Tuesday, November 25, 2014

3 Nephi 28:36-38 -- On Hope and Washing away Mortality

"And now behold, as I spake concerning those whom the Lord hath chosen, yea, even three who were caught up into the heavens, that I knew not whether they were cleansed from mortality to immortality—
But behold, since I wrote, I have inquired of the Lord, and he hath made it manifest unto me that there must needs be a change wrought upon their bodies, or else it needs be that they must taste of death;
Therefore, that they might not taste of death there was a change wrought upon their bodies, that they might not suffer pain nor sorrow save it were for the sins of the world."
3 Nephi 28:36-38

This is amazing in so many ways.  This is talking about 3 of Christ's disciples that expressed their desire to live until Christ returned, and to continue to bring souls to him.  The thought of not having to "taste" death is mighty cool all by itself, but there are plenty of other things here.  I like the idea that mortality is "cleansed" from us.  That all the death and sorrow stuff is just like a stain, and if we wash it off, then we're all good. :)  I like the idea that our bodies are changed... but we're still the same people.  It's like becoming the bionic man, but way better. :)  And I really, really like the part about no pain or sorrow except for the sins of the world.  That seems so nice.  Not to have to worry about our health at all?  That's unbelievably amazing.
Not to dismiss sorrow for the sins of the world.  Anyone who has had a close friend or loved one leave the church or choose to walk away from God will understand how devastating that can be.  And, of course, we all live here in the world and we see the sin and the corruption all around us.  It's hard... and it's also why Christ suffered and was crucified.  To atone for the sins of the world (D&C 54:1).  Because the sins of the world are huge and prevalent, and we need to be saved from them.  Mormon and Moroni lived most of their lives in sorrow for the sins of the world, and I think that in our normal lives, even if all of our health problems were removed, we'd probably have some sorrow left, for the choices that people make that lead to sadness or evil, rather than happiness and good... especially when they are *our* choices.
Despite the sorrow for the sins of the world, though, Mormon said "nevertheless, I know that I shall be lifted up at the last day" (Mormon 2:19) ... and I think that the same thing can be true for us.  Even in the midst of sorrow and disappointment, we can choose to see the good: to know that God is willing to save everyone who comes to him, including us. :)  To know that someday we'll be resurrected and have perfect health. :)  To know that God will right all the wrongs, and build a Zion of people who love each other and who are generous and giving and loving, even when we are having a hard time being that, or knowing how to promote it.
Today, even if we are failing on a personal level, let's remember that God gives us hope of a glorious, better-than-bionic future. :)  Because he suffered for the sins of the world, we can repent.  We can wash away our sin, and know that someday God will wash away our mortality.  And we can also hope for others.  Because we can all turn around, and learn, and grow, and overcome our faults.  Today, let's work on that, and focus on the positive things. :)

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