Alpha and Omega

15 Jan

I believe we are all familiar with the phrases “Alpha and Omega” and the “Beginning and the End” as they are applied to Jesus Christ. I would like to take a few moments and speak of these phrases as I understand them.

The first time the phrase “Beginning and the End” is used is in the Record of Moses. In his grand vision of the creation God declares that “I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things” (Moses 2: 1) In this the phrase, or title is applied to the Father. This is the only instance in which this is done, which we will discuss later.
The second time this phrase is used is in Alma 11: 39, at which time Amulek applies it to Christ. It is later used by Christ himself when he speaks from heaven to the Nephites just before he visits them (3 Nephi 9: 18) which is also the first recorded use of the phrase, or title of Alpha and Omega.
Later, both titles are used to refer to Christ in the book of Revelation.
It is in the modern day that we get the most recorded uses of the titles. In the doctrine and covenants Alpha and Omega appears 13 times, and the Beginning and the End appears 9. Most of these are to either open or close the revelation in which they appear.

There is a third phrase, or title that is used to convey the same meaning, but it appears much less frequently. That title is “The First and the Last.” It appears four times in Revelation, once in the Book of Mormon and once in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Here is a full list of all the verses that contain one or more of these titles for Christ.
Revelation 1:8, 11, 17; 2: 8; 21: 6; 22: 13
Alma 11:39
3 Nephi 9:18
Doctrine and Covenants 19:1; 35: 1; 38: 1; 45: 7; 54: 1; 61: 1; 63: 60; 68:35; 75: 1; 81: 7; 84: 120; 110: 4; 112: 34; 132: 66
Moses 2:1

So, what is meant by these phrases. Concerning the title Alpha and Omega, we read in the Guide to the Scriptures – “Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet; Omega is the last. They are also names given to Jesus Christ and are used as symbols to show that Christ is both the beginning and the end of all creation.”

Notice that in this title it is the first and the last letter that is used from the Greek Alphabet; or it is the beginning and the end of that Alphabet that is being used as a title for Christ. This shows us that all three titles truly have the same meaning. They represent and testify to the fact that Jesus Christ is the Beginning and the End of all creation.

So, what is the beginning of Creation? Would this not be the event that is described in the first two chapters of Genesis, or the creation of this world. In fact, if we go back to the account in Moses we read “And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the words which I speak. I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.”
God himself places the beginning at the creation of this world, and not that of others.

Then what is the end of all creation? If the beginning of Creation was the formation of this planet, is not the end of Creation the ending of this planet. We are told that John wrote “concerning the end of the world.” (1 Nephi 14: 22) So we can see that the end of creation is when Christ will sit in judgment and all of creation will receive their eternal reward. This will happen after the thousand years of the Millennium, after Satan is loosed for a time (Revelation 20: 7). Then comes the end and the consignment of the wicked to Outer Darkness and the rewarding of all else to their glory in heaven.

So, Christ is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last; for he was the God that formed this earth in its beginning, and he will be the God that brings about the end of its creation. These titles designate the all encompassing power and influence that Christ has over this earth.

Concerning the one time that the title “Beginning and End” is used in reference to the Father; as the Son has authority to act in the name of the Father, and the two are one in power and purpose, all things that Christ does are done in the name and to the glory of the Father. So, Christ was the God that formed this earth, but he did so under the direction of the Father; Christ will be the one who judges this creation in its end, but he will do so with the authority of the Father. So, all things are done to the glory of the Father, and thus he is also the Beginning and End because this creation was made for his glory.

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