healing
Week 13 is scheduled for study March 25-31, 2024. The scriptures teach us that Christ shall rise “with healing in his wings.” Here are a number of ways in which that healing takes place.

Day 1

Because of Jesus Christ, I will be resurrected.

I have long taught of the importance of looking beyond just our mortal life to the life we will have in the eternities. Such a long view of our life will give us the strength to make better choices each day. President Russell M. Nelson’s catchphrase “Think Celestial” is what this means. I guess I’m just not as succinct as he is.

Today’s lesson is about our being resurrected because of Christ’s resurrection. Here are two articles I wrote previously that answer today’s subject very well. The first article talks about where hope comes from and how it changes our behavior in this life. I put it first, because it sets up the importance of turning to Jesus for all things.

Note: Both of the articles for today’s lesson take time and a lot of thought to get them to sink in and become relevant to us. If you can, don’t rush through them or skim them. Read them when you have a moment to sit in quiet and focus on the claims I make in each article. If you do I really believe you will have a much better experience with their subject matter.

The Present Value of Future Hope

The second article explains not only why we will all be resurrected, but why the resurrection of Christ is so vital to the entire plan of salvation given us by our Father in Heaven.

Resurrection – the Turning of a Key

Day 2

Jesus Christ took upon Himself my sins, pains, and infirmities.

I recommend that for today’s lesson you start by reading the following article – What Is a Christ? It explains the definition of the word, the role, the purpose, and the expectations of being that person. Having this basic understanding under your belt will help you appreciate better how Jesus actually executed that role when he came to mortality.

To prepare himself for what was required by the person who is the anointed one, Jesus first had to create all that we know of in existence. The whole universe we live in was created by him, under the direction of our Father in Heaven. Even the earth upon which we live was created by Jesus in preparation for his time in mortality.

Finally, the big day arrived and Jesus was born. He was born into humble circumstances, and raised as all children in Israel were raised. Jesus was even taught a profession as a carpenter. Jewish law didn’t permit him to begin a ministry until 30 years of age, so he waited patiently until he was old enough to begin his work in earnest.

For three years Jesus went about doing good, collecting as many as he could find around him who were also interested in learning the truth about worshipping God. During those years of service he dealt with the lame, the outcasts, the diseased, the sinners, and all others in society from the richest to the poorest. He saw firsthand the scope of people’s conditions, their comfort and their miseries. This was a time of learning, as well as his time for administering God’s kingdom on earth.

All of his life and ministry was but preparation for the last 24 hours or so of his life. In that time he entered Jerusalem in triumph as their spiritual King, only to be betrayed by one of his own, secretly tried and judged by those who broke every law Christ, himself had given them in their treatment of him. He was arraigned before the leaders of the people and judged to be innocent of the crimes they accused him of committing, but the religious leaders of the Jews made such an outcry for his death that the Roman rulers obliged and put him through all the routine of one that was to be executed by crucifixion.

As unusual as all these circumstances were, there were many who were crucified. It was a common Roman practice of the day. So what made the crucifixion of Jesus so special? What made his crucifixion special was actually what began just hours before his death, and what he experienced during his time on the cross that is what sets his death apart from all others.

While Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, he underwent a trial unlike any other ever experienced by a mortal soul. He suffered both physically and spiritually for all the sins of mankind. That includes all who ever have, are in, or will ever come to earth. For that matter, his payment also includes all those on any other planet inhabited by God’s children. The payment for all sins made began in Gethsemane continued during his trial, punishment, and while he was on the cross. There is nothing fair about anything Jesus had to suffer for the rest of us. He was worthy of only praise and adulation, not pain and suffering. And his payment wasn’t just made with some lashes or nails through his body. His punishment was eternal in nature. It was so severe that he physically bled from every pore of his body. Jesus suffered more than could be tolerated by any other mortal without dying.

Mosiah 15:9 says

Having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice.

Jesus was constantly learning new things, but I think it was during his payment for our transgressions and sins that he came to fully appreciate and develop the compassion for all of God’s children that makes him so forgiving and tender towards each of us. As the scripture states, it took having him stand between us and the full demands of God’s righteous justice for him to have his bowels filled with mercy and compassion for each of us. He truly suffered, coming to understand how much all of us have to go through in mortality. There was nothing we experience that he did not experience infinitely more. Instead of coming to resent us, he came to appreciate and love us even more, if it is possible. Remember, I am assuming that Christ was learning the whole time he was experiencing these things. I don’t think this was old territory for him, but a new experience.

Alma 7:12 says

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

He suffered unto death for all of us just so he could come to understand how to best help us who are still going through mortality. It also filled him with the compassion to understand why those of us who have already passed through mortality made the choices we did in life. This way he can succor or help us all according to our individual infirmities. This makes even the love of a mother for her child pale in comparison.

As you read the passages suggested by the manual, and do so with the intent of understanding the Savior’s sacrifice on your behalf, the Spirit will help certain words or phrases stand out to you. Take time to ponder what it is about those things that stood out to you. Why did they? How would you describe what Jesus did for you in word other than what is directly stated in the scriptures? Make it personal, because his sacrifice for you was personal.

Day 3

Jesus Christ can cleanse me and help perfect me.

I love the perspective the manual points out that the Book of Mormon can be said to be a book of conversion. There is a wide variety of people who are converted within its pages. King Benjamin’s people were good people made better through the preaching of the gospel. Alma the Younger was converted from being a total apostate trying to destroy the church of God. The people at the time of the Savior’s visit were, in many cases, only marginally better than those who were destroyed. They were mixed with the few remaining truly righteous people. All of these were converted eventually through the preaching of the gospel message. Even Alma the Elder lived among wicked and idolatrous men. Before he could start teaching the gospel to others he had to do some serious repenting of his own.

To read about someone’s conversion is a private and intimate affair. To see it in a video, like the Book of Mormon videos I almost felt like I was intruding on their sacred space. But there is a lesson to be had here, and that is that the Book of Mormon contains within its pages many stories of conversion. The people were all in different states of righteousness or wickedness, and all of them had their hearts changed and their lives turned around. This should help to make the message of the Book of Mormon more relatable to each of us.

The message of the Book of Mormon is one of hope. As we each learn our lessons in life and turn to the Savior for help and guidance, he will send us his Spirit to teach us what we need to do next in our search for peace and happiness. No one in the pages of the book were actually happy before they found the gospel of Christ. But all of them expressed joy once they had given themselves over to the teachings of the Lord and lived for a time the life he prescribes for us. The constant expression for the changes in their lives is that of gratitude.

What about you? Have you ever considered writing down a few notes as to how you viewed your life before finding the gospel of Christ? What about before you decided to get serious about your membership in the Lord’s church? Once you have been changed through repentance and living the lifestyle of Christ’s gospel write down how you think about life and your relationships. Compare the before and the after and see if you can detect a difference. I dare say there will be.

Personal Study

Live worthy of the Spirit’s guidance.

The manual talks about the importance of living worthy of the Spirit’s guidance so that we can know how to better help those whom we teach. The same can be said for those who don’t teach, but the Spirit’s guidance will be for us in our personal life.

The scriptures are important, don’t get me wrong. But when it comes to understanding them you need the Spirit. When it comes to praying you need the Spirit. We need the Spirit each day when we ask to be led by His promptings to do good for others and to make wise choices. He is so important because He teaches us to live the way the Savior lives, to think the way the Savior thinks, and to feel like the Savior feels. That doesn’t mean we lose our personality or our individuality. Just look at the Twelve Apostles. They are a very diverse and opinionated group of men. What sets them apart from all other groups of leaders is that they are so committed to following the will of the Spirit, because they know that His will is Christ’s will.

As you pray each day for the Spirit to attend you in all that you do, don’t forget that you need to spend the rest of the day being aware of your own feelings and the thoughts that go through your head. Be looking for thoughts that come out of left field (so to speak). These are thoughts that seem a little strange or foreign to you, like you aren’t sure where that just came from. Those thoughts might just be the Spirit introducing new ideas to you, making suggestions for action on your part, or opening your mind to new thoughts and perspectives you haven’t had before.

When the Spirit speaks to us we must get used to recognizing how He does so. It is a little different for each person. I may become emotional or tenderhearted, while you may just feel a level of comfort that wasn’t there before. You might even feel excited by a new idea or you might have a moment of real clarity. The possibilities are almost endless. But each of us are more susceptible to certain ways of communing with the Spirit than with other ways. Find yours.

The title for today’s lesson is to live worthy of the Spirit’s guidance. If you are living as I have described in the above paragraphs then you most likely are living worthy of the Spirit’s guidance. It is when we forget about the Spirit and no longer seek His company that we begin to live and be unworthy of His presence in our life.

Oh, to go back to my scripture reference earlier – the scriptures teach us principles and promises, but it is the Spirit who teaches us how to live those principles and how to receive the blessings of those promises. We really need them both.

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BoM13-2024 – Easter – With Healing in His Wings