Tuesday, August 9, 2011

All the facets of Christ's power over death

When we talk about Christ’s resurrection, I think we haven’t yet put together all the witnesses of His power over death. We see Christ’s power in all of its facets in the scriptures:

Christ brought the dead back to mortality while He was still mortal. He raised Lazarus and the son of the widow of Nain.

Christ voluntarily gave His own life, which no one else could take from Him without His permission, because He was the Only Begotten Son of God.

Three days later, Christ took His own body back again, this time for good. He could do this because He was the Only Begotten Son of God. He was never to die again.

Other saints were resurrected to immortality by Christ after Christ’s resurrection. Although we have no record of the names of these saints, we have two records (two witnesses) that it occurred—the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, in the old world and in the new world. This shows that distance from Christ made no difference to His power over death.

Christ gave some of His servants power over death by raising them to a higher state. They could not be killed and they had a change wrought in their bodies so that they would not experience the pains of death or disease. That this is recorded in two different records for two different peoples strengthens its witness. We know the name of at least one person who was changed in that way—John the Beloved. Now, think about the significance of Christ’s power to do that. Only someone with total power over death could give even a portion of this power to someone else. This also strengthens the promise of the resurrection to us that Christ’s power over death can be and will be shared.

Keeping all these factors in mind together gives me a more comprehensive picture that strengthens my faith.

Image: I am a Son of God blog, http://iamasonofgod.wordpress.com/2008/03/25/my-understanding-of-the-resurrection/


Wendy said...

Thanks for the thoughts.

Curls said...

Didn't he also raise Jairus's daughter from the dead? Or am I remembering that wrong?

Michaela Stephens said...

I think you're right, Kimberly, I forget that one.

Ramona Gordy said...

The person's who were resurrected after Jesus, do they have a special mission? Where do they live? Was Moroni one of the resurrected beings? Or was any of the prophets who conferred the keys of the priesthood to Joseph Smith considered in that catagory?

Michaela Stephens said...

Let's see if we can use the scriptures to answer your questions, RGG.

Where do resurrected beings live?

6 The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth;
7 But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.
8 The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim. (D&C 130:6-8)

(The Spirit brought that scripture to mind when I prayed about that question.)

Do persons resurrected after Jesus have a special mission?

D&C 129 contains knowledge about distinguishing between angels who are resurrected, angels who are the spirits of just men made perfect though not yet resurrected, and the devil as an angel of light (unembodied).

The section implies the principle that angels (with or without bodies) come with messages from God. (The devil will also bring a message of his own and try to represent it as a message from God, and the section is to help us detect him.)

Was Moroni one of the resurrected beings? Or was any of the prophets who conferred the keys of the priesthood to Joseph Smith considered in that catagory?

Certainly Moroni, Peter, James, John, and John the Baptist had all been entrusted with messages as well as missions.

As stated in the Introduction of the Book of Mormon, Moroni was a glorified, resurrected being. (Now, some people may dispute the status of the intro as scripture, but I suppose that there are probably records somewhere that establish Moroni's corporeal nature, and the intro's statement is based on those documents.)

I think we can safely say that the priesthood ordinations by John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John also indicated their resurrected status.

For extra reading, here's a link to the entry on "angels" from the church's online Guide to the Scriptures.

Ramona Gordy said...

Thank you Michaela
I am making a copy of this,I know that I have read and have been taught these things,but for me I love a more better explanation.You are an awesome teacher,patient,kind and full of humility in the way that you communicate with everyone and help us.Your words are gracious.