Sunday, February 8, 2015

2 Nephi 9:5-6

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.
For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.
Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement

In this passage Jacob explains why the atonement is required, why the Lord must subject Himself to man in the flesh. I find it interesting that Jacob uses for the Lord not the title Redeemer or Savior or for that matter even the common Lord. Instead he refers to the Lord as the Creator. Can we learn anything from this?

In my mind the relationship between the fall and the atonement is clear: the one necessitated the other. Linking both to the creation I think helps us recognize that the fall is surely personal for the Lord. Yes, before the fall, the world was "very good", but more than that, it was the handiwork of the Lord. He created it. It was His own very good world. Surely He felt satisfaction, even a sense of pride, in His creation. ("Pride" here in the non-President Benson sense of the word.) I know I feel a definite sense of accomplishment when I make manage to get four wheels on a pinewood derby car that makes it all the way down the track. I can only imagine what Christ felt once the world was in orbit and full of all manner of beauty.

Even though He knew that the fall, thanks to His merciful plan, would be a positive thing in the long run, I'm certain He felt some sorrow for His creation. I imagine that this sadness helped motivate Him when He suffered for us. Surely knowing that His creation would be lost forever without the atonement gave added purpose to His suffering and motivation to help Him bear the agony.

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