Linking Scriptures – Part I

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For some time now I have been pondering on some of the comments I have been reading on other blog sites regarding scripture, their relevance, and what purposes they really serve.

It seems that to some, they are not reliable in terms of doctrine for one reason or another. It seems that what the Lord said, or the prophet recorded, was not really what was meant – at least as it pertains to the understanding of the ignorant masses in the Church today.

I challenge this approach to the scriptures. As one of the ignorant masses, let me share what the writings of the Prophet Joseph and the scriptures have taught me.

A number of years ago, I read in the Teachings p121 the following statement: ” The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”.

I understood this to mean that the axis around which the Gospel revolved was the atonement, and everything else had to tie back into the atonement or it wasn’t true. This seemed an awesome task, but as I studied the scriptures and pondered them, some interesting things began to unfold.

Rather than being disparate pieces of information handed down from time to time by the Lord, the scriptures actually enlarge each other, and what one prophet said at one point in time, can actually fuel what another said at another point in time, and the two together add further light and knowledge.

Let me illustrate.

2 Ne. 2:5-7 says: ” And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men… Behold he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law…”

In 3 Ne. 15:9 the Saviour says: “Behold, I am the law and the light…”

Now most people might take that reference to mean He is the fulfillment of the law of Moses.

I take a deeper meaning from 3 Ne. based on what was said in 2 Ne. Why?

Since the law spoken of in 2 Ne. has to do with the atonement and the introduction of opposition, then further reading of 2 Ne. tells me that if there were no opposition there would be no God and we would not exist. Of course D&C93:30 concurs with this as well. But hold on, there is another scripture that adds even more to my understanding. In 2 Ne. 11:7 it says: ” For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation…”

D&C 88:13 tells us (speaking of the light of Christ):” The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, …” Therefore, the law spoken of in 3Ne. to me represents far more than the Law of Moses.

Pondering on these scriptures tells me a few things:

  1. Opposition is necessary for existence;
  2. the atonement thru Christ is what brought opposition into existence;
  3. without Christ there is no God and we are not;
  4. since opposition was required for agency to exist in the premortal world, then the atonement had to be in effect in that premortal existence (Moses 4:3);
  5. the light of Christ is the law by which all things are governed;
  6. therefore, the office of Christ is an eternal principle upon which all creation takes place;
  7. the office of Christ is the office of sacrifice as explained in Mosiah 15:1-12 _ and some things began to make sense.

In Moses 1:6 the Lord appears to Moses and speaks as though He were the Father. He says: “And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Saviour, for He is full of grace and truth…”

Given the time frame in which the revelation occurred – 2000 years before the atonement – guess what? – the atonement was a foregone conclusion – not a maybe, let’s hope, oh gosh type of event.

This also is confirmed in D&C 93:38 if we read it carefully.

Since that is the case then other scriptures began to make sense.

D&C 50:24 says: ” That which is of God is light…”

D&C 84:45 says: ” For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”

So, now we know that the office of Christ is responsible for everything that makes God God, since “that which is of God is light” and “whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ” and the light that proceeds from Christ is the “law” by which all things are governed – even the power of God.

This confirms 2 Ne 2 and 2 Ne 11.

Let’s leave it there for now. I am curious to see how others view these scriptures and the conclusions I have drawn so far.

7 thoughts on “Linking Scriptures – Part I

  1. Thanks for bringing that back. I actually started on this trail as a result of your blog. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember the name of it and couldn’t give it proper credit on the positive side.
    Just as a side note, because I will be referring to those same scriptures in the future, my studies have indicated that they are a reference to the atonement, which is really a confirmation of your conclusion regarding eternal life.
    I trust that the manner in which I wrote this piece does not turn people off.
    I really hope that it starts a discussion on the Gospel, because it would be fun, and a growing experience, to continue down this road for a while.

  2. Larry, Fun stuff!

    I would be interested in your definition of “office”. My question is not an adversarial one. I would just like to have a better feel for where you’re going with this.

    I can say that I think some of my own ideas about the role of the Savior do seem to parallel yours–as I understand them. What I’m unclear of at this point is whether or not the title “Anointed One” can really be seperated from the individual with whom it is associated in our theology. I think it’s possible, to a certain extent, to look at it conceptually in order to get a better handle on what it means for the Savior to be a savior. But which is primal, that being whom we worship as our Lord, or the office that He holds of Great High Priest?

    Jack

  3. Jack,

    That is an interesting question. Let me give you my take on it.

    If we study facsimile #1, and it’s been 25 years since I did my study – so I could be getting stale, the throne of God is actually an altar, which means that the one who sits on it becomes the sacrifice.
    Since God the Father is a resurrected being, He cannot sit on the throne until the sacrifice is performed.
    Therefore a substitute must be provided. Not just any substitute, but one who represents all the qualities of the one being substituted for. Hence the need to be like the Father in all His perfections, except He cannot be immortal.
    Without going into further detail at this point, the short answer is that the office has to exist as an eternal principle, but the one who occupies it does so of his own volition and the perfect exercise of his agency.
    That may sound convoluted at this point – let me know and we can go into more detail – perhaps by private e-mail.
    It’s good to hear from you.

    By the way, I may be going down to Orem in July with my wife. It would be great to get together, if possible.

  4. Larry,

    That’s interesting. Typically we view the Atonement as a vicarious sacrifice for God’s children–a scape goat as in the Law of Moses. Your view seems to suggest that the role of the Savior is to stand in the place of both Diety AND humanity. Christ therefore becomes the medium by which the two are reunited, but not only by elevating humanity. He also has the power to condescend as Diety thereby enabling God to reach as low as is necessary in order to clasp hands with his children in His effort to pull them up. Cool.

    My email address is:
    ejc1988@yahoo.com

    Let me know when/if you’re coming through town!

    Jack

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