He who lives
Week 14 is scheduled for study March 29-April 4, 2021. The importance of this week’s theme is that Christ is he who lives, today. There is plenty of doctrine here to sink your teeth into.

Day 1

Doctrine and Covenants 29:5; 38:7; 62:1; 76:11-14, 20-24; 110:1-10 – Jesus Christ lives.

As you prepare to commemorate the Savior’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, ponder how modern revelation has deepened your faith that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God and the Redeemer of the world.

As members of the Lord’s restored church, and as Christians, we are torn between the past and the present, even while we look to the future. Everything Christianity celebrates about Christ revolves around what happened to Jesus 2,000 years ago, and what Jesus did that caused the scriptures to be written about him.

During Joseph Smith’s days, Christianity really did preach that the days of the works of God were finished. He had lived his life on earth and had committed his authority to man on earth. He had gone back up to heaven, and there he would sit until Christ was to come again. In the meantime, what was done was done, and there was no more real involvement of God in the lives of men. This isn’t what the common people felt, but this is what their churches taught. Many still teach this today, though people still believe inwardly that God is more involved in their lives than what their official church doctrine teaches them.

The very backbone of our doctrine is that Jesus lives today. He is just as alive and involved in the governing of his church as he was in the days when he walked the roads of Galilee. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on earth to proclaim, as a central belief, that Jesus is at the head of his church today. He speaks to his apostles, just as he did during his mortal ministry. He sends his Spirit to give us revelation and inspiration. And ever so importantly, the atoning sacrifice he wrought with his precious blood during his mortal years is still in power and in force today. Nothing has changed.

The declaration that Jesus lives today is a statement that he who was born in Bethlehem now loves us and leads us from heaven, as he sits on the right hand of his Father, our God. He is actively participating as a real and present power and authority in our lives as covenant makers, and in the lives of the whole earth. Jesus made this earth. He paid for the sins of all who repent and turn to him. And Jesus will sit in judgment of all the inhabitants of the earth, both in the outpouring of death and destruction on the wicked in the last days, and in his judgment in mercy in the great day of judgment. As he has always carried out his Father’s will in all things, so he still does today, and will until this work for the redemption of all God’s children comes to an end. But even when this particular work comes to an end, he will always remain he who redeemed us, he who died for us, and he who rose from the grave to open the door for our own resurrection. Jesus will be our Savior always.

I see the message of today’s lesson as being the immediacy and present nature of Christ’s involvement in our lives today. As you read the scriptures listed for this lesson, think about him saying those words to you today. Jesus does not see himself as a 2,000 year old relic who ended his work way back when. His work has been in the “present” every day since the world began. He has never taken a break or vacation from his mission to save us from our own foolishness. We always hear how Satan is working 24/7 to lead us astray, because he doesn’t need to sleep. But do we consider that Jesus is working just as hard to save us as well? He doesn’t sleep either.

Yes, in our shortsightedness we may think of Jesus as being someone who lived thousands of years ago, but we need to retrain ourselves to think of him as living today. He may have died all those years ago, but he was also resurrected three days later. His work is eternal, and we are the aim of that work. God is our Father, but He has commanded us to accept Jesus as our Master, for only Jesus can show us the way back to God. We must learn to think of Jesus in the present, every bit as real and involved in our lives as the Spirit is from day to day. Remember what we are taught in the Book of Mormon – that the Spirit, and the angels, speak the words of Christ. He is still speaking to us today, everytime the Spirit whispers to us to minister to our loved ones, a neighbor, or a stranger we meet. The message of the Doctrine and Covenants is that Christ is still at work in each of our lives today, intimately, lovingly, and ever present, today.

Day 2

Doctrine and Covenants 29:26-27; 42:45-46; 63:49; 88:14-17, 27-31; 93:33-34 – Because of Jesus Christ, I will be resurrected.

As you prepare to commemorate the Savior’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, ponder how modern revelation has deepened your faith that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God and the Redeemer of the world.

I’ll keep this short by giving you just one thought to think over.

The atonement is worthless without the resurrection,

and the resurrection serves no purpose without an atonement.

Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to explain that true statement.

If you feel like you could use a doctrinal boost to explain the statement above, try reading this article.

Day 3

Doctrine and Covenants 18;10-13; 19; 16-19; 45:3-5; 76:69-70 – Jesus Christ accomplished a “perfect atonement.”

As you prepare to commemorate the Savior’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, ponder how modern revelation has deepened your faith that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God and the Redeemer of the world.

The article below is the result of my pondering about the “perfect atonement” mentioned in today’s lesson. It is a brief overview of the what, why, and what-happens-because-of of the atonement. I hope it brings you joy like it did to me.

FHE/Personal Study

Doctrine and Covenants 88:14-17; 138:17, 50 – Resurrection

Most of us have probably seen a deceased person. Would I be correct in stating that all that is left for the casket is the empty shell left behind by the person we loved? Looking at the casket, all we see is a reminder of the person who once was what gave life to what is now alone in the box. The miracle of the resurrection is that God has promised us that what we leave behind is not what He will give back to us. He will take the body we all leave behind and restore it, repair it, and glorify it beyond anything we can imagine. And God will not do this for just the chosen, but for all who come to earth. Each of us has this to look forward to.

The resurrection is the reward we earned by keeping our first estate. Keeping our first estate, in the presence of God, allowed us to come to earth and receive a body. Receiving that body is the first, and most vital step, to receiving a resurrected body. For we can’t receive a resurrected body if we don’t have a body to resurrect. This is why Satan and his followers will never receive a resurrected body.

The hope we have in Christ is based on the promise Jesus makes to all of us that as he was resurrected, so shall we be. Without this hope there is no point to keeping the commandments and repenting. We do all that we do in this life, because we are looking forward to the day we can walk back into the presence of God with the same kind of body He has, having learned to love as He loves, and think as He thinks, and feel as He feels. This is the process we begin the first time we repent of a sin. This is the goal of all our obedience and hard work in mortality.

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print a PDF copy of the file.

I Am He Who Liveth

Week 14 (Easter)