Redemption and inner peace

The effects of the Fall of Adam

2 Nephi 2:19-

And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.

Alma 42:2-7-

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.

2 Nephi 2:20-21-

And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth. And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh.

Alma 42:17-18-

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.

Alma 42:12-14-

And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.

And now, there was no means to reclaim men from this fallen state, which man had brought upon himself because of his own disobedience.

The mercy of Jesus Christ satisfied the demands of justice

Alma 34:9-

For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.

Alma 42:15-

And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore [Jesus Christ] himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice …

Mosiah 15:9; 16:15-

“Redemption cometh through Christ the Lord” who is “filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice.”

Alma 34:7-8; 15-16-

Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world

And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.

And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.

2 Nephi 2:6-7-

Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

Finding peace through the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Both Enos and Alma give an account of the inner peace they received through the atonement of Jesus Christ (See Enos 1 and Alma 36).

I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it— And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.

Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.

And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

And I said: Lord, how is it done?

And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen.

Alma’s experience is as follows (See Alma 36:17-21):

While I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

Come unto Christ

Alma 42:29-

Only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance … Therefore, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely.

Omni 1:26-

I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. 

Moroni 10:32-

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.

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He Lives!

As a result of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, all mankind will live again after this life with immortal, perfected bodies

Mosiah 16:7-10

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.

He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.

Even this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption.

Alma 11:42-43, 45

Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.

I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death . . . that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided.

Alma 40:23

The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.

Alma 11:44

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.

Mormon 7:6

Believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and 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.

Christ’s testimony in Jerusalem about the resurrection

Just before raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus said to Martha “I am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25

John 5:26

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.

John 10:15-18

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

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.

Christ’s appearance to his disciples in Jerusalem following his resurrection

Luke 24:39

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

John 20:25-29

But [Thomas] said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

John 20:17

[To Mary Madgalene] Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Christ’s appearance to the Nephites in the ancient Americas after ascending to heaven

3 Nephi 11

And now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful . . . they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came . . . the voice which they heard; and it said unto them: Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.

And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.

And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:

Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.

And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying: Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

3 Nephi 15:14-22.

Behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem.

This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them: That other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said:Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching.

3 Nephi 15:9

Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live.

3 Nephi 17:5-22

And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them. And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you. Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.

And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.

And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought. So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst.

And it came to pass that when they had all been brought . . . he commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground . . . He himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him.

And after this manner do they bear record: The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father; And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.

“And the disciples saw and did bear record that he ascended again into heaven.” 3 Nephi 18:39

The spirits of those who have departed this mortal life await the resurrection in the spirit world (which is divided into paradise and prison)

Alma 40:6-14.

Now there must needs be a space betwixt the time of death and the time of the resurrection. And now I would inquire what becometh of the souls of men from this time of death to the time appointed for the resurrection?

Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection . . . the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body . . . are taken home to that God who gave them life.

And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.

And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good . . . and these shall be cast out into outer darkness . . . thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.

John 5:25

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.

1 Peter 3:18-19

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.

2 Nephi 9:12-13:

The paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls . . . and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.

He lives!

The text of the hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” was written by Samuel Medley (1738-1799) based upon Job’s testimony that he would see his Redeemer and receive a perfected, resurrected body through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ  (Job 19:25), as follows:

I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence give! He lives, he lives, who once was dead. He lives, my everlasting Head. He lives to bless me with his love. He lives to plead for me above. He lives my hungry soul to feed, He lives to bless in time of need.

He lives and grants me daily breath. He lives, and I shall conquer death. Oh, sweet the joy this sentence give: I know that my Redeemer lives!

 

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A Marvelous Work

Isaiah 29:8, 11, 14, 18 —

It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite . . .

And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book . . . And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder . . .

Jesus Christ organized a church when he lived on the earth, about 2,000 years ago, “built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets . . . for the perfecting of the saints” that all may come to “the unity of the faith.” Ephesians 2:20; 4:13. At that time there was one true church of Jesus Christ . . . “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Ephesians 4:5. Jesus ordained apostles so that His gospel would be taught in its purity. He conferred upon them priesthood authority by the laying on of hands to teach the gospel and to baptize in His name. He taught that all men and women must follow Him through repentance and baptism to return to our Father in Heaven’s presence. Both the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament had priesthood authority to preach the gospel. Their words, received either through inspiration or directly from Jesus Christ, would ultimately be written as scripture and collectively considered to be the “word of God.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

After having fasted for 40 days, Jesus resisted Satan’s temptation to turn stones into bread and responded that all mankind “shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4. Jesus also taught, “he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35. After the death of Jesus Christ, His apostles preached the gospel of Christ for many years and built up His church but were eventually all rejected and killed, which was the beginning of a great spiritual famine in the land.

Amos had taught that there would be a famine in the land, “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” Amos 8:11. The apostle Paul foresaw this famine and prophesied that it would be the result of a great apostasy from the church of Christ before His second coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:3. This great apostasy was a time in which no apostles or prophets of Jesus Christ were on the earth with the authority to preach His gospel. Paul not only foresaw this apostasy, but he also prophesied of a restoration of Christ’s church in the “dispensation of the fullness of times.” Ephesians 1:10.

After thousands of years, God inspired many others to lay the foundation for the restoration of Christ’s church on the earth. The writings of the ancient prophets were translated into English in the 1500s and compiled into what is now the Holy Bible, which was first printed in the 1600s. Following the noble work and great sacrifices of many early reformers, even unto giving their lives, the Holy Bible was published. Many churches were formed and spread across the earth, but none of them was organized by Jesus Christ with apostles and prophets who had authority to preach His gospel in its purity. Then in 1820, a 14-year-old boy in upstate New York, who was confused about the many different religions and their conflicting doctrines, read James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.”

What followed was a series of events that led to the coming forth of the book foretold by Isaiah and the restoration of Christ’s church in the last days, which restoration is the “marvelous work and wonder” of Isaiah’s prophecy. And all men and women throughout all the world may know it by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.

(1 Corinthians 2:9-10).  When Peter testified that he knew Jesus Christ to be the Son of the living God, Jesus said unto him: “Blessed art thou . . . for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven.” (Matthew 16:16-17).  And Paul further taught that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Corinthians 12:3; 2:14). Before Christ ascended to heaven, he told his apostles that the Holy Ghost, or the “Spirit of truth,” would teach them all things, just as the “Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” John 14:26; 15:26; Romans 8:16.

Similarly, you may know by the power of the Holy Ghost, which may come as thoughts in your mind or feelings to your heart, whether Jesus Christ has brought forth this “marvelous work and wonder” by restoring His church, and whether it was fulfilled as follows:

The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April—

Which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, Jun., who was called of God, and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first elder of this church . . . God ministered unto him by an holy angel . . . And gave unto him commandments which inspired him; And gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also; Which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them—

Proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old . . .

Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments; And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets.

(Doctrine and Covenants 20:1-11; 1:17-18, emphasis added). You may know whether these prophesies have been fulfilled by planting a seed of faith within your heart to discover or rediscover the Book of Mormon, which established the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the Holy Bible.

Exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

(Alma 32:27-28). The famine spoken of by Amos is over! As Nephi wrote, “hearken unto these words . . . for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words . . . wherefore, press forward with a steadfastness in Christ . . . feasting upon the word of Christ.” 2 Nephi 31:20; 33:10-11. See http://www.mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon.

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