12 Behold, he created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man.
13 And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death.
14 And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.
What does it mean to be redeemed by Jesus Christ, and who will be redeemed?
- The resurrection is one part of our redemption. As Moroni teaches in the passage above, the Savior’s death and resurrection brought about a “redemption from an endless sleep.” Because of Jesus Christ, we won’t die permanently. Our spirits will be reunited with our bodies, never again to be divided. Everyone will receive this redemption.
- We will be brought back into the presence of God. The fall of Adam and Eve not only introduced physical death into the world but also separated us from God. This separation is called spiritual death (Helaman 14:16-17). As Moroni teaches in the passage above, the Savior has also overcome spiritual death. Because of His Atonement, we will all be brought back into the presence of God, where we will be judged.
That second point is actually a really big deal. I can’t get an appointment with the CEO of my company. (Granted, I work for a very large company.) Even if I had a topic that would merit his attention, the amount of effort required would be substantial. I would have to convince a number of other people that my topic was worth his time and couldn’t be addressed in some other way. Yet, the Savior has set an appointment for each of us with the Creator of the Universe, and we don’t have to do anything to prove that the meeting is necessary or that it will be a good use of His time.
So we will all be redeemed from physical death (permanently), and we will all be redeemed from spiritual death, at least temporarily as we are brought into God’s presence to be judged. What happens next depends upon whether we are prepared for that meeting.
As humans, we have a tendency to make decisions which do not make us happy. Left to our own devices, we would all be miserable (2 Nephi 2:5, Alma 12:26). As Moroni teaches earlier in this chapter, returning to God’s presence wouldn’t solve that problem. In fact, we would be more miserable living near Him in a sinful state than to be far from Him (Mormon 9:4). But if we will allow Him to do so, the Savior will change our natures, converting us from our current selves into spiritual beings who are capable of living “after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27). If we have participated in that process, then our reunion with God will be a joyful one, and His final judgment will simply confirm the change that has already taken place in us.
Today, I will be grateful for the blessings I have received through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I will be grateful that He has redeemed me from physical death. I will be grateful that He has redeemed me from spiritual death, so that I will be brought back into the presence of my Heavenly Father. I will also be grateful that He can help me prepare for that reunion, so that it will be a joyful one.