More Blessed are the Disciples of Life
4 August 2007 (updated 11 December 2020)
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Today, I came across the blog of Paul Toscano. His relationship with Mormonism is difficult to describe and beyond the scope of what I would like to address in this post. Suffice it to say that he has been deeply influenced by Mormonism, whether or not he yet considers himself a Mormon.
While reading an entry on his blog, I came across a statement that prompted me to write this post. Here is the statement:
“Of course, death can be postponed, but usually by the visitation of death upon others. It cannot be transcended, not by mortals. Its inevitability should not be denied, but rather embraced and endured.”
I’m not sure of all he intends to communicate by these statements. But they echo a common sentiment in our communities, both within and beyond Mormonism.
We have adapted well to our environment of death, to the point that many now advocate embracing it. For such persons, death is no longer considered merely inevitable. It’s also good and more: they disapprove of or even ridicule those who consider death to be evil. The disciples of death solemnly preach suicide and overlook the irony of their preaching.
We should take on the name of life, with an unshakeable will to overcome death and hell. As we long for our messiah, we should learn to become him. As we pray for divine grace, we should work toward her birth. 2 Nephi 9 states:
10 O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.
11 And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave.
12 And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
God only prepares the way. 3 Nephi 28 tells an important story:
4 And when he had spoken unto them, he turned himself unto the three, and said unto them: What will ye that I should do unto you, when I am gone unto the Father?
5 And they sorrowed in their hearts, for they durst not speak unto him the thing which they desired.
6 And he said unto them: Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me.
7 Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven.
8 And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father.
9 And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the sins of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand.
10 And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;
11 And the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost unto the children of men, because of me.
12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he touched every one of them with his finger save it were the three who were to tarry, and then he departed.
More blessed are those who desire life.