Context and General Information
- Lehi, before his death, preaches to Jacob a final time.
- People are instructed sufficiently to know good from evil.
- We have the law.
- The law justifies no one, in fact because of the law we are cut off – from God.
- We are also cut off from God spiritually and will be miserable forever.
- BUT, redemption comes through the Holy Messiah
- Christ offers Himself as a sacrifice for sin to answer the ends of the law.
- If we will come unto Him with a broken heart and contrite spirit, then His sacrifice will answer the ends of the law – and we will not be subject to misery or death.
- It is important that everyone on this earth knows this message. No one can dwell in the presence of God, save it is through Christ – His merits, mercy, and grace. He laid down His life and took it again to bring pass the resurrection of the dead.
- He will also stand an intercessor between us and God – saving us.
Redemption Comes through Christ: Part Two – Redemption
In Part One, we studied the law. You can read it here. Because we have the law, because we know good from evil, and because we are fallen beings we are cut off. We perish physically, and we perish spiritually – being cut off from that which is good. We will be miserable forever.
We know that this all started in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. They sought progression and knowledge, and were beguiled by Satan who said that partaking of this tree would help them to progress and gain knowledge without any negative consequences.
Heavenly Father understood that Adam and Eve would need to make this choice: to live with Him forever in a blissful state in the garden of Eden – never progressing…Or for them to leave His presence, gain knowledge, be tested and tried. This choice wasn’t a trick.
Because Heavenly Father knew we would need to become mortal in order to continue our progression, the Atonement was planned from the beginning—before the world was created, before Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden, before that serpent beguiled Eve. We learn in the scriptures that Jesus was chosen to be a Redeemer and a Savior since before the world began. Jesus Himself proclaimed:
“Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.” – Ether 3:14
So – back to the law and to misery. I would imagine that when Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, then when they faced God and learned that indeed they would die – just as He said; I imagine when they learned that they would be cast out of His presence – His light, His life, His love, and banished into the lone and dreary world…I would imagine they felt miserable, sad, and hopeless. What was that knowledge worth if they would never have God in their lives???
Of course, this wasn’t the plan. And offering up a Savior to redeem Adam and Eve and the rest of humankind from death and sin wasn’t some knee-jerk, last-ditch reaction to the choice made in Eden. It was planned from the beginning.
Yes, for a moment I’m sure that the hearts of Adam and Eve were filled with misery and dread. And then, the Father offered them a Savior.
As Lehi taught:
“Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.” – 2 Nephi 2:6
So – because of the law, no flesh is justified. We are all “defective” in a way – mortal, carnal, sensual, devilish. And the law states that we must be whole, holy, spiritual, and perfect in order to dwell with God. This is simply impossible. We need a redeemer. We learn the meaning of “redeem” in the dictionary:
1 a : to buy back: Repurchase
b : to get or win back
2 : to free from what distresses or harms us: such as
a :to free from captivity by payment of ransom
b :to extricate from help or overcome something detrimental
c :to release from blame or debt : Clear
d :to free from the consequences of sin
3 : to change for the better : Reform
4 : Repair, Restore
5 a : to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby
b (1) :to remove the obligation by payment
(2) :to exchange for something of value
c : to make good : fulfill
6 a : to atone for : Expiate
b (1) :to offset the bad effect of
(2) :to make worthwhile : retrieve” – Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary: Redeem
This is what the Lord does for us. He redeems us. He buys us back – from the throes of Satan to the peace of God. He frees us from what distresses us by the payment of an infinite ransom. He extricates us from something a little more than detrimental (death and hell!). He releases us from blame and debt. He clears our names. He frees us from the consequences of sin.
The Lord changes us for the better.
The Lord repairs us. He restores us.
The Lord frees us from a “lien,” and makes us good.
The Lord atones for us, offsets our bad value, and makes us worthwhile.
The Lord truly is our Redeemer. Lehi, calls Him “the Holy Messiah,” He is the One who was anointed before the foundation of the world to perform the holy work of Salvation.
We will continue to study this more, but what a joy it is to know that we aren’t consigned to a state of endless misery. Right now, we are living in these fleshy tabernacles – susceptible to sin, pain, and misery. I mean, I’m sitting on my bed wearing compression stockings because I have faulty veins that throb and give me pain. I am frustrated with myself because despite the knowledge that I have, I’m not as healthy as I should be, and I must suffer because of some of these decisions coupled with hereditary and mortal problems.
Each morning, I must plead with Heavenly Father and pray to realign myself with Him and His will.
I’m a natural person, always veering off course. Always trying to stave off spiritual entropy.
And this is just me. There are so many other people suffering more – because of natural problems, their own sins, or the sins of others. This life is a vale of tears. This is a lone and dreary world that we traverse.
Yet, because of the redemption offered to us through the Holy Messiah, we don’t need to droop in misery and sin. We can rejoice! We have hope!!!
I mean, really think about it for a second. Everything that I know and have experienced is within the context of this fallen, imperfect world. I haven’t lived in Eden. Don’t get me wrong, there is so much beauty, so much joy in this world…
As much as I try to wrap my head around the idea of hope, I realize I really can’t contemplate it. I can’t contemplate what another world will be like. It will be so completely different than what we are experiencing now. It is difficult to imagine what it would be like to live in a world without the “thorns in the flesh” that bother us every day and night.
But that is what Christ offers us. Through His redemption, He offers us peace and rest from everything that wearies us. Though I can’t fully imagine it, the mere idea gives me joy. I’m so grateful to know that we have a Redeemer.
We will study more about Him and this redemption in the next part.