Thursday, February 18, 2010

Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration, by Elder Tad R. Callister
Of the Seventy

We've seen it many times before in books, films, and television: a person is in peril—because of medical difficulty, a hostage situation, or some other mortal danger—and the protagonist is heard to heroically offer, "Take me instead!"

Perhaps the power in this offering is in its universality and relationship to the infinite Atonement. This is, after all, the premise of the Savior's sacrifice: He paid the price for us (on conditions of repentance, of course).

Considering all of this, how would the person-in-peril situations change if the person to cry out, "Take me instead!" were all alone? Or, rather, what if he were talking to himself?

As inefficiently as I've tried to make a parallel, Elder Callister provides a better, stunning comparison:

We are moved by the Savior’s submission and find strength in His example to do likewise, but what would have been the depth and passion of Christ’s submission or the motivational power of that example if the Father and the Son were the same being and in reality the Son was merely following His own will under a different name?

He continued to make applicable comparisons to Abraham's offering of Isaac being changed to Abraham offering Abraham. It just doesn't make sense.

The context of this question is in innumerate four fundamental truths revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith:
  1. The Father and Son are two separate, distinct beings,
  2. They have glorified bodies of flesh and bones,
  3. God still speaks to man today, and
  4. The full and complete Church of Jesus Christ was not then upon the earth.

I really enjoyed the points and connections that Elder Callister raised in his talk. I liked them so much, in fact, that I'm tempted to simply repeat them here. Nevertheless, I'll let the reader refer to the full talk text (link), and simply say that I'm grateful for the restored truths of the gospel, as revealed to and through Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration.

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