“Moses 6:48–68,” The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual (2017)
“Moses 6:48–68,” The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual
Because of Adam’s Fall, all mankind suffer physical death (the separation of the immortal spirit from the mortal body) and spiritual death (separation from the presence of God). Furthermore, because people yield to the temptations of Satan, they become “carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God” until they repent (Moses 6:49). The good news of the plan of salvation is that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind will overcome physical death and can overcome spiritual death (see Romans 3:23; Mosiah 16:3–4; Alma 11:42–43; Helaman 14:14–18; Moses 6:52).
Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “We are not haunted with an overhanging sense of ‘original sin’ about which we can do nothing. (Moses 6:54; Moroni 8:15–16.) By revelation, we know that the Lord told Adam: ‘Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden.’ (Moses 6:53.) Thus, we are accountable for our ‘own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression’ (Article of Faith 2.)” (Meek and Lowly , 42–43).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles indicated that the phrase “conceived in sin” means “born into a world of sin” (see A New Witness for the Articles of Faith , 101).
God gave us the great gift of agency in the day He created us (see Moses 7:32). Moral agency enables us to choose between good and evil and to experience the consequences of our choices (see 2 Nephi 2:14–16, 25–29; D&C 101:78).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained:
“Two births are essential to salvation. Man cannot be saved without birth into mortality, nor can he return to his heavenly home without a birth into the realm of the Spirit. … The elements present in a mortal birth and in a spiritual birth are the same. They are water, blood, and spirit. Thus every mortal birth is a heaven-given reminder to prepare for the second birth. …
“In every mortal birth the child is immersed in water in the mother’s womb. At the appointed time the spirit enters the body, and blood always flows in the veins of the new person. Otherwise, without each of these, there is no life, no birth, no mortality.
“In every birth into the kingdom of heaven, the newborn babe in Christ is immersed in water, he receives the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and the blood of Christ cleanses him from all sin. Otherwise, without each of these, there is no Spirit-birth, no newness of life, no hope of eternal life. …
“… These elements were again present in [Christ’s] death. He sweat great drops of blood in Gethsemane as he took upon himself the sins of all men on conditions of repentance. This same agony and suffering recurred on the cross. It was then that he permitted his spirit to leave his body, and it was then that blood and water gushed from his riven side” (A New Witness, 288–89).
“Baptism is not optional if one wishes the fullness of salvation. Jesus said a person must be born of water and of the Spirit (John 3:3–5). When he sent the twelve apostles forth to teach the gospel he told them that whosoever believed and was baptized would be saved; and whosoever did not believe would be damned (Mark 16:16). …
“Baptism in water has several purposes. It is for the remission of sins, for membership in the Church, and for entrance into the celestial kingdom; it is also the doorway to personal sanctification when followed by the reception of the Holy Ghost” (Bible Dictionary, “Baptism”; see also D&C 76:51–52).
To be justified is to be made just, or free from guilt and sin. The Holy Ghost is the member of the Godhead whose power acts as a cleansing agent that removes guilt and sin from our lives (see 2 Nephi 31:17). President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) said: “Through the shedding of the blood of Christ, we are cleansed and sanctified; and we are justified, through the Spirit of God” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie , 2:324–25).
To be sanctified is to be holy and worthy of eternal life and immortal glory (see Moroni 10:32–33). Through His perfect Atonement, Jesus Christ shed His blood and made it possible for all who have faith and repent to be sanctified (see Mosiah 3:11, 18; Alma 34:10–16). Thus, we are ransomed and made holy by the blood of Christ. President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
“The atonement by which men are redeemed, was made by one without blemish and without spot. He had to be one who had life in himself, and therefore all power over death. No mortal man could make the atonement. Moreover, the atonement had to be made by the shedding of blood, for blood is the vitalizing force of the mortal body. …
“The Scriptures are replete with passages teaching us that there could be no remission of sins without the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1956, 127).
President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that the plan of salvation “is also called the plan of happiness, … the plan of redemption, the plan of restoration, the plan of mercy, the plan of deliverance, and the everlasting gospel. Prophets have used these terms interchangeably.
“Regardless of designation, the enabling essence of the plan is the atonement of Jesus Christ” (“Constancy and Change,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 33).
In the creation of the heavens and the earth, the Lord used physical symbols to teach us doctrines and principles of Jesus Christ and His gospel (see also 2 Nephi 11:4). Understanding gospel symbols requires the uniting of an earthly or concrete dimension with a transcendent, spiritual dimension. The prophet Alma taught that “all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44). These things not only testify of the existence of a Supreme Being, but also that He is Jesus Christ, the Creator of all.
The Lord taught His disciples to look upon the contents of the scriptures and see things concerning Himself (see Luke 24:44–45). To search for and discover symbols of Christ in the scriptures is to open a wellspring of new thoughts and emotions relative to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. For example, the earthly ordinance of baptism by immersion is symbolic of the death, burial, and Resurrection of Christ (see Romans 6:3–5; D&C 76:51–52).
Enoch showed how Adam set the example for all of us by exercising his faith in Christ through baptism by water and the Spirit. Therefore, by his obedience, Adam became “one in [Christ], a son of God” (Moses 6:68). In like manner, all may become sons and daughters of God (see Mosiah 5:7; 27:24–27; D&C 25:1; 39:4).
See the insights and commentary for Moses 6:7.