Sunday, June 4, 2017

D&C 63:20 -- On Overcoming and Transfiguration

"Nevertheless, he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come;"
Doctrine and Covenants 63:20

One of the interesting things in this verse is the idea of overcoming.  In our earth lives, we either overcome the world, as Christ did (John 16:33), or we are overcome by the world (D&C 50:8).  The inherent challenge of life is to see if the spirit part of ourselves, which existed before this world, can learn to merge with a body--the physical part of ourselves (modeled after the spiritual part, and still very much "us") that we get when we come to this world.  Getting a body is a challenging task, and something we often are learning to work with throughout our lives--part of which is controlling the desires that are inherent to the experience (the "natural man" of 1 Corinthians 2:14 and Mosiah 3:19), and learning to give our bodies what they need in the Lord's way, and still being able to choose, not just be controlled by our desires.  As we learn over time to train that physical part of ourselves, our spirits and our bodies become more and more in synch, and we stop having to fight ourselves so much, until the perfect day when both parts of ourselves are one... which effort is totally worth it, of course, because in the coming resurrection, we will get our bodies back and be able to live with them forever.

The other part I really like about this verse is the transfiguration part.  Other scriptures talk about the transfiguration of people, but this particular one is talking about the transfiguration of the earth (see verse 21).  Both are interesting.  The idea of being physically changed into a higher form is part of the idea, although we can't be sure exactly what the transfiguring change is, or what all is involved, but whatever it is, it is a huge change that has allowed people to see God in person before, which isn't something that our bodies as they are now could bear.  In this verse, the fact that the earth is going to be similarly transfigured is utterly cool, and you have to wonder if the earth also has a spirit part... and if so, if *everything* does.  In Articles of Faith 1:10 we learn that "that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory," meaning that the new, transfigured earth will be a paradise--finally safe from all of our often-detrimental meddling, and that Christ will actually live here when "here" is perfected. :)  Hopefully our own changes as we learn to be better people will enable us to be worthy of living here again as well.

Today, let's learn to overcome the world, to unite ourselves body and spirit, and to work on preparing ourselves and anyone else we can help for the transfiguration of ourselves and our planet.  And, of course, the best way to do that is through learning about and communicating with God.

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