In Adam’s place, Christ suffered the decree “Thou shalt surely die”

You cannot understand or teach the resurrection in a more meaningful way that you understand and can teach the doctrine of a body. The resurrection is not about being reunited with our dead. That will happen in the spirit world.

The resurrection is about family, because the body is about family.

Christ was the perfect son of his father. Just as death entered the world through Adam and  Eve, so also the conquest of death came by Jesus Christ. Cne transgression brought death into the world. Christ atoned for that transgression, he paid the price of death.

Christ’s death was different than Adam and Eve’s. Adam and Eve were fallen, and could gain nothing for themselves. When they suffered death, they didn’t also conquer death. They suffered the just punishment God declared for their transgression, he having warned them of the punishment even before they ate of the fruit. But they didn’t earn anything by suffering the punishment.

But Christ came into the world and gained power over death. He did not start with power over death as we learn both from Joseph Smith.

“When still a boy [Jesus Christ] had all the intelligence necessary to enable Him to rule and govern the kingdom of the Jews, and could reason with the wisest and most profound doctors of law and divinity, and make their theories and practice to appear like folly compared with the wisdom He possessed; but He was a boy only, and lacked physical strength even to defend His own person; and was subject to cold, to hunger and to death. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith page 392)

Christ gained power over death from his Father as he declared. He gained this power before he performed the atonement.

John 10: 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Christ then suffered the penalty of death that had been declared for Adam and Eve. He suffered it in their place.

What purpose of Christ suffering death in their place? They and many of their posterity had already endured the penalty. The punishment had already been administered.

Because he suffered the penalty of death in their place, but being the son of God, and having done no sin, the Father allowed him to suffer the penalty in their place, and thereby Christ paid the price in full.

When we transgress and are cast out, we put ourselves in fallen state. The natural man, being an enemy to God, can not merit his redemption. His punishment is administered, but it is a punishment, and earns him nothing.

Christ, being God’s perfect and literal son, and therefore being something more than fallen man, could suffer the penalty of death and actually earn something for having suffered the punishment.

Having paid the penalty in full, having suffered God’s decree “in that day thou shalt surely die” in Adam’s place, Christ was given power over the punishment as it had been administered, and would be administered, to Adam and his posterity. Christ was given power over the death of all mankind.

Christ then exercised the power he obtained over death from his father, and was resurrected. Having paid the penalty of the father’s decree in Eden, Christ then can give that power over death to all who were subjected to death because of it.

Without conquering death, Christ could not have rightly restored them to life, for he would have been working against the punishment decreed by the Father. By paying the price in their place, he was given the rights of mercy, and could restore them from death unto life. He obtained power over the punishment that had been administered, having paid the penalty fully himself in their place. He conquered the punishment of death that was decreed for them, and could thereby administer the power of resurrection to them, just as he received from his own father.



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John Robertson

I am nothing more than a regular member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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