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Friday, April 10, 2009

2 Nephi 9

Read it HERE

Summary:Jews shall be gathered in all their lands of promise—Atonement ransoms man from the fall—The bodies of the dead shall come forth from the grave, and their spirits from hell and from paradise—They shall be judged—Atonement saves from death, hell, the devil, and endless torment—The righteous to be saved in the kingdom of God—Penalties for sins set forth—The Holy One of Israel is the keeper of the gate. Between 559 and 545 B.C.

The Lord has made covenants with the House of Israel even that (verse 2) "That he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down, from generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored to the true church and fold of God; when they shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise.

And why is this important to know? So they can lift up their head and rejoice in knowing their children will be blessed.

This next verse, verse 5 says, "5 Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.

As I read this verse, I thought of a song that I have sung many times, written by Jenny Phillips. I thought I would post her lyrics here.

Oh Jerusalem
Jesus wept for you, Oh Jerusalem.
And even as you raise his cross, His perfect love extends.
As you mock Him, He is saving you.
As you pierce Him, He sheds a tear for you.

Oh Jerusalem, it is Him, it is Him.
Why can't you see, can't you feel?
He is your king!
You will see those hands again, Oh Jerusalem.
His tears that fall, they fall for you Oh Jerusalem.
And even as you break His heart, He keeps a place for you.
As you forsake Him, He remembers you.
As you curse His name, He sheds His blood for you.
Oh Jerusalem, it is Him, it is Him.
Why can't you see, can't you feel?
He is your king!
You will see those hands again, Oh Jerusalem.

Oh Jerusalem, death could never conquer Him,
Did you weep when they crowned your mighty king?
Oh Jerusalem, you will see those hands again,
When He comes, and we fall upon our knees.
Oh Jerusalem, Oh Jerusalem.
What a blessing of forgiveness and what an amazing promise that someday the Jews will be restored to the true church, will be gathered together and be established in their lands of promise.
The chapter goes on to talk about the plan and how Christ made it possible, through His atonement, for EVERYONE to be resurrected.
Verse 7 "Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement...".
And what I think is very important for us to understand is in verse 8 " 8 O the wisdom of God, his mercy and cgrace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more."
If we could not be resurrected, then our spirits would become subject to Satan. I don't think I really realized that fully. But that is the whole plan. We are here upon this earth to gain a body, just like our Father in Heaven. Satan and his followers will never have a physical body. So after this life, it is necessary for us to be resurrected if we are to be with God.
Ditto verse 10 "O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit."
And then we shall be judged... verse 16 says that the righteous will be righteous still, and the filty will be filthy still. Death has not changed anything. That is why we must take the opportunity in this life to repent!
Very familiar verse: 28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

To me this verse means tha we need to be very careful. The devil is cunning. He encourages us to think that we can take credit for things. When we are learned, or wise, or accomplished, we forget to give credit to the Lord. We start to think that we alone have done all these great things, when really, we need to humble ourselves and continue our counsel with God, and be grateful to Him and give him thanks for all things.
To me it seems that the next many verses are reminders to repent, to listen to the counsels of the Lord, to be humble, to call upon the Lord, to come to Him, to remember Him... if not, we will suffer the consequences of sin.
We need to be able to say (Verse 49), "Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart delighteth in righteousness; and I will praise the holy name of my God."

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