And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Prototype of the saved man: Jesus Christ

12 And I, John, saw that [Christ] received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;
14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first. (D&C 93:12-14)
Christ was “called the Son of God,” because He “received not the fullness at first.” (See D&C 93) He was "called" to be the Son of God because that was not His status before achieving grace for grace. Therefore He had to first qualify to be "called" to be the Son of God. Therefore it is self- evident that He “received not the fullness at first.”

Long before the Lord assumed the role and responsibility of descending here and being the Redeemer of this world, He was qualified by acquiring grace, through doing things to prove Himself, while He was behind the veil, just as you presently find yourselves situated. This is not the place for an experiment to learn whether mankind will be rescued from the grave. It must be certain before there is a Fall, that there will be an adequate atonement to rescue mankind. If man were not rescued, they would be eternally subject to captivity in the same condition as the devil. (2 Nephi 9: 8-9)

This catastrophe could only be avoided by perfect foreknowledge. Only by first proving He had the grace to overcome all through His obedience to the commandments of God could He be “called the Son of God.” Even though it would be a great while before He, and now you, would rise up to that level, still He has lived His life with such grace that He qualified to receive more, and to develop and to move up. He became “the Word of God” (D&C 93: 8) because He followed “every word [or instruction] which proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Mattew 4: 4)

When you think of Christ as “the prototype of the saved man” you should also remember Christ “attained to the resurrection” by “breaking the bonds of death.” (Mosiah 15: 8) Justice requires man to die. (Alma  42:15) When I die it will be deserved. The same is true for all mankind from Adam to the present. (1 Nephi 10: 6)

However, when Christ died it was unjust. The “wages of sin” is death, but He did not earn those wages. (Romans 6: 23) He never submitted to sin, therefore the law of justice was offended by His death. Because of this, He was able to take His body up again, and the law of justice could not prevent it. (2 Nephi 9:26) Christ’s death was not only unjust, but it was an eternal offense. When the life of a man who should have lived forever has been taken, what He gave up was infinite. (2 Nephi 9:7) Therefore the price He paid was infinite. (Alma 34:10) Whatever justice demanded had been satisfied, and He could then intercede for all mankind.

Christ’s resurrection, therefore, came as a matter of right to Him because the grave could make no just claim upon His life. In turn, this allows Him to make an infinite intercession and likewise bring us and together with all creation back into a restored state. He paid the price to reverse Adam’s fall. (1 Corinthians 15:22) All of His creation benefits.

This is what Joseph was referring to as “attaining the resurrection” in his last talk in General Conference (King Follet Discourse). This is the trek that every saved man must take to complete the process. Hence Joseph’s saying, “it will be a great while after the grave before” we will rise up to be gods ourselves. Do not sleep away this life. Awake and arise! There is a great deal to be done.

There is no magic to this process. There is only progression and refinement. It will be required for each of us, just as has been required of all who went before, that we “learn to be gods” by what we experience. Part of that learning must eventually include the ability to break the bonds of death, as Christ did.

But we develop during mortality, and receive from this life exactly what we develop into while mortal. God’s patience for us is infinite. It will require going “from exaltation to exaltation” before we ascent to the place of Christ, “the prototype of the saved man.” But we have all eternity to work out our salvation.

Those who think it is enough to merely “get into heaven” are really talking about “the deaths” (D&C 132: 25) and not what God offers His children. God offers eternal lives. Those who will endure to the end, worlds without end, will receive eternal life and obtain the resurrection. We must be exactly and precisely like Christ to receive all power in heaven and earth, including the power of the resurrection. It was only after His resurrection Christ claimed this power.

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