Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Believe in Exaltation

Articles of Faith #10
We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

There is a great deal in this small verse. Most of it seems rather scholarly in nature. The point of these posts, however, is not scholarly but is testimonial. I could get into talking about the lost ten tribes of Israel and the Millennium, but so much information is strictly hypothetical. There is a great deal that is not hypothetical, revealed in visions of the Millennium and in prophecies about the ten tribes, but most of that is highly symbolic. I feel there is a reason for that, and don't really want to touch on that more than briefly.

My understanding of the Father's Plan for His children is twofold: that there must be a Fall, and there must be a redemption from that Fall. Most of the covenants and meaning found in Israel and the tribes is wrapped up in that great and First covenant that God made before the world was created, appointing a Savior and appointing one to Fall. After his choice, Adam received the Atoning Covenant on behalf of all His children, appointed to the Priesthood which he could pass to his righteous sons. That birthright is tied up in the Priesthood, as priesthood wielders stand as proxy for Christ himself in ministering to His children. That Priesthood was given to Abraham and down to Israel, making the family of Israel a symbol for priesthood power and the promise of atonement. Only those who become righteous have this priesthood and are counted as part of this family. Zion, the inhabitants of which were fully righteous, being complete beneficiaries of the Priesthood promise, is a symbol of the fulfillment of this promise: exaltation.

As a symbol, the Priesthood, Zion and Israel represent very real power granted through the Atonement from Christ himself. Every time we participate in priesthood ordinances ranging from the Sacrament to temple ordinances, we are reenacting a part of this wonderful Plan, strengthening our dedication to it. The promise that we can go home someday cannot be paralleled by any other promise. Nothing else matters before that great covenant.

We will not go home unchanged. We will, in this life, make some necessary steps towards exaltation, towards realizing our full potential as children of the Most High. I think if we really understood what this meant, the merest urge to sin would nauseate us. The Law and the Atonement are not about fitting a mold, it is about blossoming. Anything we do to fight against that hurts only us in the long run.

Whatever my judgment shall be, I look forward to meeting the Savior. I hope I will be enfolded in His arms, allowed to plead with Him directly for forgiveness and thank Him for His amazing gift. I love Him, and I long for the day when the earth itself shall be exalted and I will see the Plan of God fulfilled.


  1. "I think if we really understood what this meant, the merest urge to sin would nauseate us."

    Agreed. I also think if we even had an ounce of remembrance of what it was like living in Heavenly Father's presence, we would also feel this way. But I guess that's the point --we can't truly be tested unless it's hard.
    Dang it. :)

    Beautiful post. Again!

  2. "The Law and the Atonement are not about fitting a mold, it is about blossoming."

    When we come to this point of view, we begin to find a lot more joy in the journey, don't we?

    I second everything Cheryl wrote, especially her final paragraph. I love to come to your blog because I know I will find new insights within a framework of faith.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the Articles of Faith in such an interesting, thought-provoking, and inspiring way.

  3. This is moving to one of my favorite posts you have written. Much to think about.

    Thank you, friend.

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I posted a link to one of your other posts on my own blog this morning to celebrate your birthday.

    Oh, and btw, great post. *grin*

  5. Uh, Papa D? How did you know it was her birthday? Did I miss that somewhere?

  6. m&m, yup, you missed it. *grin*

    Hint: Ask face or davidson.

  7. Silver, I always enjoy your thoughtful posts. Just thought I'd let you know that there is a little conversation going on for/about you at Mormon Momma if you care to drop by and see it:

  8. Obviously I should read comments before posting, eh?

  9. "The Law and the Atonement are not about fitting a mold, it is about blossoming. Anything we do to fight against that hurts only us in the long run."

    Today in Sunday School, we discussed the fact that if we don't repent and partake of the gift of the Atonement, then we will feel the same suffering of both body and spirit that the Savior did on our behalf. Although I have heard this before, I haven't really thought much about the actual anguish that would cause. Like your comment above- it only hurts us.

    What a true blessing it is to have the gospel in our lives and be able to apply it personally. It is so comforting to know that the Savior knows us -really knows us- as an individual.

    Great post!

  10. Thank you, again for your comments. I'm really overwhelmed by the responses. And I am also grateful for the birthday wishes. Thank you. Thank you, also, Ray for your birthday present. Very flattering.

    It's funny because this Article is one of the hardest to discuss, but as I thought about it, I realized that it all had to do with exaltation and the Plan of Happiness. I really wish I understood more about Israel and the birthright.


Unfortunately, I've found it necessary to screen comments. Unless your comment violates the commenting policy, it will show up as soon as I can approve it.

Popular Posts