perfectly.  He is the author and finisher of our faith.

I know this because I have grieved and because I have been healed. I don't regret or begrudge the grief.  I absolutely love the healing!  And I love Jesus Christ for healing my soul.  Peace be to yours.


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