— Alma 34:32

With this last week being Easter I was thinking about The Atonement, the Resurrection, and the whole plan.  Here are a few of my thoughts.  

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints teaches that before we came here we lived with our Heavenly Father in a family situation.  It was not perfect although our parents were perfect.  

We know it was not perfect because there was a war in heaven.  There was our Heavenly Father’s plan presented to the entire family and Lucifer presented his plan which was rejected because it would destroy our agency.  We would be forced to behave which would then strip us of the benefit of doing the right thing.  We must have a choice in order for the good choices to be counted as riteousness and lead to blessings.  Preserving our moral agency to make the right choices was part of the point of the plan as I understand it.

All of this happened in our pre-earth life as spirit children of our Heavenly Parents.  We were created as spirits with the opportunity to take a body and learn in a probationary state where we are now.  We did not have to be perfect to come here, just obedient enough to accept the plan and come to earth.

The New Testament makes a sideways reference to sinning in the pre-Earth life in John 9:2, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents that he was born blind?”  He had to be able to sin before his was born so that his blindness would be a result of sinning before his birth.  A more direct reference to this concept is in Doctrine and Covenants, 93:38 “Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God”.  The terms “was innocent” and “became again” innocent should put this to rest.  The power of the Atonement is what makes infants innocent before God.  That means that the Savior paid for the sins we don’t remember anymore.  Perhaps being born is similar to our baptism where we are “born again” and again made clean.  

The Savior will continue to work to make us all clean.  That is His job.  “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”  Moses 1:39.  This verse informs other verses discussing what the Savior is doing to bring to pass immortality and eternal life.  Eternal Life refers to lifing God’s Life of Eternal increase, not just living forever which is immortallity.  “Eternal punishment is God’s punishment.”  D&C 19:11.  Eternal life is God’s life. 

OK, so we know what God’s work is, to bring God’s life to people ready to accept it and to resurrect every living thing that came into a mortal life on Earth.  

There is a section of the Doctrine and Covenants sometimes referred to as “The Vision”.  It is section 76.  It is full of details about the Three Degrees of Glory after the Final Judgment.  It enumerates who goes to the Celestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom and the Telestial Kingdom.  It is an excellect Section to read.  Toward the end of the section it is describing who goes to the Telestial Kindom and who will remain in hell the longest time, but then it makes a very interesting statement about the Savior’s work: 

These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work;

When he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying: I have overcome and have trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.

D&C 76:106-107 (emphsis added).  The Savior is working to save each and every one of us.  We cannot do this work our selves and Jesus is still working to cleanse everyone who is willing to be healed.

In part of the grand scheme of things, we had to come to this Earth to gain a physical body and be able to repent and partake of the gift of the atonement.  We could not have received the blessings of the Atonement without coming into this world.

This is also part of why we should bless our enemies and do good to those that curse us.  How can we learn foregiveness, patience, kindness, and absolute charity without people who wrong us, try our patience, or are very hard to love?  We need these kinds of people in our life in order for us to be come more Christlike.  

This life is a gift, it is the time we have to partake of the benefits of the Atonement and to bless the lives of others.  

We have a lot of work to do.

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