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)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Atonement: Know Good From Evil

Being Easter with a day that should remind us of the Lords atoning sacrifice in Gethsemane instead of all the other distractions around us I thought I would share a few thoughts I've been pondering on.

Know Good From Evil
Wherefore, he[God] gave commandments unto men, they having first transgressed the first commandments as to things which were temporal, and becoming as gods, knowing good from evil, placing themselves in a state to act, or being placed in a state to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good (Alma 12:31)
-Adam Trangresses commandments that WERE TEMPORAL
-Now in a place to Become as the Gods
-Because The Gods know good from evil
-In a state to act
-Choose evil or good

We are here so we can be placed in a place, being endowed with agency, to choose good or evil. By our experiences we also learn good FROM evil. This is the place that all Gods are, they know Good from Evil. And they learned how to be Gods the same way as all Gods have before us, from one small degree to another until they arrived to the station of they now dwell in. (See King Follet Discourse).

Here are a few more about good and evil.
And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever. Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. (2 Nephi 2:5-6) 
" diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil;" (Moroni 7:9)
" shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. " (Moses 4:11)
We are here to learn good from evil. The gods know Good and evil having before the foundation of the world choosen good.

Shedding of Blood
Christ shed his own blood to redeem us. It caused him to bleed from every poor. It made God the greatest of all to tremble and to "shrink". He redeemed us all from death, but to be redeemed from sin we must be baptized and repent else it will be as if no redemption was made. Our suffering will be sore, which caused God the greatest of all to shrink back in pain.
15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest Ismite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I
How long will this suffering last? How long will it take for each of us to repent? The Lord has "worlds without end" to finish his work.

What role does the Shedding of Blood play into our redemption?

The D&C talks about how the consitution was redeemed and it was "redeemed by the shedding of blood" (D&C 101:80). The constitution was redeemed by the shedding of blood. It almost gives us a new interpretation of what it means to "redeem" something. In this case its redeeming a Temporal element the constitution. It was only brought about through the shedding of blood. The book of Mormon also teaches us that when a wicked king governs the only way to remove them is through the shedding of blood. When blood was shed it was sprinkled upon each of the tabernacles (Hebrews 9:21). Our physical bodies are called tabernacles of flesh or clay, thus signifying the redemption of each of us. (Moroni 9:6, Lectures on Faith) Hebrews  reads,
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.(Hebrews 9:22-23)
These sacrifices are based off a pattern in heaven. Redemption comes through shedding of blood, pointing to the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Finished His Work
Add this thought to the Lord "finishing his work". It seems the number 3 follows an event that has "finished its work". The Lord finished atonement and stayed three days in death.
So that when he had finished his work at Melek he departed thence, and traveled three days’ journey on the north of the land of Melek; and he came to a city which was called Ammonihah. " (Alma 8:6)

Telestial beings:
D&C 84 gives us some interesting scriptures that I have been pondering.
" 85 These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work."
If would seem, than Telestial beings are not a part of the Lords work, yet they benefit from the Lord by being redeemed from death or hell allowing them to be resurrected again. These are not those who are redeemed from their sins who's garments are washed from the blood and sins of this Generation.

"43 ...Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition"
"38 Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath."
These scriptures give us a bigger picture of the suffering that will be required of us if we refuse to repent. The "sufferings of his wrath" is not something that the Lord does. He simply exists. All the Lord is doing is exist. His wrath comes from Him withdrawing his presence from us. And we are left to ourselves to suffer from our own torment, for we will be our greatest condemners. We will also judge ourselves. For that same judgement we give out will be returned unto us. To repent brings us to overcome the fall, which fall casted us OUT of the presence of God, and allows us to come into the presence of God thus overcoming the fall of Adam or death.

I bring those three scriptures up because it shows how something is redeemed. It also shows what and Who will be redeemed/saved. And what is Gods work? His work is to bring to pass the "immortality and eternal life of man". (Moses 1:39 ) 

Gods Work
It appears that the Sons work does not involve that of the Telestial beings only in so much that he saves them from hell but not sin. He presents his work, having worked it out, to the Father. Whos work encompasses that of the Telestial. The Telestial are ressurected when Christ Has FINISHED HIS WORK. And who does his work involve?
"My Father worked out His kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to My Father, so that He may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt Him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take His place, and thereby become exalted myself. So that Jesus treads in the tracks of His Father, and inherits what God did before; and God is thus glorified and exalted in the salvation and exaltation of all His children." - King Follet Discourse.
Who is His kingdom? (See D&C 84) If we take kingdom as a familia structure (See the Orson Hyde Diagram) than what if he really does one great desire of His heart which is about his own family. What if he came into the world to redeem his own? Those who were given to Him "out of the world" before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4) Also "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."

Sealing Power Of Elijah & Gods Family
What if this is what Joseph was bringing out with the sealing power of Elijah. Zion is about Christs family here on earth. It is about sealing His family together. His entire work is about bringing to pass the salvation of His family. Through Him the world benfeits and learns "good from evil" and are "added upon". Those who redeemed have learned good and evil having choosen good being in a place to act freely. The rest refuse to repent and return again unto God.
This is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven, and seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection; and here we want the power of Elijah to seal those who dwell on earth to those who dwell in heaven.
History of the Church, 6:252.

The doctrine or sealing power of Elijah is as follows: If you have power to seal on earth and in heaven, then we should be wise. The first thing you do, go and seal on earth your sons and daughters unto yourself, and yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 340.

The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelation, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven.
History of the Church, 6:251; spelling modernized.
This is not about an earthly family that care more about money, fame, and fortune but about bring Gods family together, which will be Zion. It would have been "redeemed even now" (D&C 105:2) if some group would repent. Instead we "must needs be chastened until [we] learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which [we] suffer. (ibid. vs 6)