Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Plan of Salvation

Book of Mormon Papers - a series of posts
containing papers I wrote for a
BYU Religion class my freshman year of college.

(Note: I don’t have much to say about this paper today… maybe because it’s pretty straight forward, and maybe because I have strep. Probably the latter.)

Isaiah’s main prophecies were concerning the first and second comings of Christ. Nephi loved the words of Isaiah, and because he did he wrote about them even when he was not directly quoting them. One of the most important points of Nephi’s discourse on Isaiah is the plan of salvation which he outlines in this discussion. How does Nephi describe the plan of salvation and what things does he emphasize? Nephi speaks almost entirely of Christ’s atonement and enduring to the end, two vital points of the plan of happiness.

Nephi testifies of the awesome power of the atonement as he describes it as “infinite for all man.” (2 Nephi 25:16) The plan of happiness hangs on the atonement. There can be neither salvation nor eternal life without the amazing sacrifice of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For “there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ… whereby man can be saved.” (2 Nephi 25:20) The salvation that Nephi speaks about is the first condition of the atonement. By Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection all men are saved from the bonds of physical death which “he hath given… free for all men.” (2 Nephi 26:27)

However, Nephi continues and speaks of the second kind of salvation made possible by the atonement. This salvation is dependant upon man’s individual conversion and devotion. Nephi states this as his reason for speaking and teaching so much of Christ so that “our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”( 2 Nephi 25:26) Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice redeems men from spiritual death on the condition of their belief and steadfastness. Christ’s grace will save man “after all [they] can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23) Man must believe in Christ and be reconciled to God. In order to help man become this reconciled being, Christ gave man His spirit to stay on earth after His ascension into heaven. This spirit is to aid in man’s conversion, allowing him to be saved by the grace of God. However, “the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man.” (2 Nephi 26:11) Nephi reminds man that the companionship of the Holy Spirit is also conditional upon man’s worthiness.

Nephi’s discourse on the first coming of Christ teach man “line upon line” and “precept upon precept” of the sacrifice of the Lord that makes the plan of salvation possible. Christ’s “infinite atonement” and the gift of the Holy Spirit which He left for man after his ascension are those tools and keys that the Lord has given to man for him to be saved, according to his steadfastness and faith.

What does the plan of salvation mean to you?

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