When our Heavenly Father presented to us (His spirit sons and daughters) in heaven the great plan to create an earth and allow us to inhabit it, receive and control a physical body, learn to live by faith and keep His commandments; we shouted for joy.
The Lord said to Job (a prophet of the Old Testament), “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding… When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38: 4 and 7 in the Bible)
Savior Came into the World to Overcome Death and Initiate the Resurrection
The Savior came into the world to break the bands of death by initiating the eventual universal resurrection of all mankind. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept… For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Corinthians 15: 20, 22 in the Bible)
“…by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up. And he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead…” (Mormon 7:5-6 p. 480 in the Book of Mormon)
The Savior was the only one who could voluntarily lay down His life and take it up again. “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10: 17 – 18 in the Bible)”
The Resurrection Brings Us a Perfect Body
Most of us do not think much about the resurrection because we are still alive. We are told that once our immortal spirit leaves the physical body at death and enters the spirit world, we long for the joining of our spirit back into a perfect physical body at resurrection.
An ancient prophet said, “The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.
“Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame.. …that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided…”
(Alma 11: 43-45 in the Book of Mormon p. 236)
One of the great future gifts from Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father will be our glorious, beautiful resurrected bodies. It should be a motivation to keep the commandments of God.
The Mission of Jesus Christ Foretold Anciently
Though the Savior’s mission was finished during the time of the New Testament, events of Old Testament times frequently foretold its importance.
Adam and Eve were commanded to offer sacrifices “And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me. And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.” (Moses 5: 6-8 p. 6-7in the Pearl of Great Price)
The Mission of Jesus Christ Ended the Sacrificing of Animals
Adam, Eve, and generations to follow were instructed to shed the blood from an animal not just any animal, it was to be a firstling of the flock and one without blemish (see Exodus 12: 5 in the Bible), which was symbolic of the Savior’s sacrifice for all of mankind. Once the Savior’s mission was completed, it terminated the practice of animal sacrifice.
“And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit…”
(3 Nephi 9: 19 – 20 p. 425 in the Book of Mormon)
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