2 Nephi, Chapter 9 (Part 1)

The power of the Atonement

In my study guide, Joseph Fielding Smith is quoted to have said that this chapter “should be carefully read by every person seeking salvation.”  I’m seeking salvation, so this will take more time in my posting.  I think I will split this chapter into to two posts.

To start off I read the chapter heading.  This chapter has importance because it maps out the rest of the plan of salvation, which is still to come (i.e.. the gathering of Israel, the resurrection, the judgment, and the reward in Heaven).  The greatest motivator for living a good life is the knowledge of what will come after death.  The Atonement is mentioned twice in the heading of this chapter, showing just how important it is to the Lord’s plan.  Understanding the atonement is a lifelong process.  I pray that I will continue to learn and strive to use the atonement in my life.

What if there were no resurrection?

Earth  –>  Paradise/Hell  -and-  The Grave  –>  The Resurrection  –>  The Judgment

When a person dies, their body and spirit are separated. The body lies in a grave and their spirit goes to Spirit Paradise or Hell to await the Resurrection.  There must be a resurrection because we will all be judged and at that judgement we must appear before God in our body.

Jesus-Portrait

What did Jesus Christ do for us because “all men” will die?  The Savior atoned for our sins and died for all mankind.  We all will die and His death brought the resurrection to everyone.

Verse 7 says, “Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.”  The atonement is infinite because it applies to all men for all time.  What would happen to our bodies if Christ’s infinite atonement had not brought the “power of the resurrection”?  Our bodies and spirits would remain separated after our physical death and their would be no way for us to progress in the life to come.  We would also be subject to Satan, because he couldn’t be with God and Christ.  This separation from God would apply to all men, good or bad.

How to escape the monster death and hell

When I think of what a monster is, I think of something scary that is likely to hurt or kill.  Death is like a monster because it can be scary, it can hurt, and it kills.  Verse 10 discusses the monster of death and hell, which are physical and spiritual death.  Physical death is separation of body and spirit and spiritual death is separation of spirit from God.

Where do spirits go when the body goes to the grave?  They go to spirit hell/paradise while the body goes to the grave.

Why do some spirits go to hell and some to paradise?  Spirit paradise is for the righteous souls, and spirit hell is for those that are not righteous.

What happens to our spirits and our bodies at the resurrection and how will the resurrected body be different from the mortal body?  At the resurrection, the spirits and bodies of all who ever lived, will be reunited in their immortal perfect state with a perfect knowledge.

Why did Jacob exclaim “O how great the goodness of our God?”  Without the plan, which included the Savior’s atonement, the resurrection would not be.  God wanted to give us the chance to live with Him again, which brings the greatest happiness to His children. (v. 10-13)

What happens after the resurrection?

After the resurrection there will be a judgement.  We will have a perfect knowledge of all the right and wrong we’ve done.  The things we’ve repented for have been forgiven and forgotten by the Lord who is the Judge of us all.  Those who are righteous will see all the good they’ve done and be happy.  Those who are not righteous will know all the bad they’ve done and will feel unworthy in the presence of the Lord, possibly even frightened because of His purity. (v. 13-15)

The power of the Atonement

What is the world’s way of taking care of sins?  The world’s way is to rationalize why they are done.  For example, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die”.  The world would have us think that there is nothing after this life, so we should enjoy this life with no thoughts of the eternal consequences.

How do we justify sin?  We justify it by saying there is a reason for it.  (For example, I live this lifestyle because of love.)  People justify sins everyday. (“I only did it once”, “Everyone was doing it”, “I needed a break”, etc..)

If we allow the Savior to take care of our sins with the atonement, He removes them from our list of sins.

What must we do so the Atonement will take care of our sins?  In verse 23 we learn that in order for the atonement to work for us, we must have a perfect faith in Christ, repent and be baptized.  If we repent, we will inherit the kingdom of God, have a fullness of joy, be delivered from spiritual death, Satan and eternal damnation, and we will be saved. (v. 18-19, 23-24)

What did Jesus do to make this possible?  Jesus suffered the atonement for this to be possible.  “And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam (v. 21).”  My Savior, has saved my soul.  I have to be willing to accept it now.  He truly loves me, to suffer not only for me, but for my loved ones also (Not to mention every person that ever lived or will live).

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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