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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mosiah 14

This is such a great chapter (and it's even from Isaiah!). I think the reason that I like it so much is that it is one of the Isaiah chapters that I actually understand a lot of the references.

This chapter describes how the Savior grows up seemingly as a normal man. He isn't particularly noticeable in appearance. As he starts his ministry, he is despised of men. It calls him a "man of sorrows, acquainted with grief." That struck me because I think that with the persecutions he endured in life, he must really understand a lot of the sorrows and griefs we experience (completely aside from the Atonement, through which we know he understands everything).

I especially like verses 4 and 5. Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. This makes me think of the song that the Tabernacle Choir has sung before that President Faust wrote the words to, "This is the Christ." In the song, they sing "How many drops of blood were shed for me?" That line is always really hard for me to sing and think about without getting really emotional.

Verse 7: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he opened not his mouth. When I read this verse, I not only think of Christ, but of Joseph Smith, who described himself as going as a lamb to the slaughter when he went to Carthage Jail. Joseph Smith is probably the most Christ-like man I can think of, and he furthers that comparison by the manner in which he went to certain death. Both had opportunity to escape; Joseph could have fled instead of willingly going to his trial, and Christ had the power to bring down angels upon his enemies, but didn't.

The final verse says, he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Even though we are not thieves and murderers like the men crucified on either side of Jesus, we are transgressors all the same, and Christ bore our sins and interceded for us to God. I am so thankful for this sacrifice for me and for all of us, and I hope to be able to grow to understand the Atonement more, little by little, and to be able to use it's cleansing, purifying, and enabling power to become more like Christ and eventually be able to live with him again!


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