Day 95 | Together in One
January 1, 2015 - WEEK FOURTEEN
Giovanni da Fiesole (Fra Angelico), The Descent of Christ into Limbo, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
CONSIDER AS YOU READ
- Of what significance is the fact that Christ visited the spirits in prison so soon after return to the spirit world? Any message for us on the urgency of seeking our deceased?
- Why do you think so many more accepted Christ’s teachings in the spirit world than on Earth?
The path to the celestial kingdom is the same whether it is traveled in mortality or in the postmortal spirit world. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and the conferring of the gift of the Holy Ghost, along with all other principles of the gospel (D&C 138:34) must be taught. Baptism, however, along with other priesthood ordinances, is an earthly ordinance that must be performed in the physical body. Baptisms for those who have died without baptism and then repent and accept the principles of the gospel in the postmortal spirit world must be performed vicariously by someone on earth (see D&C 124; 127–28). It is important to note that although baptism was instituted from the time of Adam, vicarious baptism for the dead was not instituted until after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Joseph Fielding Smith observed: “There was no baptism for the dead before the days of the Son of God and until after he had risen from the dead, because he was the first who declared the gospel unto the dead. No one else preached unto the dead until Christ went to them and opened the doors, and from that time forth the elders of Israel, who have passed away, have had the privilege of going to the spirit world and declaring the message of salvation” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:116)….
The judgments of God are the same for everyone. Whether the gospel is heard in mortality or in the spirit world, all will be judged by the same standards. Gospel principles are everlasting. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever…. The challenges of accepting and living the gospel here will be replicated there. The just and merciful God of this earth is the same just and merciful God of the spirit world (Stephen Robinson and H. Dean Garrett, A commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, Salt Lake: Deseret Book Co, 2005, 33–34).
FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
- Where did Jesus’ spirit go before he was resurrected?
- Do you think any of his followers understood that he would be resurrected in three days?