Tag Archives: Resurrection

FULL SCOPE OF THE ATONEMENT: part 2 – Resurrection

5 Sep

This is a talk I gave in Sacrament Meeting a few months ago, and thought I would share it with you. I am posting it in six parts, each being fairly brief, so have fun and let me know what you think.

Grace, Resurrection, Justification, Sanctification, Exaltation, Mercy

Four Stages of Salvation

It is by the Atonement that salvation comes to mankind. So, to understand the full scope of the Atonement we must look at salvation and learn what it is. I find that this is easiest when we look at salvation as coming in four levels, or stages. I call the first Resurrection and Intersession; the second Justification; the third Sanctification; and the fourth and greatest Exaltation. These stages or levels are all made possible through the Atonement, and they come to us in the order that I have listed them. Each stage brings us salvation in some form, and each form is different. Let us look at each of these stages more closely.

 

Resurrection and Intersession

It is well known in the church that all who are born on this earth will be resurrected; that their spirit and physical body will be joined forever in immortality.  This is salvation from physical death, which is an effect of the fall of Adam.

It is less well known that the Intersession of Christ will bring all who are born on this earth back into the presence of the Father. This is salvation from the First Spiritual Death, which is defined as separation from God (Gospel Topics: Death, Spiritual at www.lds.org).

We know that both physical and spiritual death are the result of the Fall of Adam, as Alma tells us “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.” (Alma 42: 9) By this we also know that it was part of God’s plan to not only redeem us from the physical death, but from the spiritual death as well.

It is by the Atonement that salvation from these two deaths is made possible. While we all know everyone will be saved from physical death through the resurrection, Lehi taught us that “because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him.” (2 Nephi 2: 10) Thus all men are redeemed from the spiritual death through the intercession of Christ.

 

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50 Questions: The Bible, part 2

14 Apr

On another blog Tim has been writing answers to a series of questions asked by a Latter Day Saint named Greg Trimble. The list was titled 51 Questions That Might Lead You To Mormonism. So far Tim has posts 5 parts in his series, and I don’t know how many more it will take to answer all 51. However, in part 4 he mentions another list of questions that was made back in 2001. This was titled 50 Questions to Ask Mormons. So, I have decided to follow Tim’s example and make a short series to answer these 50 questions.

I will answer the questions in the order they are given and in the categories they are sorted into. Each post will be less than 1000 words, so only a few questions will be answered in each.

Read 50 Questions: Prophets, part 1; Prophets, part 2; Mormon Scriptures, part 1; Mormon Scriptures, part 2; Mormon Scripture, part 3; Mormon Scripture, part 4; The Bible, part 1


QUESTIONS 32-35

  1. Why does the Mormon Church teach that we can be married in heaven when Jesus said in Matthew 22:30 that in the resurrection men neither marry, nor are they given in marriage? 

Let us look at the entire story (verses 23-32)

“The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.”

There are those who have suggested that the family in question was not a hypothetical case, but an actual family that had become famous in the area because of the circumstances just described. This is strengthened by the Sadducees say “There were with us seven brethren” indicating that these brethren had lived among the Jews. It would also make the question more dangerous because it asked for a judgment of actual people and not just hypothetical situations.

With this view in mind we see Christ giving a two-part answer. Note here that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, and thus had asked this question in an attempt to confound Christ and cause him to contradict himself. They were disappointed however.

First he addresses the family in question.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

So, Christ is declaring first that the marriages in question are not binding in Heaven. Why this is the case is not explained. For whatever reason the marriages were purely temporal in nature. This is likely they were Levirate marriages, but may also be due to the fact that the sealing keys were not on the earth at the time and so no marriages were sealed, until Peter was given the keys to bind on earth and in heaven.

Christ next affirms the truth and reality of the resurrection.

“But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

Note also that Christ first tells them they err not knowing the scriptures (meaning the priesthood keys of sealing and how they operate) and that they do not know the power of God (meaning the power to resurrect the dead). Both part are addressed in his answer.

 

  1. How can worthy Mormon males become Gods in the afterlife when God already said that before him no God was formed, nor will there be any Gods formed after him (Isaiah 43:10)? 

This verse must be considered in proper perspective. God, as a title for the Supreme Being, is applied only to the Father. For us there is no other God. There was never one before Him, nor will there be after. We have but one, and always will. But this does not mean that others do not exist in a state of godhood, or Celestial perfection.

It is just like our earthly fathers. I have only one Father. I never had any other, and I never will have any other. So, before my father there was no father for me, and there will be no father for me after him. That does not preclude others from having their own fathers.

 

  1. If God had a father who was a God, how come Isaiah 44:8 says that he doesn’t know him? 

One must understand what God says he does not know. This goes back to question 33. There is no God for us but the Father. Our Father, who knows everything, knows of no other God for us. But, just as I said in question 33, this does not mean that there are not other gods out there, or that our Father does not have a Father.

 

  1. If God was once just a man who progressed to becoming a God, how do you explain Psalm 90:2: “…even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God”? 

Doctrine and Covenants 132: 20

“Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject to them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject to them.”

 

We to will be from everlasting to everlasting if we attain to the state of godhood. Everlasting here is describing a period of time within eternity; that is the period between one physical creation and the next. So, from one period, or one everlasting, to the next God is God. He continues, remaining the same God from one creation to the next, or from one eternal generation to the next.