Sunday, April 22, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: The Sting of Death Is Swallowed up in Christ

A classmate of mine at law school recently passed away.  I write this post with full respect for his memory and for his family's grief for, even though the Savior knew He would momentarily raise Lazarus from the dead, the scripture reads, "Jesus wept."  John 11:35.

Having lost my own father at a young age, I have experienced the loss of a loved one at an immensely personal level.  However, although I sometimes feel stricken with the absence of his society and the inability to personally know him any better than I did as a little boy, I will always remember how I felt at peace when he died, even at that tender stage of life.

An ancient Book of Mormon prophet, Abinadi, explains why I could so peaceably accept my father's sudden and unexpected departure from my life:
6 And now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.
7 And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
Mosiah 16:6-9.

Thus, because Jesus Christ is "the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25) of all mankind, such that all will be resurrected (1 Cor. 15:22, Alma 11:42-45), I am and was able to accept the death of my father or of anyone else as only a temporary parting, a brief season of separation.  Indeed, a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, likewise answered Job's question, "if a man die, shall he live again?" by declaring, "he shall live again."

The true meaning of Easter is so much more than tasty chocolates or enjoyable Easter egg hunts:  It is the resurrection of all mankind.

Truly, what sweeter words can we hear than, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen."  Luke 24:1-7.  As Paul explained,
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ brisen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1 Cor. 15:19-22.

While we rightly and  invariably grieve for those we have lost, knowing that Jesus Christ died so that we all may live, again, we boldly proclaim, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"  1 Cor. 15:55.  As Abinadi concluded, "But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."  Mosiah 16:8.

I know and testify this is true because the sting of my father's death was and is swallowed up in the resurrection of Christ.


Rock Solid said...

Thanks Dan for sharing this post. I agree that dad's passing was swallowed up in the joy of the resurrection. I believe that part of what helped us all to move on was the outpouring of love that we all felt after the funeral from so many. Truly they did lift our burdens, they comforted us and mourned with us during that time (Mosiah 18:9).

Cougar Abogado said...

Indeed, RS. Thanks for sharing your insights.