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Home Scripture Atonement The Atonement

The Atonement

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Before beginning the subject of the atonement of Jesus Christ, I wish to point out that although it is something Jesus has done for us, without a broken heart and a contrite spirit on our part, his atonement will have no affect upon us.  However, even when talking about what Christ has done for us, it is not possible to fully explain the vastness of the atonement. In many ways it is incomprehensible to our human mind. Therefore, what I hope to do is bring together those scriptures related to the atonement, in an effort to give the reader a better appreciation of what the atonement means to us. It is also with a sense of humility and inadequacy that I approach this subject.

Paul wrote that his purpose was to preach only Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The reason for this is because in speaking about Christ he would have preached Christ’s gospel, and speaking of His crucifixion he would have explained how the grace of God came to save us.  And that is how I’d like to approach this subject.

In Genesis 8:20-21 we read, ”And Noah built an altar (the first thing he did when he left the ark) unto the Lord, and TOOK OF EVERY CLEAN BEAST, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord SMELLED a sweet savor.”

(Noah understood that was the main principle of salvation was a sacrifice offered for atonement.)

John 3:16 tells us, “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” There is no doubt that man is saved by the grace of God. Paul taught this doctrine in several places.

Without the atonement mankind couldn't be saved. Elder Boyd K. Packer said in the April General Conference of 1977, "Truth, glorious truth, proclaim there is.... a mediator... Through Him mercy can be fully extended to each of us without offending the eternal law of justice. This truth is the very root of Christian doctrine. You may know much about the gospel as it branches out from there, but if you only know the branches and those branches do not touch that root, if they have been cut free from that truth, there will be no life nor substance nor redemption in them."

3 Nephi 27:13-14 tells us “Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you--that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.”

D&C 76:40-41 states, “And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us--That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness.”

Lewis in his book "The Great Miracle" page55 wrote: "If one takes away the miracles attributed to Buddhism, there would be "no loss" to the religion. If all miracles were eliminated from Islam nothing essential would be altered, BUT YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY DO

THAT WITH CHRISTIANITY, because the Christian story is precisely the story of one grand miracle, the Christian assertion that

Christ came into human nature, descended into His own universe, and rose again, bringing Nature up with Him. It is precisely one great miracle. If you take away there is nothing specifically Christian left."

Why should we study the Atonement?

From the book “The Infinite Atonement” written by Tad R. Callister (I highly recommend this book) he said, “If the atonement is the foundation of our faith (and it is), then no one should be content with a casual acquaintance of this doctrine. Instead, the Atonement should be paramount in our intellectual and spiritual pursuit. President John Taylor observed: "There must be some reason why (Christ) was allowed to suffer and to endure; why it was necessary that He should give up His life a sacrifice for the sins of the

World...... In these reasons all the world and we are intimately concerned; there is something of great importance in all this to us. The whys and wherefores of these great events are pregnant with importance to us all.”

Lehi understood the need to both explore and teach the doctrine of the Atonement. While counseling his son Jacob he said in 2 Nephi 2:8 “Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.”

And Jacob caught the vision of this counsel, for while preaching to his people he thoughtfully asked as recorded in Jacob 4:12 “And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?”

Hugh B. Nibley wrote "So cool has been the reception of the message that trough the centuries, while heated controversy and debate have raged over evolution, atheism, the sacraments, the Trinity, authority, predestination, faith and works, and so on, there has been no argument or discussion at all about the meaning of the Atonement. Why were there no debates or pronouncements in the synods? People either do not care enough or don't know enough even to argue about it. For the doctrine of the Atonement is far too complicated to have the appeal of a world religion" (Hugh B. Nibley "Approaching Zion 600-601.)

Can we understand the Atonement without comprehend well the fallen?

In Romans 5:12-18 Paul wrote, “ Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

In these few verses we find several interesting implications, such as the parallel between Jesus and Adam and where sin is not imputed there is no law.  Nevertheless death has reigned from Adam to now, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, “For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)”

Adam didn't sin in the garden because he didn't have the knowledge to do so. However, Eve did transgress the law as Paul stated in 1 Timothy 2:14-15 “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

Eve was deceived by Satan and tricked into transgressing God’s commandments because she didn't' have the knowledge of good and evil until after she partook of the forbidden fruit. The only guilty one was Satan. Notice that he was the only one cursed by God. Adam and Eve were subjected only to what God had predicted regarding the partaking of the forbidden fruit - death. But even though Eve was deceived, this produced a chain reaction that couldn't be stopped. Adam had to partake of the fruit or he would have remained alone in the garden, unable to fulfill the command of God to be fruitful and multiply. This brought him to the point where he had to make a rational, thoughtful decision. Although He didn't have the knowledge of good and evil, he did possess the divine spark of intelligence. For this reason he had to make a choice between obeying two commandments of God.

As Nephi explained in 2 Nephi 2:22, 25, “And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the Garden of Eden. And all things, which were created, must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. Or eat the fruit… Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”

Adam made this choice because he wanted to be faithful to the first command that he received from God: "Be fruitful and replenish the earth." There is no need to have the knowledge of good and evil to make that decision.

The Bible further tells us, “And the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help mate for him."  And Adam said “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called man, because she was taken out of

Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife.” (Genesis 2:18, 23-25)

The verse, which says, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother" is interesting because Adam and Eve didn't have any other parents besides God. Therefore, this directive seems to predict and encourage the fall of man. When God told Adam that man "shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" it was clear to him that if his wife fell, then God directed that he must remain with her, even if that meant leaving his heavenly Father. The scriptures tell us that because of this decision, sin was introduced into the world, and death is the consequence of sin. Therefore, God put an angel to guard the way to the tree of life. There are two reasons for this. First is so that the word of God could not be nullified. Since God said that they would die if they ate the forbidden fruit, then die they must. As God explained in Genesis 3:22,  “now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:”

The second reason was to give man ample time and opportunity to repent of his sins. In Alma 42:2-10 we learn, “Now behold, my son, I will explain this thing unto thee. For behold, after the Lord God sent our first parents forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground, from whence they were taken--yea, he drew out the man, and he placed at the east end of the garden of Eden, cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the tree of life-- Now, we see that the man had become as God, knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, the Lord God placed cherubim and the flaming sword, that he should not partake of the fruit-- And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God. For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and partaken of the tree of life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated. But behold, it was appointed unto man to die--therefore, as they were cut off from the tree of life they should be cut off from the face of the earth--and man became lost forever, yea, they became fallen man. And now, ye see by this that our first parents were cut off both temporally and spiritually from the presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after their own will. Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness. Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal, that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death. Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state.”

Alma 12:26-27 tells us, “First parents could have gone forth and partaken of the tree of life they would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state; and thus the plan of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect. But behold, it was not so; but it was appointed unto men that they must die; and after death, they must come to judgment, even that same judgment of which we have spoken, which is the end.”

Casting Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, was an act of love, otherwise mankind would have lived forever in their sins. This would have been a tragedy, because that would have meant eternal exclusion from the presence of God because God can't tolerate sin with the least degree of allowance and no unclean thing could live in His kingdom. Therefore, if man lived forever in this sins he would have been in the same situation as Satan, cut off forever from God, because " the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness; " Therefore to protect the way to the tree of life was a great blessing for mankind.

In Alma 42:4, 10 we’re told,   “And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God… Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state.”

This gave man the chance to rescue himself. As we have already seen, Adam and Eve didn’t do anything terrible. It’s true that they broke a law but they did it before they had the knowledge of good and evil. Obviously God knew the fall would happen because it is written that Jesus was the lamb prepared before of the foundation of the world. If God didn't want man to fall surely He would have put an angel to protect the tree of knowledge. Instead, He stated “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (Genesis 3:22)

We learn in Alma 12:31-32 that after Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden “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-- Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God.”

Alma 42:16-22 “Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul. Now, how could a man repent except he should sin?  How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment?  Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man. Now, if there was no law given--if a man murdered he should die--would he be afraid he would die if he should murder? And also, if there were no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.  And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature? But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth.”

It is interesting to note that it was only after Adam and Eve left the garden that God gave them laws and commandments. In the garden, aside from the two commands to have children and not partake of a certain fruit, there was no code of laws. Since they didn’t have any knowledge of good and evil, having such a code would have been useless. For this reason, in order to have free agency it is also necessary to have knowledge because without it man couldn’t be tested or tempted. From the first time Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness, they could chose for themselves whether to obey God’s commandments or Satan’s persuasions.

It is interesting to note that in the pre-existence Satan was known as Lucifer, which name means "bringer of Light.” It was he who deceived Eve, and in so doing, it was he who brought the light of knowledge to humanity.  Instead of thwarting God’s plans, he made

it possible for man to achieve his divine potential.

When Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden they were subject to four conditions, two positive and two negative.

1) They were immortals, incapable of sickness, pain, or death.

2) They were able to live in the presence of God.

3) They didn't have any knowledge of good and evil.

4) They couldn't procreate (see 2 Nephi 2:22-23).

Clearly the Garden of Eden was more like a holding area rather than their final destination. If everything remained unchanged there wouldn't have been any progress. Yet with the fall, of necessary something was needed to rectify the effects of sin. That was the reason for the atonement.

The atonement reversed the condition of man and restored him to his original condition. However, this time man can be brought back into the presence of God WITH KNOWLEDGE AND POWER.  Because of the atonement we don't lose what we had before, yet we get to keep all we have gained. Without the atonement man never would have been able to become a true Son of God. It was necessary to have both knowledge and power because those are the qualities, which God possesses. Since God will not force any man to heaven, therefore, it was necessary for man to exercise his own free agency in deciding whether to accept Jesus and follow His commandments or not.  Without this freedom, man could not decide for himself and would be a slave to either God or Satan for all eternity. The great conquest of the atonement is that it allowed man to progress, because without it, there could be no progression.

In the Book "The Infinite Atonement" (op.cit. pag 67) we read, “Because the atonement required power, incredible power, even infinite power. It required power to resurrect the dead, power to conquer spiritual death, and power to exalt an ordinary person to the status of a god. Such power could be exercise only by a being that was infinite, meaning a being who possessed all divine virtues in unlimited pleasure, and was therefore a God. In the Savior great intercessory prayer, He alluded to the power the Father had given Him: "Thou hast given (me) power over all flesh" (John 17:2). Pilate didn't understand this. He thought he had "power to crucify" and "power to release," but the Savior quickly corrected him: "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above." (John 19:10-11)

In the world of physics, there is a law of thermodynamics known as the law of entropy. It states that the universe, if left to it, would constantly move toward a state of disorder. Stephen W. Hawking, the noted mathematician, described this law in layman's terms: "It is a matter of common experience that disorder will tend to increase if things are left to themselves. (One has only to stop making repairs around the house to see that!).” He then amplifies as follows: "The explanation that is usually given as to why we don't see broken cups gathering themselves together off the floor and jumping back onto the table is that it is forbidden by the second law of thermodynamics. This says that in any closed system disorder, or entropy, always increases in time. In other words, it is a form of Murphy's Law: things always tend to go wrong! An intact cup on the table is a state of high order, but a broken cup on the floor is a disordered state. One can go readily from the cup on the table in the past to the broken cup on the floor in the future, but not the other way round." This disorder, or condition of progressive randomness, would proceed uninterrupted unless there were an intelligent, powerful force in the universe that could somehow reverse this natural course.”

John Taylor spoke of such an intelligence force: "These laws (which govern the universe) are under the surveillance and control of the great Law- giver, who manages, controls, and directs all these worlds. If it were not the case, they would move through space in wild confusion, and system would rush against system, and worlds upon worlds would be destroyed, together with their inhabitants." (Taylor Gospel kingdom.)

Creation itself was an awesome demonstration of these reversing powers. And the atonement was another such manifestation. Again and again in the scriptures the atonement is referred to as power. With the possible exception of the word "love", it seems to be the single most repeated word used to describe the atoning process. Such power was a natural outgrowth of the Savior's infinite nature.  Just as happiness cannot be acquired independent of obedience to God's laws, so power cannot be permanently acquired independent of developing divine virtues. You cannot have one without the other. They are inseparably connected.

When Alma spoke of  “a restoration of all things,” he was referring to the power of the atonement. As we have just seen, the atonement is a power, which can both organize and restore. In other words, it has the ability to reverse the normal course of things. One of the reasons why the death of Jesus was necessary is because He was the only one able to overcome death. As it says in Mosiah 16:6-8, “And now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption. And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.”

Because Jesus never sinned, the sting of sin (i.e. death) had no power on Him. Therefore, He was the only one who had the power to restore life to man, thereby reversing sin’s sting.  He could declare, “Wherefore 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)

John 10:18
18 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.

But He should lay down His life spontaneously.

But He knew that dying in itself wasn't enough. He also had to purify and cleanse man from his sins. Isaiah 53:2-6 explains this concept clearly: “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness;

and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our

griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  And as a root out of a dry ground.”

and as a root out of a dry ground, because mankind had no power to redeem itself..

Lucifer in the beginning trying to take off this principle (the free agency) was just trying to take off this burden. Christ in giving back his free agency to the Father (Father no my will will be done, but Yours) took, literally, this burden on His shoulders and purified it by His personal blood.

Atonement was an exercise of power and and increasement of power. One of the ironies of this life is that we acquire power when we donate it. We increase our knowledge when we gift the one we possess and so it is with atonement. Revelation 5:12

Revelation 5:12
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

The scriptures make clear that the Savior could not have resurrected mankind if He had not first died. Paul wrote in Hebrews 2:14

Hebrews 2:14
14 ¶ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Going trhough the death He could destroy who had the power on death, that is the devil Alma 7:12

Alma 7:12
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. The Savior reinforced this concept in John 12:24

John 12:24
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

The atonement is often misunderstood because of its nature. The atonement is really "the grace of God" The word "grace" in this case is defined as "freedom, granted by a higher authority, from the penalty of our sins.” However, this is not the same kind of grace, which the Protestants teach. The scriptures clearly state that to be saved we must repent. But if we are saved by grace without doing any works, why must we repent? The scriptures talk about   “ordinances, ” but why do people need ordinances if they are saved by grace without works? The scriptures talk about keeping the commandments of God, but why do we need to observe commandments if we are saved by grace without works? The scriptures tell us of a final judgment that will come upon every person. No one is excluded! But why are the believers included in such a judgment if they are already saved by grace?

Our third article of faith declares, "We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, BY OBEDIENCE TO THE LAWS AND ORDINANCES OF THE GOSPEL."

The Bible tells us, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22). This is speaking about a UNIVERSAL SALVATION for both believers and unbelievers. Immortality is granted to everyone. It is a universal gift. But individual salvation is another matter. This is the reason why there will be a final judgment at the last day. As it says in Revelation 20:11-12, “ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

The Bible also explains that certain things must be done in order for divine grace and mercy to be activated in the lives of individual followers of Christ. Hebrews 5:9 tells us that Christ is " the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY HIM."  Further if we all we need to obtain "eternal life" is just confess Jesus as our Savior, why did Jesus say, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord shall enter in the Kingdom of God" (Matthew 7:21)? "And behold, one cane and said unto Him, Good Master," Clear question, direct question to the Lord Himself, what great occasion to explain His personal viewpoint. " And He said unto him, why callest me good?  There is none good but one, that is God” (Matthew 19:16-17)

“And behold a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit He said unto him, what is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy hurt and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And He said unto him, same answer, we have 2 witnesses from the Bible on the same topic. Jesus gave a clear answer on direct question there is no discrepancy in His words” (Luke 10:25-28). For a better understanding of this topic please take a look at "faith and works."

So now having said all of this we can start to talk about Ordinances, laws and repentance, because they are the instruments to use to gain the eternal life. Regarding the repentance I suggest you to read my article "repentance" so I can save space and time.

Joseph Smith taught that when God chose to restore his everlasting Gospel, it was necessary to restore the priesthood or divine authority as well, because ordinances without priesthood can't be performed. In addition, the latter day saints came to understand that the sacraments of the church, or ordinances, were needed as channels of divine power,,one of the means whereby mankind could partake of the "power of godliness"D&A 84:21

Bruce R. Mc Conkie in Mormon doctrine wrote:"Among his laws and commandments, the Lord has provided certain rites and ceremonies which are called ordinances. These ordinance-rites might be pictured as a small circle within the larger circle of ordinance-commandments,. Most of these rites and ceremonies....are essential to salvation and exaltation in the kingdom of God; "

The greatest definition that Jesus gave for Himself was"I am the Way, the truth, and the Life"

In these three definitions is contained His whole minister.

Jesus is our example. He showed us the way we should live by the way He lived His life. Although He was without sin He submitted Himself to be baptized. When John the Baptist first objected, “Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.” (Matthew 3:15) Jesus taught  “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).  Although He was sinless, even Jesus was obedient to all the laws of God. As such, He was the perfect example of obedience.

The scriptures repeatedly tell us “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Jesus prayed, saying,  “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:23). Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect.” In 2 Timothy 3:17 he said,  “That the man of God may be perfect and this perfection is possible even for the dead.” And In Hebrews 11:40 we read, “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” In Matthew 19:21 we read, “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, "Who then can be saved?"

things are possible.”

However, almost all Christians claim that this is impossible for us to do. Yet the scriptures tell us that “with God all things are possible.”  So, can man become perfect or not? It’s obvious that we can’t live a perfect life the way Jesus did, otherwise we wouldn’t need a savior. But there is a way that God has provided for us to become perfect and that is through the gift of repentance. (Read my article on repentance to better understand this topic.)

The book of Mormon explains that people cannot be saved in their sins. “And Zeezrom said again: Shall he save his people in their sins? And Amulek answered and said unto him: I say unto you he shall not, for it is impossible for him to deny his word…. And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins” (Alma 11:34, 37).

Repentance is like an eraser. However, repentance is more than just feeling remorse for sins committed. Sincere and true repentance also means doing everything possible to undo the mistakes we’ve made.

Another way we can live a more perfect life is to progress from grace to grace, line upon line as Jesus did. This process is explained to us in D&C 93:20 which reads, “ For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fullness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.”

And how is grace transferred to us? This is the function of the Holy Ghost. His purpose is to teach us and sanctify us. As a teacher, He brings all things to our remembrance and, in this way, we come to understand the commandments and ordinances of God. As we faithfully keep those commandments, we receive redemption from the grace of God. Thus, the more we keep the commandments, the more grace we receive.

Who is the Holy Ghost? Heber C. Kimball one of the early leaders of the Church, explained that "The Holy Ghost is a man; He is one of the sons of Our Father and Our God." Joseph Smith likewise taught that "The Holy Ghost is yet a spiritual body and waiting to take Himself a (physical) body. He is the messenger of the father and the Son, the Comforter, the Witness or Testator. Some of his roles include 1) to comfort in times of distress or uncertainty, to bring peace to the troubles soul 2) to bring things to remembrance 3) to reveal the things of God, to make known matters that can be known and understood only through faith, to bear witness of the truth 4) to sanctify, to purify the human heart, to purge men and women of sins and of sinfulness.” (Words of Joseph Smith, edited by Andrew F. Ehat p. 382)

Elder Parley P. Pratt explained the power of the Holy Ghost:" The gift of the Holy Ghost.... quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being."  (Key to the science of theology and a voice of warning 61).

Because of the fall, the children of Adam have the freedom to yield themselves either to the persuasions of the world or to the enticing of the Holy Spirit. Those who choose the former enter the realm of sin and, without repentance, in time surrender their will to Satan.  Those who choose the latter put off the natural man and put on Christ through His atonement.

We are promised that when we enter into a covenant with God that He will forgive us of all our sins. Many people think that this happens at the time of our baptism, but this is only partially true. The real purification takes place when we receive the Holy Ghost, because it is He who has the power to sanctify us:" the real purification takes palace when we receive the Holy Ghost, because He has the power to purify our "Blood". In Moses 6:59-60 we read, “That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;   For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified.”

There are two Comforters spoken of. One is the Holy Ghost, the same as given on the day of Pentecost, and that all Saints receive after faith, repentance, and baptism. This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the OLD blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure intelligence.

Why our blood is purified? Because we made a covenant and God never Judges what is done without knowledge, when You accept Christ like Savior we acknowledge our previous mistakes (repentance) and we promise to be obedient so God put again our blood in balance like we had before to sin, obviously like when we were babies, for this reason the kingdom of God is for people like little children. This is the NEW CREATION, this means to "be born again" to be renewed in the body and in the spirit, clearly if mankind break the covenant like Peter taught:' 2 Peter 20:20-22

2 Peter 2:20
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

2 Peter 2:21
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

2 Peter 2:22
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Peter is speaking about "pollutions" those are the sins that not only cause death but even disease for us and for the creation

1 Corinthians 11:27
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:28
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.

1 Corinthians 11:29
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

1 Corinthians 11:30
30 For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you,

We don't have to forget that mother earth, even tough innocent D7a 88:25

D&C 88:25
25 And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law--

had to be baptized because Genesis 6:11-12

Genesis 6:11
11 ¶ The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

Genesis 6:12
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

So She had to be baptized for this corruption, even though like Jesus she was innocent, but there is connection between earth and mankind, even today we are causing terrible pollution for our mother and she is paying the consequences of our mistakes. For that reason God knowing this, instead to baptize earth right the way it is awaiting the second coming of Jesus to purify again earth from this pollution and only at that moment the millennium will be introduced, because only the right person will live during the millennium and the earth will have the time to be ready to present itself to receive the paradisiac glory mentioned in the scriptures.

What are the gift of the Spirit?

 

They are divine traits transmitted to mankind trough covenant and obedience and when mankind obtain those becomes  PART OF THE DIVINE NATURE that it is part of his nature, because in the garden was made by God and he was made in his imagine and likeness. When mankind fallen he lost part of its divine nature but  God declared that man gained something to be more like Him Genesis 3:22

Genesis 3:22
22 ¶ And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil

Peter knew that faithful saints could receive this divine nature back integrally 2 Peter 1:3-4

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

2 Peter 1:4
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

The gifts of the Spirit are the manifestation of some divine qualities of God. Parley P. Pratt again:" It is a mistaken idea to suppose that these gifts were merely given for the convincing of unbelievers. Paul says expressly, that the gifts which were given by our Lord after His ascension were intended for other purposes. These, togheter with numerous other gifts, were given, not merely to establish the truth of Christianity, but as Paul says:"For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."

The gifts of the spirit are discussed in 1 Corinthians 12-14 D&A 46 and Moroni 10.The message that they contain is so important that God put these explanations in all the scriptures, old and new. It is interesting to note that Paul starting to expound his lesson says"

1 Corinthians 12:1
1 ¶ NOW concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

How can we gain these gifts?

1 Corinthians 12:31
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Elder Bruce R. Mc Conkie wrote:"Faithful persons are expected to seek the gifts of the Spirit with all their hearts.Moroni 10 is the final message delivered to us, He was seeing us and these are his final suggestions Moroni 10:30-33

Moroni 10:30
30 And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.

Moroni 10:32
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

Moroni 10:33
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

This final explanation define for us the relationship between grace, gift and godhead.Grace coming from the atonement open the gate to the divine path and Godhead is the destination and by the grace, (every gift came by the grace because it is something free) we receive the Holy Ghost and His gifts that by them we can build our divine nature winning the old one, and we can win the world like Jesus did by these means. The difference between us and Jesus is that Him overcame the world without using the repentance, but even Him progressed grace for grace and even Him obtained The Holy Ghost   and all the gift of the spirit.

Bottom line Jesus said this Luke 6:40

Luke 6:40
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

and also

Matthew 5:48
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 19:21
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.

Matthew 19:25
25 When his disciples heard [it], they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

Matthew 19:26
26 But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

This is the key:"but with God all things are possible."

John 17:23
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one;

2 Corinthians 13:11
11 ¶ Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect,

2 Timothy 3:17
17 That the man of God may be perfect

and this perfection is possible even for the dead

Hebrews 11:40
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 13:21
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul knew that only Jesus (the way, the truht, and the life) mankind could be perfect. His Gospel is not a partial Gospel, His Gospel possess all the means to provide mankind all the needs to become :"Luke 6:40
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master."

If Jesus was His Firstborn in the Spirit we are the others. Paul explain this idea to the unbelievers the Greeks in Athens, clearly

Acts 17:28-29

Acts 17:28
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Acts 17:29
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

see also Numbers 27:16 Psalms 31:5 Isaiah 57:16 Hebrews 12:9

Many people maintain that the son of God are only the believers, trying to escape our idea, but Paul was just referring to unbelievers and made so clear that everybody is offspring of God

Like I wrote before the only difference between us and Jesus it is that Jesus had a divine father, but don't assume that it was just this that gave Him the power over death, because it would be just partially true, we will see later that He had this power when was born (to live forever) but He could lose it if ............. Instead we had a natural father, but our spirit in our body was

Numbers 16:22
22 And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh,

Numbers 27:16
16 Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh.

However, the difference between Jesus and us is that He had a Divine Father, while the rest of us have had only natural fathers.  It’s been said: "God gave us a spiritual body; our natural father gave us a mortal body.” Yet, through the resurrection our bodies will be changed and can become just as glorious as God’s body.  Therefore, Christ is the way because through His perfect example and His atonement He has made the way possible for us to become perfect like Him. As it says in 1 Corinthians 15:42, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.”.

Having discussed how Jesus is "the way,” let’s see how He is "the Truth"

Truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come D&A 93:24 Truth is not established by consensu, by popular vote or some other thing.

Jesus is the truth because He gave us the REAL knowledge that will bring us salvation.  However, we must follow His commandments to gain salvation. For example, if you go to the doctor and he prescribes something to help make you better but you don't take it, then his prescription does you no good.  In the same way, Jesus has given us the prescription to make us perfect, and that prescription is the knowledge of the truth. Jesus taught "The truth will make you free!"

Many people feel that if we have to obey God’s commandments, then we are not really free. That would be true if we were compelled to obey God. In fact, this was Satan’s plan. From the beginning, he sought to compel all of mankind to obey his ways. But God allows us the freedom to choose. So now Satan tries to make us believe that if we willingly choose to follow God, we are not really free.  That is typical of him.

end part one

part two "the blessings of obedience.

When I published this talk, something very weird happend: I put the same background of the other pages, but it didn't come up. I went back to put it back 2 or three times and never it worked. At the end I felt that this page had its natural background already:"WHITE"!!! Atonement make the repenters clean again white like a pure baby. Strangely the  tree of life is "white" and it is pretty strange, any tree is "white", but the tree of life is a special tree 1 Nephi 11:8. It represents  the love of God 1 Nephi 22  it represents that only by the atonement it is possible to have eternal life. I John 4:10 John 3:16 Revelation 22:1-6,14

This page is supposed to stay white, so please feel perfectly confortable because is the only color for it.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 January 2011 13:40  

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Hidden truths in the Bible. Volume 1

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